Giant technology companies have had plenty of action with their boards the first half of 2018. This is the second of a two part series of updates.

In this Edition -Tech Boards in 1H2018

  • Board Trends
  • Board Members Appointed/ Resigning by Functional Role & Gender
  • Board Leadership Changes: Companies Combining Chairman/CEO Roles; Companies Naming New Chairmen (non-CEO); Companies Naming New Lead Directors
  • CEO Successions: internally and externally sourced
  • Board Members Appointed/Resigning by Function: external CEOs/Presidents/GM; CFOs/Audit and Investment Professionals; CIOs/ CTOs. CISOs, Privacy.

Vell Executive Search captures the most recent board appointments in tech, from October 29, 2017 to February 8, 2018.

Tech Giants

Alphabet Names Board Veteran as Chairman to Succeed Schmidt. Alphabet appointed John L. Hennessy, 65, former President of Stanford University, to serve as Executive Chair of Alphabet’s Board. Hennessy has served on the Board since April 2004 and Lead Independent Director since April 2007. Eric Schmidt, 62, becomes technical advisor to the company while continuing to serve on its board. Alphabet said that Canadian-born Shirley M. Tilghman, 71, 19th President of Princeton University, also retired from the board effective Feb. 15, 2018.

What were the important tech board changes in the most recent couple of months? This leadership report covers tech board changes from 8/26 to 10/29 in 2017.  

We have three categories, roughly organized by company size. Industries/ categories per CapIQ classifications.

  • The Giants ($100b+ market cap): Microsoft, Samsung, Intel, Cisco
  • The Software Companies: Paypal, Salesforce, Intuit, eBay, RedHat, ServiceNow, Twitter, Square, Citrix, Splunk, Fortinet, FireEye and any others.
  • Others (Telecom, Hardware, Services, Payments): HP, Inc., Infosys, Ericsson, TSYS, Micro-Semi, TSYS, FLIR, Cypress Semi., Cree, Convergys, Blackhawk Networks, Boingo, ScanSource and others.

Some basic stats:

19.7% of the new board seats went to women;
15.6% of the board seats removed were women held seats.

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.

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. 

Chairman Changes

  • Cerner Announces New Chairman after Sudden Demise of Chair/CEO Neal Patterson. Cerner announced that Neal Patterson, chairman and CEO, passed away on July 9, 2017, at 68 years of age, due to unexpected complications that arose after a recent recurrence of a previously disclosed cancer. Cerner Co-Founder and Vice Chairman of the Board Cliff Illig, 66, has been named chairman and interim CEO.
  • IDT Appoints Board Member Ken Kannappan as Chairman. Kannappan has served on IDT's Board since January 2015, after previously serving in the role of IDT Board Chairman from 2000 to 2008. John Schofield has resigned as Chairman in anticipation of his upcoming retirement. 
  • Acer Combines Chair-CEO Roles. Jason Chen was named Chairman in addition to his continuing role as CEO. George Huang steps down from the chairmanship but remains on the Board. Chen joined Acer in January 2014 as Corporate President and CEO.

Rockwell Automation Appoints TSYS CIO as Newest Board Member

Rockwell Automation announced that Patricia Watson, 50, has been elected to the company’s board of directors. Watson is senior EVP and CIO at Total System Services (TSYS). She currently serves as a board director for Texas Capital Bancshares.

TCS Independent Director Retires from Board 

Tata Consultancy Services said independent director Vijay Kelkar has stepped down from the board upon reaching the retirement age set by the IT services company. Kelkar, a Padma Vibhushan award winner, is an Indian economist and academician. He has been on the board of TCS since 2010. 

Zurich Insurance Group Appoints BofA Technology Leader to Board

Zurich Insurance Group announced that its board has elected Bank of America's Chief Operations and Technology Officer Cathy Bessant as a director. In her role at Bank of America, Bessant oversees about 95,000 employees and contractors in 35 countries in the bank's global technology and operations group. Bessant previously chaired the Charlotte Chamber and the Foundation For The Carolinas.

 

Kleiner Perkins’ Chief Product Officer Resigns from Amazon BoardWilliam B. Gordon

William B. Gordon, 66, resigned as a director of Amazon after fourteen years on the board. Gordon stepped down so he could provide consulting services to the company for two years. Gordon is currently the Chief Product Officer at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Bing also leads KPCB’s sFund, the investment initiative to fund and build applications and services that deliver on the promise of the social web.

Sanofi Names Former CEO of Dassault Systems as Newest Board Member

Sanofi appointed Bernard Charls as new independent Director. Charls has served since May 2016 as Vice-Chairman and CEO of Dassault Systems. He has been CEO of Dassault Systems since September 1995. He joined the company in 1983 and created the New Technology, Research and Strategy division, before being appointed Director for Strategy, Research and Development in 1988. Bernard Charl s is a member of the Academy of Technology (France) and of the National Academy of Engineering (United States).