Thursday, 15 January 2015 05:20

Chair/CEOs Role Changes- Oracle, Qualcomm & Others

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Splitting Roles to Appoint CEO

Most corporations that split the role did so as to promote a candidate to the CEO role, five of the six for internal candidates and one external candidate. In one case for the internal candidate, TIBCO, the change was precipitated by Vista Equity Partners. The TIBCO case is the only one where the former CEO does not stay.

Oracle: Larry Ellison becomes Exec Chair & CTO and Names Safra Catz and Mark Hurd as co-CEOs. It is rumoured that Mark Hurd was actively pursued by Microsoft

Qualcomm Splits Chairman / CEO Roles  to ensure Steven Mollenkop was not recruited by the Microsoft CEO search process.

TIBCO’s CEO Changed upon acquisition by Vista Equity Partners in December 2014.  Murray Rode, 49, COO was promoted to CEO. Founder, chairman and CEO of TIBCO, Vivek Ranadivé. 57 stepped down and the roles were split

Fidelity National Information Services Chairman/ CEO Split  - Frank R. Martire, 66,, five year CEO keeps Executive Chairman role, and Gary Norcross, 48, President assumes CEO role.  Ellen Alemany, 58, former  Chair and CEO of RBS' Citizens Financial Group, joins FIS’s board

Ixia:   Bethany Mayer, 47, SVP networking equipment, HP joined Ixia as CEO. Founder Errol Gingsberg, 58 retains his role as Chairman and head of Innovation.

Jive Chairman and five year CEO,Tony Zingale,  58, moves to become Executive Chairman,  and  Elise Steele, 47, former CMO and President was named iCEO, while a search is under way.

Combine Roles for Good Performance or Ability to Execute

The combination of  Chairman & CEO roles, is due to either outstanding or lacklustre performance.  Harris Corporation and Demandware have outstanding performance and  NetApp probably needed more concentrated focus. HP’s case is the exception - CEO Meg Whitman assumed the Chairman role when the interim Chair resigned for health reasons. In addition, this appointment is temporary until HP’s split happens.

NetApp Combines Chairman / CEO. New Lead Director: Former CEO and current chairman, Dan Warmenhoven, 63, is moving off the NetApp Board. Tom Georgens, 53, CEO, has been elected chairman, amidst a 600 person layoff. Lead Director Nicholas G. Moore, 72, former Global Chair and CEO of PwC and Coopers & Lybrand is retiring.  Replacing him is former McKinsey Managing Director, T. Michael Nevens, 65.

Harris Corporation CEO William M. Brown, 50, adds chairman to his responsibilities and Thomas A. Dattilo, 62, former Chair and former CEO, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company is now lead independent director.

Demandware Combines Chairman and CEO Roles: Demandware elected its CEO Tom Ebling, 58, as Chairman and Len Schlesinger, 61, HBS Baker Professor as Lead Independent Director.  Stephan Schambach, 43, Demandware’s founder, remains on the board as Chairman Emeritus. EVP and COO Jeffrey Barnett, 51, will also  join the Demandware’s Board. 

Demandware also added a new CFO, Timothy M. Adams, 54, formerly of athenahealth, while Scott J. Dussault, 43, the former CFO, remains as an advisory capacity for a period of time. 

For more information, please see the full 2015 Update

Read 3591 times Last modified on Saturday, 08 August 2020 20:25
Dora Vell

Managing Partner

Dora Vell is the CEO of Vell Executive Search, a boutique executive search firm in Boston that recruits technology executives and board members for companies ranging from promising tech startups to Fortune 100 companies. Throughout her 22-year career in executive search, she has successfully completed hundreds of assignments, placing board members, CEOs, COOs, CIOs, technology officers, vice presidents and many other C-level executives. Vell’s clients span both private and public companies and her work has included searches in markets large and small across the U.S. and Canada.

Prior to founding Vell Executive Search in 2005, she was a partner at the executive search consulting firm Heidrick & Struggles for seven years. She started in the Technology Practice in the Toronto office, became the firm’s Technology Practice leader for Canada, and then joined the firm’s Boston office.

Before her career in executive search, Vell worked for 11 years at IBM Canada in software-related roles of increasing responsibility. She started as a software engineer, managed a software engineering team of 100, and then led software sales for IBM Canada. She holds seven worldwide software patents. This deep industry understanding has helped Vell Executive Search become a recognized leader in finding senior executive and board talent for software and SaaS companies.

Vell is a recognized industry thought leader who has published several reports on governance and leadership topics. She has been frequently quoted as an expert on executive and board leadership by outlets such as 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 has been a featured speaker on leadership at numerous conferences and at Columbia University's MBA program.

Vell has been a Fellow of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and the Boston CEO Roundtable. She has served on the boards of Framingham State University, Entrepreneur's Organization, Goodwill, Mary Centre for Developmentally Handicapped Adults,, and RBC Capital Partners.

The trilingual daughter of a diplomat, Vell grew up in Canada, Greece, France, Switzerland and China. Her unique multicultural and international perspective, experiences as a woman in the male-dominated software field, and insights as a dual Canadian and U.S. citizen inform all her work for clients.

Vell received an MBA from the University of Toronto, a master’s in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo, and a bachelor’s in Computer Science from Carleton University.  She has also completed the MIT Entrepreneurial Master’s program.

Areas of Practice:

  • C-Level Technology Executives
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