Dora Vell

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, garage.ca, 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
  • CEOs, CROs, Heads of Sales, Heads of Marketing, Chief Product Officers
  • Technology Officers: CTOs, CIOs, Heads of Engineering, CISOs, Chief Data Officers
  • Board Directors
  • Diversity Executives and Board Directors
  • Canadian Executives and Board Directors

Publications:

Website URL: http://www.vell.com

September 27th, 2019

Welcome to the 64th Edition of the Open Tech Roles newsletter. This newsletter covers open technology roles as of September 26th, 2019 and technology appointments for past 69 days ending September 26th, 2019.

Titles are evolving and are specializing:

  • The head of technology (IT) role has different titles, historically a CIO, is now either CIO, CTO or Engineering (including CIO role) and a Chief Digital Officer titles (or combinations thereof). Note: sometimes the head of IT is the EVP Tech & Ops with CIO type roots.
  • The CTO role has multiple contexts and meanings: (1) CTOs that manage IT (where the CIO reports in); (2) CTOs that manage the tech infrastructure (a more traditional definition); (3) CTOs - Products/ Tech Strategy. They are essentially tech vendor CTOs and typically manage IT as well, but it is not their primary role or orientation.
Tuesday, 10 September 2019 00:11

24 Open Tech CEO Roles and 37 Appointments

September 6, 2019

Welcome to our Technology CEO Transitions Newsletter for July-August 2019.

We research and catalog all open technology CEO roles we can find (as of 8/30) and also the latest appointments for July 26th - August 30th. We use Capital IQ industry classifications and US census geographic regions.

Summary Trends

There are 24 Open Tech CEO Roles and 37 Appointments.

Here is their geographic distribution:

Friday, 02 August 2019 09:21

Tech Turnovers and Exec Opportunities

August 1st, 2019

Welcome to the 63rd Edition of the Open Tech Roles newsletter. This newsletter covers open technology roles as of July 22nd, 2019 and technology appointments for past 62 days ending July 22nd, 2019.

Titles are evolving and are specializing:

  • The head of technology (IT) role has different titles, historically a CIO, is now either CIO, CTO or Engineering (including CIO role) and a Chief Digital Officer titles (or combinations thereof). Note: sometimes the head of IT is the EVP Tech & Ops with CIO type roots.
  • The CTO role has multiple contexts and meanings: (1) CTOs that manage IT (where the CIO reports in); (2) CTOs that manage the tech infrastructure (a more traditional definition); (3) CTOs - Products/ Tech Strategy. They are essentially tech vendor CTOs and typically manage IT as well, but it is not their primary role or orientation.
  • At Charter Communications the Chief Product Officer is adding Technology Officer to his title to oversee Engineering and IT along with Product Team. We have seen some of this trend recently in our Vell practice as well.

July 26, 2019

Welcome to our Technology CEO Transitions Newsletter for June-July 2019.

We research and catalog all open technology CEO roles we can find (as of 7/25) and also the latest appointments for the period starting on June 11th and ending July 25th. We use Capital IQ industry classifications and US census geographic regions.

Summary Trends - Technology CEOs

There are 24 Open Tech CEO Roles and 31 Appointments.

Here is their geographic distribution:

June 13, 2019

Welcome to our Technology CEO Transitions Newsletter for May-June 2019.

 

We research and catalog all open technology CEO roles we can find (as of 6/10) and also the latest appointments for May 3rd to June 10th. We use Capital IQ industry classifications and US census geographic regions.

Summary Trends - Tech Industry CEOs

There are 25 Open Tech CEO Roles and 27 Appointments. The activity seems to have slowed down significantly, also noticed in trends from April/May.

Here is their geographic distribution:

We would LOVE to hear from you… Please click on the link below… The survey is completely anonymous…We will publish a summary of the results.QUESTION and LOOK 3D shutterstock 502411141

Take CIO/Tech Exec Retention Survey Here

May 22nd, 2019

Welcome to the 62nd Edition of the Open Tech Roles newsletter. This newsletter covers open technology roles as of May 20th, 2019 and technology appointments for past 38 days ending May 20th, 2019.

Thursday, 09 May 2019 02:54

27 Open Tech CEO Roles and Recent Appts.

May 8, 2019

Welcome to our Technology CEO Transitions Newsletter for April/May 2019.

We research and catalog all open technology CEO roles we can find (as of 5/2) and also the latest appointments for March 18th to May 2nd. We use Capital IQ industry classifications and US census geographic regions.

Summary Trends: Global Tech CEO Availability

There are 27 Open Tech CEO Roles and 29 Appointments. The activity seems to have slowed down significantly, also noticed in trends from March.

Here is their geographic distribution:

April 22nd, 2019

Hope you had a wonderful long weekend!

Welcome to the 61st Edition of the Open Tech Roles newsletter. This newsletter covers open technology roles as of April 12th, 2019 and technology appointments for past 31 days ending April 12th, 2019.

We want your opinion...

Reasons for CIO/Tech departures & effective retention methods

Would love your commentary on the following questions...Questionmark Guy Thought Leadership jpeg

(1) What are the reasons CIOs/other heads of technology leave companies?

(2) What are some of the challenges that CIOs/other tech execs face that their CEOs should keep in mind? 

(3) What are some best practices organizations should follow in order to keep their CIOs / other tech execs on board?

Email your thoughts to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We will summarize and share the responses.

Friday, 22 March 2019 01:28

31 Open CEO Roles and 26 Appts. in Tech

March 20th, 2019

Welcome to our Technology CEO Transitions Newsletter for March 2019.

We research and catalog all open technology CEO roles we can find (as of 3/17) and also the latest appointments for February 18th to March 17th. We use Capital IQ industry classifications and US census geographic regions.

Tech CEO Summary Trends

There are 31 Open Tech CEO Roles and 26 Appointments. The activity seems to have slowed down significantly.

Here is their geographic distribution:

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