Dora Vell is the Managing Partner of Vell Executive Search, a boutique executive search firm in Boston focused on recruiting technology executives and board members. Vell has successfully completed numerous board member and C-level executive searches, including CEOs, COOs, CIOs, and Vice Presidents - at both public and private companies.
Prior to founding the firm in 2005, Vell was a Partner at Heidrick & Struggles' Technology practice for seven years. Before her career in executive search, she worked at IBM for 11 years, managing software engineering organizations of 100 people and software sales organizations with revenues of $150 million. She has also served as an executive assistant to the CEO of IBM Canada for one year.
Vell holds seven worldwide software patents. She has published several Business of Leadership reports on governance and leadership and has been quoted in numerous articles including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week, Fortune, Agenda Week, MSNBC, Mass High Tech, the OPUS for the World Economic Forum, Boston Business Journal, The Globe & Mail, CIO Magazine, and IEEE. She also has been a featured speaker on leadership at numerous conferences and at Columbia University's MBA program.
Vell is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), the Boston CEO Roundtable. She has served on the boards of Framingham State, Entrepreneur's Organization, Goodwill, Mary Centre for developmentally handicapped adults, garage.ca, and RBC Capital Partners.
She has received an MBA from the University of Toronto, a Master in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo, and a Bachelor in Computer Science from Carleton. She has also completed the MIT Entrepreneurial Master’s program.
Are you seeking your next board seat in a technology company? It is often helpful to look at the current composition of technology boards and what skills and experiences are currently in demand.
Public Tech Companies over $100m
We studied public technology companies studied in the US and Canada with at least $100m in revenues.
The number of companies is 581. There were 4,305 individual board members occupying 4,830 board seats.
October 25, 2017
Welcome to the 49th Edition of the Vell Leadership Update for the 37 days ending October 23, 2017.
We’ve seen a lot of shake-ups this past month, as 91 new heads of technology have stepped up, including new CTOs, CIOs, tech & ops execs and CISOs.
Summary Stats and Trends
By the numbers, overall:
Intel elected Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts, to board; Senior Leader Stacy Smith to Retire from Executive as well as Board Role. Wilson, 43, joined EA in May 2000, and has served as the company’s CEO and a director of EA since September 2013.
Smith, 54, group president of manufacturing, operations and sales, is retiring after more than 30 years at the company. Smith will stay on board through the end of January.
Executive Chairman John Chambers, 68, not to stand for re-election to Cisco’s Board. CEO-Chair Roles Combined. The Board plans to appoint Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, 49, to serve as chairman when Chambers' term expires in December 2017. John will also be given the honorary title of Chairman Emeritus. Chuck Robbins assumed the role as Cisco CEO in 2015.
October 9th, 2017
Welcome to our Technology CEO Transitions Newsletter.
We endeavor to catalog all open technology CEO roles (as of 9/30/2017) and latest appointments for the month of September 2017.
The average length of time the searches are open is 4.09 months, up from 2.97 months earlier this year. There is little variance across geographies.
Did you know? Trends in Technology Board Appointments
Deloitte went through the S&P 500 board appointments, that had technology as a primary competence. Here are the themes.
- Security & Privacy – 47.9%
- Analytics & Data – 32.4%
- Cloud – 17.6%
- Digital Transformation -13.6%
- ERP – 7.2%
Harvard did another study on over 7000 public companies and came up with a longer list. Happy to share these conclusions, and some Vell stats.
The software industry is witnessing rapid transformation – from increasing shareholder activism to more diverse boards, from geographic expansion to acquisitions - the following board and leadership moves reflect all these trends. Here are the major changes from July 28th to September 23rd, 2017.
September 19, 2017
Welcome to the 48th Edition of the Vell Leadership Update for the 31 days ending September 16, 2017.
We’ve seen a lot of shakeups this past month, as 93 new heads of technology have stepped up, including new CTOs, CIOs, tech & ops execs and CISOs. Quite a few new tech executive roles have opened up, as well.
Following is an overview of this month’s trends....
Tech companies have increasingly been feeling the investor pressure to refresh their board of directors. Several companies are focusing on diversity and adding female directors. Here we have compiled the female board appointments in tech from June 10 to September 16, 2017.
Accenture Appoints Estee Lauder’s CFO Tracey T. Travis, 55, as Board Member
PayPal appoints media exec and President, BBC Worldwide Ann Sarnoff, 55, to its Board of Directors
Intuit appointed Deborah (Deb) Liu, leader of Facebook's developer and commerce businesses, to its board
Paychex’s board has appointed most recent EVP & CMO of FireEye Kara Wilson, 47, to board. Wilson is now CMO at Rubrik
September 4, 2017
Welcome to our Technology CEO Transitions Newsletter. We endeavour to catalogue all open technology CEO roles (as of 8/31/2017) and latest appointments for the month of August 2017.
Do let us know if you see any that we are missing! We love to find why we missed one and we will reverse engineer what sources we could have found....
The average length of time the searches are open is3.6 months, up from 2.97 months earlier this year. There is little variance across geographies.
This month's trends....
By the numbers, overall:
Uber Selects Expedia Chief Dara Khosrowshahi for CEO Role Replacing Travis Kalanick
Uber Technologies voted to appoint Expedia’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, 48, as its new CEO, after an extensive executive search following Travis Kalanick resignation in late June this year.
Khosrowshahi has been the CEO and President at Expedia since 2005. He has served as a member of Expedia’s Board since completion of Expedia’s spin-off from IAC/InterActiveCorp in August 2015. Immediately prior to the IAC/Expedia spin-off, he was CEO of IAC Travel. Before that, he had held a series of executive roles at IAC, including EVP and CFO, as EVP of Operations and Strategic Planning, and President of USA Networks Interactive. Prior to joining IAC in 1998, Khosrowshahi worked at Allen & Company from 1991 to 1998.
Most important hiring and departures from June 11 to August 25, 2017
Several technology vendors announced changes to their board of directors in the said time period. We have tried to capture the most important and interesting ones, categorizing them under few noticeable patterns.