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Monday, 28 June 2010 08:02

Tech board and executive moves

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Read about Second Quarter 2010 Technology board and executive moves
What has been happening in the technology sector? The key word in the technology sector these days is "shakeup."

CA, HP and Microsoft made major changes in the C-suite, even as companies like Xerox continue to appoint women in P&L roles and smaller cap companies get ultra-active with new appointments.

One clear trend has emerged this year: software executives are increasingly finding their way to high-level positions at traditional hardware companies like HP and EMC. Selling solutions in the cloud is the battle everyone is fighting, from hardware to telecom to software vendors. Market research firm Gartner predicts the worldwide cloud services market will reach $150.1 billion in 2013.

In this newsletter, we'll also look at notable executive moves, the struggle for executive power between China and India, the rise of female technology executives, as well as trends in CFO, marketing, and board appointments.

I hope you glean some strategic insights from this installment of the Vell Executive Search newsletter. We'll be keeping our finger on the pulse of executive and board appointments. You can find other commentary in our blog

Feel free to call us or email us your comments. We would be delighted to hear from you!

All the best,

Dora Vell
Vell Executive Search
t: 781-416-4003 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

P.S. On a pro-bono basis, Vell Executive Search is working with the Perkins School for the Blind to recruit volunteer executive leadership, including positions on the Trust Board or Board of Trustees. See more details below.

Microsoft's Executive Shake-up

From major shakeups at Microsoft's Entertainment Division this spring, to former Microsoft execs landing at Yahoo, and AOL...there are plenty of new software faces working in various sectors.

The big news was Microsoft's Entertainment Division President Robbie Bach, 48, along with the division's Chief Technology Officer and "Chief Experience Officer" J. Allard, 41, leaving Microsoft. Rumors continue to abound about why Microsoft is leaving one of its five major divisions without leadership.

With Bach and Allard gone, the Entertainment and Mobile divisions will report to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer directly. Ballmer is known for making sweeping changes to division leadership when he is unhappy about performance.

Late in the quarter, Microsoft also promoted Allison Watson, corporate vice president of the Microsoft Partner Group, and Jon Roskill, corporate vice president of the Business & Marketing Organization in the US.

Microsoft Executives Join, HP, Yahoo, and AOL

Even before the shake up at Microsoft, the technology industry had its insights set on Redmond's talent pool. Cherry picking abounded this spring as tech companies set out to beef up their own executive ranks.

  • HP nabbed Bill Veghte, 42, as its new EVP, Software and Solutions Business. This is a significant win for HP. Veghte is a 19-year Microsoft veteran and served as president of the company's $1.5 billion Windows Business. Perhaps he made that decision in January when Stephen Sinofsky took over as president of the Windows division. He replaces Tom Hogan, 49, who was promoted to run the sales, strategy, marketing and operations of the $54b division.
  • appointed a Latino woman, a former Microsoft and Motorola exec, Maria Martinez to its exec ranks as EVP of Customers for Life.
  • Yahoo appointed Blake Irving, 50, as its Chief Product Officer, which includes vision, strategy, design and development of Yahoo's global consumer and advertiser product portfolio. In his prior role as corporate vice president of the Windows Live Platform group, Irving led a team of 4,000.
  • New CTO at AOL, Alexander Gounares, 37, joined from Microsoft, where he was CTO for the Online Services Division

What is happening at Microsoft? Liberum has put Ballmer on the CEO Watch List. Ballmer had made ongoing statements about the company's lack of innovation and there are rumors about Ballmer bringing Gates back. On June 7, Adam Lashinsky, the Senior Editor of Fortune, wrote: "He [Ballmer] is presiding over the umpteenth reorganization of the company he has run for years, having succeeded his pal, Bill Gates. His online business, whose Bing search engine is making modest gains against industry leader Google, lost more than $700 million last quarter. Yet here was Ballmer traveling down a semantical rabbit hole over the future of the PCs. In Ballmerworld, it doesn't matter that the PC is shrinking in relevance. Any device is a computer, and people will want to use Windows because they're so familiar with it. By the way, Windows 7, Microsoft's latest release, is crushing it, further proof that computer users love Microsoft."

HP Makes Major Exec Moves

HP's Spring on the recruiting front could be summed up this way: stealing software stars and promoting software executives from within. HP's lates moves also shine a spotlight on how the company views China, emerging markets, its consumer business, and the increasingly important marketing function. Let's review the moves:

  • Battle in the Cloud: HP nabbed two senior executives from Microsoft and VMware. The motive was two-fold: to strengthen its software business and to beef up its executive ranks for the battle in the cloud. HP will go head to head with the triple threat that is the VMware-Cisco-EMC alliance. HP hired Richard T. Geraffo Jr. as senior vice president and managing director for the Americas. Geraffo comes to HP from VMware, where he most recently held the position of vice president and general manager, America. HP also added Bill Gehte to run the company's $3.6b software division.
  • Software Executive Runs HP's Go-to-Market $54b Enterprise Business: HP promoted key software talent from within. Tom Hogan, 49, is now running sales, marketing and strategy for HP's $54 billion Enterprise business. His keen ability to turn around HP's $3 billion software business seemingly got the attention of the C-suite.
  • New Leadership in Asia: In Asia Pacific, Piau Phag Foo, the former head of China, saw his responsibilities increase to head all of Asia.
  • EMEA Moves: HP also made some moves in the EMEA, promoting Francesco Serafini from Senior Vice President for EMEA to Executive Vice President running the Emerging Markets business. Jan Zadak from the Czek Republic replaces Serafini. Zadak has his roots at Compaq/Olivetti.
  • Marketing Motives: HP recruited David Shirk as the head of marketing for its Enterprise division. Shirk comes to HP from Siemens, with roots at Vignette, Novell and Oracle. HP also recruited Richard Gerstein, a classically trained marketing executive, to oversee its Consumer business. he held leadership positions at Sears, Alberto-Culver Co.,, and Proctor & Gamble.

HP's shake up is more than interesting. It demonstrates how the recruiting battle in the software industry is heating up. Poaching superstars from industry leaders and shuffling executives across wide geographic regions like the EMEA and Asia signals how HP is preparing for the next wave of growth-and the competition that comes along with it-as new technologies emerge. We'll keep our eye on what appears to be an emerging trend as it unfolds.

Strategic Move: CA Separates Chair and CEO roles

Separating the Chairman and CEO roles at CA-and specifically appointing Art Weinbach as Chair-was significant after Chairman William McCracken took over as CEO earlier in the year. Weinbach, who currently is executive chairman of Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc., and was previously Chairman and CEO of Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP), joined CA's Board of Directors in 2008. He has served as a member of the Board's Audit Committee and its Compensation and Human Resources Committee. We applaud this move as Mr. McCracken selected someone who is very senior in the industry. 

Late in the quarter, CA also announced David Dobson, 47, former Corel CEO, and Pitney Bowes/IBM exec as the EVP Customer Solutions Group. CA also announced Phillip Harrington, 53, joining CA as executive vice president, risk and chief administrative officer, responsible for the company's human resources, global administrative services, risk, global information services and government relations operations.

Xerox Gets Even More Diverse with New Exec Appointments

Xerox Corporation is becoming a model of diversity. Ursula Burns, 51, was named the first African-American CEO at a Fortune 500 company, last July. When former CEO Anne M. Mulcahy passed her the executive baton it marked the first woman-to-woman CEO transition at this level.

Although Burns' appointment seemed to be business as usual inside Xerox, it was a spectacular move in a male-dominated technology industry. Now Burns is taking the next step. On May 20, Mulcahy stepped down as chairman and a director of the board and Burns assumed the additional role of chairman.

But Xerox didn't stop there with its focus on diversity. The company also recently promoted other females to the C-Suite with other new executive appointments. Xerox named Christa Carone, 41, CMO, a vice President of the Corporation. In addition, Xerox named Uta Werner, 51, as its Chief Strategy Officer in February.

In another diversity appointment, Xerox names Kevin Warren, former Chairman and CEO of Xerox Canada, to President of the US solutions group.

The Rise of Women Execs

More women are rising to meaty roles in tech companies. Giving females responsibility for P&L and significant revenue generation roles at Nuance, Quest, Phoenix and Ciber signal a shift in attitudes. We would still like to see more female CEOs but the transition from females largely filling staff roles to P&L and revenue generation roles is a significant step forward.

  • Yahoo named Patti Hart, CEO, IGT to its board of directors and Alison Watson was promoted at Microsoft to run the worldwide partner group.
  • Nuance nabbed Janet Dillione from Siemens to serve as Executive Vice President and General Manager of its Healthcare business.
  • Intel Corporation announced the appointment of Radia Perlman as an Intel Fellow. In this role, Perlman will be responsible for ensuring Intel Labs' leadership in network and security. Perlman was most recently with Sun Microsystems, where she was a Sun Fellow. Also, Renee J. James was named the position of Senior Vice President.
  • Quest Software recruited Evelyne Bourderioux, a former SAS and VMware executive, as its new European Sales Director for the EMEA region.
  • Phoenix Technologies appointed Kelly Wu as its Vice President and General Manager of Greater China, Chairman of its Greater China Management Council and Vice President of Global Embedded Sales & Marketing.
  • CIBER named Cyndie Henrichs as Vice President and Area Director of the company's Federal Civilian Technologies business. She previously worked in sales and operations at IBM.
  • Openwave Systems named Eileen Nelson Senior Vice President of Human Resources.
  • Selectica announced the appointment of Marlene Bauer as Vice President of Professional Services. She will apply her 18 years of experience in contract management and professional services in managing the delivery of Selectica contract lifecycle management and sales configuration solutions.
  • Women were named to the board of directors at Zix Corporation, Zhone Technologies, and Thwapr.

China vs. India: The Struggle for Exec Power

There is a power struggle between China and India over who will lead the Asia Pacific region. Increasingly, we see executives from China being appointed to head the Asia Pac over Indian executives. In addition to Phoenix Technologies' appointment of Wu to very senior executive positions, other tech companies are shifting power to China in the Asia Pacific. Here are a few notable moves:

  • At HP's Asia Pacific headquarters, Piau Phang Foo, the former head of China, saw his responsibilities increase to head all of Asia. He replaces Doraisamy Balu, senior vice president and managing director, HP Asia Pacific and Japan, who is retiring from the company effective June 30, 2010.
  • Arrow Electronics named Simon Yu from Greater China as President of its Asia Pacific region. He comes to Arrow from National Semiconductor.
  • Isolon has named Chee Keong Chan as its Vice President of Asia Pacific region. Chan previously served at NetApp and Data Domain, both of which are Isolon competitors.
  • SGI named Philip Chua Managing Director and Vice President and Asia Pacific and Japan. He previously served as Vice President for HP TSG sales as well as Enterprise Services in China.

One notable exception is CDS Software Corp's promotion of Nagaraja Prakasam, the company's Managing Director of India operations, to the additional role of Managing Director for South and Southeast Asia. Also, software game developer THQI appointed Australian Rodney Block to lead Asia Pac.

Board Appointments are Young and Old Alike CEOs/CFOs

One trend among board appointments is traditional functions with non-traditional age ranges. Companies these days are playing it safe, choosing CEOs, CFOs and General Managers. However, age is not as big a factor in board appointments as it once was. In these recent appointments, independent director's ages range from 25 to 75. This is interesting on both ends, as the average age in our board member studies has been at 58-59, and the outliers have typically been founders and non-independents. Not in this case.

The notable separation of Chair and CEO roles at CA was highlighted separately above.

BMC Software made two new board appointments this spring. Both Stephan James, 63, and Mark Hawkins, 50, bring traditional backgrounds to the board. James served as Accenture's international Chairman prior to his tenure as COO and Managing Partner for the company's Resources Operating Group and Financial Services Group. Hawkins is Executive Vice President and CFO at Autodesk and previously served as CFO and Senior Vice President for Finance and Information Technology at Logitech. Prior to Logitech, he spent six years at Dell, reaching Vice President of Finance for the company's Worldwide Procurement and Logistics division before departing.

Yahoo appointed Brad Smith,46, president and CEO of Intuit, and Patti Hart, 53, CEO of International Game Technology to its Board, bringing the total to ten board members. Could Yahoo be signaling a focus in gaming and software as a service to the SMB by these moves? Adding two line executives to the board strengthens its operational and new media oversight.

Mark Laret, 55, CEO of University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center, has joined Nuance's board of directors, further enhancing Nuance's entrée into the healthcare vertical. Laret is a respected and well-known voice within the healthcare industry.

Board moves of note in companies of $1b to $5 b market cap range, include:

Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. announced that Frank Dieter Maier has been appointed to the Board of Directors. Prior to his retirement in 2002, Maier served as Managing Director of TEMIC GmbH where he was responsible for the development and concentration of electronic activities within Daimler, including the operations of 26 semiconductor and automotive electronics plants.

Cypress Semiconductor announced that it has expanded its board of directors to eight members with the appointment of J.D. Sherman, 45, to its board. Sherman is the CFO at Akamai Technologies, a leading web networking infrastructure company. Prior to Akamai, he served as the chief financial executive of IBM's $21 billion Systems and Technology Group.

Veeco Instruments announced that Gordon Hunter, 58, has been appointed to its Board of Directors. Hunter currently serves as Chairman, President and CEO of Littelfuse, Inc., a provider of circuit protection products and solutions with annual sales of $430 million in 2009. Prior to joining Littelfuse, Hunter was Vice President, Intel Communications Group, and General Manager, Optical Products Group.

Tech Data Corporation has appointed Savio W. Tung, 59, to its board of directors and the board's Audit Committee, effective June 2, 2010. Tung will replace John Y. Williams, who retired on June 2, 2010 after serving on Tech Data's board of directors since 1988. Tung is a founding partner of Investcorp, a global investment firm, where he was managing director and head of the Technology Investment Group until February 2009, and where he remains an advisor and chairman of the Technology Investment Committee.

Beijing-based Perfect World, a $313 million software company, announced Ge Song, 41, has stepped down from his board directorship to focus on other professional commitments. He had served on the board since September 2006.

SRA International has named Robert Grafton, 69, to its board. Grafton previously served as Chairman, Board of Partners for Arthur Andersen LLP and as Managing Partner and Chief Executive for Andersen Worldwide.

CFO Appointments Still Active

Many CFO appointments on boards and in companies. A couple of high profile ones include:

McAfee recruited Jonathan Chadwick, 44, as its new CFO. Chadwick comes to McAfee from Cisco after 13 years serving in various finance roles. He was most recently CFO of Cisco's Global Consumer Markets. Chadwick replaces Rocky Pimentel, 55, who is retiring.

ICG Commerce appointed Joseph Waterman as CFO. Waterman comes to ICG from RecoverCare, a healthcare solutions distributor, where he also held the CFO position. He previously served as CFO of defense consulting firm Gestalt. During his three-year tenure at Gestalt the company's revenue tripled. Water has let successful IPOs and has served on several boards.

EDS appointed Terence Wong as CFO. He previously served as CFO at China Dongxiang.

Progress Software CFO Norman Robertson is resigning and the search is on for a replacement. Robertson joined Progress in May 1996 and has served at various public and private tech companies in financial functions for 30 years.

For more executive appointments visit our blog.

Read 370 times Last modified on Wednesday, 05 August 2020 21:06
Dora Vell

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,, 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.

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