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Tuesday, 10 January 2012 16:47

Tech Boards and Exec Changes 2h2011 Featured

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Read about Second Half 2011 Technology board and executive moves
Two of the largest technology companies in the world—IBM and HP—now have female CEOs. Yahoo named PayPal President Scott Thompson as the company's new CEO.

An orderly succession plan is in place at EMC. At the end of 2012, CEO Joseph Tucci will step into an exec Chairman role and one of four internal candidates is likely to succeed him. Those four candidates are: Paul Maritz, 56, CEO of EMC's subsidiary VMware, EMC's cloud COO Howard Elias, 53, CFO David Goulden, 52, and Intel alum Pat Gelsinger, 49, President & COO of Information Infrastructure Products.

We have observed some interesting patterns in 2011:

Trend 1: Former CEOs Hang Around In Succession Plans

As already noted, EMC's Tucci will take on an exec Chairman role for two years when the new CEO takes over. According to a September 2011 report in the Wall Street Journal, "the number of executive Chairmen of Fortune 500 companies who used to be CEOs there has surged to 35 this year from just 17 in 2008." The whole question of combining/splitting the roles has become fuzzy as it is often unclear whether the exec Chair appointment is part of a transition plan or a permanent role. In the second half of 2011, Verizon and Lenovo combined these roles while Harris separated the roles.

Trend 2: Unusual & Creative Backgrounds Seed Boards and Exec Teams

Yahoo's new CTO has an unexpected background, with experience at Applied Materials, SGI, and Oracle.

Ebay's Board welcomed Kathleen Mitic, 41, Head of Platform & Mobile Marketing at Facebook. Kathleen is neither a General Manager nor a financial exec—and doesn't even appear to be on Mark Zuckerberg's staff. She joins the likes of Ford Motor's William C. Ford, 53, and Edward W. Barnholt, 67, of KLA-Tencor Corp. eBay went for the expertise it needed rather than titles. Her appointment can only help to illuminate the Board with no foreseeable downside.

Trend 3: The Rise of the Geeks—Engineers Joining Boards and Running Companies

Did we really think that this would happen? Yahoo's new CEO has deep technology roots as both a CIO and CTO. Twitter's VP of Engineering joined Saba Software's Board and OpenText's new CEO's DNA is engineering and technology—not the traditional sales and marketing background we see in many new CEO hires. (See Vell Study - Vell's Characteristics of Successful Tech CEO).

Technology is becoming so complex—and businesses so dependent on it—that someone with strong engineering roots needs to be at the top. Otherwise, it's like having a pharmaceutical company without a medical expert somewhere near the top and on the Board.

I believe that getting out of the comfort zone and putting smart people from different fields—selectively—is a smart move. The downside of experimenting with creative placements is minimal and the upside is great.

Trend 4: Fluid Organizational Structures & Company Boundaries

There are a few examples of this trend we can point to. First, an extensive executive committee of five supported Yahoo's interim CEO. In another unusual move, SGI's CEO Mark J. Barrenechea will remain on Board, after resigning to join as OpenText's CEO.

Finally, Intel's Chairman-in-Waiting, Andy Bryant, is an insider reporting to the CEO. The structure is strange indeed: the CEO reports to the Chairman who in turn reports to the CEO. Intel is hiring a lead director to manage all of this. Tough job, but someone has to do it.

Trend 5: Chief Medical Officers in Tech Companies?

I did a double take on this one. Did we get it wrong? Did we really mean CMO, a Chief Marketing Officer? Dell and AT&T are among the companies moving in this direction. Hiring someone credible in the fast-growth healthcare IT Sector makes a key skill set available that is sure to be invaluable to these companies.

Trend 6: Talent Cross-Pollination for Large & Small Companies

Large companies are hiring execs with a strategic blend of large and small company experience and vice versa. Whereas before the two worlds would rarely meet, the flexibility, versatility, speed, and acumen of execs who can cross the bridge are now a hot commodity.

Trend 7: Major Tech Company Female CEOs Do Not Raise Eyebrows

Many view HP CEO Whitman, 54, as the person brought in to fix what's broken at HP. And at IBM, any former detractors to Rometty, 53, are genuinely supportive of her as the best candidate for Big Blue's top job.

Trend 8: More Investment Execs Join Boards

As can be expected, activist shareholder Ralph Whitworth, 54, joined HP's Board. Meanwhile, we saw Mike Fawkes land at Saba and Electronic Arts appointing a venture capitalist. Many of these additions have excellent operational credentials.

Trend 9: Government, Fed Contractors and Academics on Board

Examples in the second half of the year from the government sector include Dell's Ken Duberstein, 67, a key Reagan White House member, and Governor Tim Pawlenty, 51, joining Digital River's board. Motorola made two placements with federal backgrounds whereas Cadence and Synopsis appointed academicians.

Trend 10: Credible Bios for Chairmen & Female Board Members

I was very encouraged with the bios for Chairmen and female Board members, two areas I keep a watchful eye on. A weak Chairman bio is often a proxy for a CEO that really controls the company. A weak female Board bio is a proxy for a diversity search that didn’t dig deep enough and compromised.

New Vell Vice President!

We are pleased to announce that Paula Axelrod has joined our team. Paula is a talent acquisition executive with more than 25 years of experience. More on Paula and the team below.

We'll be keeping our finger on the pulse of executive and Board appointments. And stay tuned for our CIO report coming in the first quarter of 2012. Meanwhile, 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 & Happy New Year!

Dora Vell

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


Apple's Post Jobs' Shuffle

Apple's iconic boss Steve Jobs, 56, passed away. This triggered some executive changes at an appropriately measured pace.

Longtimer and Star CEO Named Chairman

Arthur Levinson
, 61, was named Non-Executive Chairman. He spent 10 years on the Apple board, five as Co-lead Director. Levinson is a molecular biologist and the former CEO of Genentech. Currently, he serves as the Chairman of Genentech and as a board member at Roche, Amyris, and NGM Biopharmaceuticals.

Media Mogul Adds Creative Angle to Apple Board

Disney CEO Robert Iger, 59, was also named to Apple's Board. Iger acquired Job's Pixar and has been a Disney senior exec since 1996.

Tim Cook Succeeds Former Boss

COO Tim Cook, 50, has succeeded Jobs as CEO. Cook joined Apple in 1998. During his tenures at Compaq, computer reseller Intelligent Electronics and IBM, he acquired a strong operational bent acquired. Cook also serves on Nike's Board.

Key Apple Departures & Cook's Initial Tactical Appointments

Cook is not in any hurry to make long-term appointments as he assesses a post-Jobs Apple. The few appointments Cook made were tactical and at more junior levels. We expect Cook to run executive searches for security and retail roles.

The controversial "lost" iPhone 4 investigations led to the departure of veteran Chief of Security John Theriault. Theriault is a security expert with a background at Pfizer and the FBI. Meanwhile, Dag Kittlaus, co-founder of Siri, left Apple after the successful debut of his voice control feature on the iPhone 4S.

Ron Johnson
, 52, Apple's former SVP of Retail, departed for the CEO job at J.C. Penney. His position remains open. < data-cke-real-node-type data-cke-real-element-type="anchor" />


IBM Names First Female CEO

Longtime IBMer and superstar Virginia Rometty, 53, was named CEO. Samuel Palmisano stays on as Chairman. Rometty has had senior exec roles across most functional areas at IBM, including Sales, Marketing, Strategy, and Global Services. She is known as the lady with Palmisano's iron fist but with the addition of a velvet glove.

Chairman of Emerson Electric on IBM Board

David Farr
, 56, was elected to IBM's Board. A 20-year Emerson veteran, Farr became CEO of Emerson in 2000 and Chairman in 2004.

HP's New CEO & Sweeping Board Changes

After back-to-back poor quarterly earnings reports, HP's CEO Leo Apotheker, 57, relinquished the CEO post to former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, 54. Ray Lane, 63, stepped up on the Board with an Executive Chairman role.

Rajiv Gupta
, 65, a Director on HP's Board since 2009, was named Lead Independent Director. He has been Chairman of Avantor Performance Materials and CEO of Rohm. He is also a director of Tyco and The Vanguard Group.

HP also added activist shareholder Ralph Whitworth, 54, Principal of Relational Investors, to its Board to help shore up investor confidence. He is a former director of Genzyme Corporation, Sovereign Bancorp, and Sprint Nextel.

John Hinshaw
, 41, joined HP as EVP, Global Technology & Business Processes from Boeing. David W. Healy, Partner and co-chair of the M&A Group at Fenwick & West LLP, was named HP's General Counsel on an interim basis.

Notable departures include Michael Holston, 48, EVP and General Counsel, who left to pursue other opportunities. Also, Shane Robison, 56, is retiring as EVP and Chief Strategy & Technology Officer. His prior experience included AT&T Labs, Cadence Design Systems, and Apple. />

Yahoo's New CEO Has CIO Roots

Yahoo! has selected PayPal President Scott Thompson, 54, to serve as its new CEO. He replaces Carol Bartz, 52, who left in September. Interim CEO Timothy Morse, 42, will resume his duties as CFO effective January 9th. Before being named President at PayPal, he served as the company’s SVP & CTO. Prior to joining PayPal, Thompson was EVP of Technology at Inovant and CIO at Barclays Global Investors.

Yahoo Names New CTO

Raymie Stata
, 43, stepped down as Yahoo's CTO. He remains at the firm as an Entrepreneur in Residence. Ash Munshi is the new CTO. Mushi has a distinguished career that includes Applied Materials, SGI, and Oracle./>


Microsoft's New President & Focus on Phone/Entertainment

Andy Lees
moved up to President of Windows Phone and Windows 8. He will report to CEO Steve Ballmer, 54.

In the critical Windows phone division, longtimer Terry Myerson is promoted to Corporate VP in a publicized memo from Ballmer. Gavin Kim joins from Samsung as GM.

Yusuf Mehdi
is now CMO of Interactive Entertainment, a division that produces the Xbox and other products.

SAP Hits On All the Right Notes

On demand and new marketing leadership, industries focusing on retail and life sciences, and a renewed focus on China were among the hiring themes at SAP for the second half of the year.

Jonathan Becher
was named SAP's Chief Marketing Officer. Most recently, Becher was CEO of Pilot Software, a performance management solutions provider which was acquired by SAP.

Dr. Uwe Hommel
relocated to Beijing to strengthen SAP's commitment in China. Hommel is Corporate Officer, EVP, and Head of SAP Active Global Support.

Greg Tomb
re-joined SAP to head the firm's new Global On-Demand organization. Most recently, Tomb served as CEO and President of Vivido Mobile. He also held roles at SAP, including President and CEO of SAP North America.

Lori Mitchell-Keller
was named SVP and Head of SAP's Global Retail Industry Business Unit. Before joining SAP, she was the SVP of Product Management at JDA Software.

Michael Naimoli
left his Worldwide MD of Life Sciences position at Microsoft to join SAP as VP & Head of the Life Sciences Industry Business Unit.

Qualcomm Names New President & Regional Heads

Former President Steve Altman, 49, was named Vice Chairman. Steve Mollenkopf, 41, has been promoted to President and COO. Derek Aberle, 40, has been promoted to the role of EVP and Group President, Wireless and Internet Group.

Deutche Telecom exec Dr. Anastassia Lauterbach heads up Qualcomm's European efforts as the SVP of Global Business Operations for Europe.

Rafael Steinhauser
has been selected as the new SVP and President of Qualcomm Latin America.

Dell Appoints Trio of New Board Members

Janet Clark
, 56, the EVP, Treasurer, and CFO of Marathon Oil, is serving on Dell's Audit Committee. Laura Conigliaro, 65, a former Partner at Goldman Sachs and hardware systems expert, joined the Board and serves on the Finance Committee.

Ken Duberstein
, 67, has joined Dell's Board. He is Chairman & CEO of The Duberstein Group and was a key member of the Reagan Administration, including a tenure as White House Chief of Staff. He also serves on the Boards of Boeing, ConocoPhillips, and Travelers.


The second half of 2011 saw tech giants repositioning their Chairmen seats. From Intel to Verizon and from Symantec to Lenovo, board leadership at some of the biggest names in tech has changed.

Intel: Insider and CAO Andy Bryant is Chairman in Waiting

Intel appointed CAO Andy Bryant, 61, to Vice Chairman and Chairman-in-Waiting. Chairman Jane Shaw, 72, plans to retire in 2012. Intel is also expected to appoint a non-employee Lead Independent Director.

Verizon: CEO McAdam Takes On Chairmanship

Lowell McAdam
, 56, was first promoted as CEO and now to the Chairman position. He replaced the retiring Ivan Seidenberg, 65.

Symantec: Superstar SMB Software CEO Named

Stephen Bennett
, 56, is now Symantec's Chairman. Bennett was CEO of Intuit and a senior exec and CEO of several GE divisions. He serves on the boards of AMR, Qualcomm, and Vertafore. He replaces former CEO and longtimer John Thompson, 61, who is retiring from the Board.

Lenovo: Chairman & CEO Roles Combined

Yang Yuanqing
, 47, the CEO of Lenovo, has regained his role as Chairman of the company. He replaces Liu Chuanzhi, the founder of Lenovo, who is now Honorary Chairman.

Harris: Changing of the Guard

CEO and Chairman Howard L. Lance, 55, has resigned. Thomas Dattilo, 59, was promoted to Chairman of Harris. He served as Senior Advisor of Cerberus and was Chairman and CEO of Copper Tire & Rubber Company. William M. Brown, 48, was appointed CEO. Brown joins Harris from United Technologies, where he served as President of UTC's Fire & Security division.

PMC-Sierra: First Data CEO Joins Board as Chairman

The broadband and storage semiconductor maker named longtime Board member Jonathan Judge, 57, as Chairman. Judge is CEO of First Data and has previously served as CEO of Paychex and Crystal Decisions. <data-cke-real-node-type="1" data-cke-real-element-type="anchor" />


In addition to the aforementioned women on the Board at Dell, women continue to join major boards across the technology industry.

Verizon: P&G Veteran Appointed to Board

Verizon Communications has named Procter & Gamble's President of North America and Global Hyper-Super-Mass Channel Melanie Healey, 50, to its Board.

eBay: Facebook Marketing Exec Joins Board

eBay appointed Kathleen Mitic, 41, to its Board. Mitic is Head of Platform & Mobile Marketing at Facebook. Earlier, she held senior executive marketing roles at Palm and Yahoo!

Altera: Female CFO Joins Board

The manufacturer of programmable logic devices named Elisha Finney, 49, the CFO of Varian Medical Systems, to its Board. She has held executive roles at The Fox Group and Beatrice Foods. She also serves on the Board of Thoratec.

Seagate: Former Logitech CFO Joins Board

The storage manufacturer named Kristen Onken, 61, the former CFO of Logitech, to its Board. She was formerly at Fujitsu and Sun Microsystems and serves on Silicon Laboratories' Board.

Allscripts: Healthcare CEO Joins Board

The healthcare management software provider appointed Catherine Burzik, 59, to its Board. She is the CEO of Kinetic Concepts, was President of Applied Biosystems Group, and held exec roles at Eastman Kodak. She serves on boards of KCI, the San Antonio branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, and AdvaMed.

NetGear: Plantronics CFO Joins Board

The networking equipment manufacturer appointed to Barbara Scherer, 55, to its Board. Scherer is CFO at Plantronics.

Saba: Former HP Exec Joins Board

The learning and talent management provider named Nora Denzel, 49, to its Board. Denzel is SVP of Marketing at Intuit. She was previously SVP of Software at HP, SVP of Product Operations at Legato Systems (now EMC), and held several engineering, marketing, and executive positions at IBM.

Network Engines: Star General Manager Takes Seat

Patricia Sueltz
, 58, has been selected to serve on NEI's Board. She also serves on the boards of Hitachi, Global Storage Technologies, UpStart Mobile, and Objectivity. Sueltz is a veteran CEO and GM who has worked at both Sun and IBM.

Convergys: Healthcare Management Veteran Joins Board

The CRM provider has appointed Joan E. Herman, 57, to its Board. Herman is President and CEO of Herman & Associates, a healthcare and management consulting firm, and held P&L roles at WellPoint.


BCE/Bell Canada: Federal Government Guru Joins Board

Jim Prentice
, 55, joins the Board as a Director. He serves as Senior EVP and Vice Chairman of CIBC and held senior Federal cabinet roles.

Motorola: Defense Contractor Exec Veteran Joins Board

Kenneth Dahlberg
, 66, has joined the company's Board. Dahlberg currently sits on the boards of Teledyne Technologies and Parsons. During his career, he served as Chairman and CEO of Science Applications International, EVP of General Dynamics and President & COO of Raytheon Systems.

Saba: Twitter Engineering VP and HP SVP Join Board

The HR software firm added Michael Abbott, 39, to its Board. Abbott is currently VP of Engineering at Twitter. Previously, he was SVP at Palm and GM of .Net Online Services at Microsoft.

Saba also added Mike Fawkes to its Board. He currently serves as Operating Partner at VantagePoint Capital Partners and has held various executive roles at HP, including SVP of HP's Imaging and Printing Group. He also led HP's worldwide consumer support, environmental responsibility, strategic supply chain, and global logistics.

CA: Swiss Exec Joins Board

Jens Alder
, 54, has joined CA's Board. Alder is the Chairman of Sanitas Krankenversicherung, a major Swiss health insurer, and RTX Telecom, a Danish telecommunications component and handset producer. He is also Chairman of Industrielle Werke Basel, a Swiss industrial utility company.

F5 Networks: Skype CFO Joins Board

Skype CFO Jonathan Chadwick has joined the Board. He previously served as CFO at McAfee and CFO of Global Customer Markets at Cisco.

Autodesk: Intel CFO Joins Board

Intel's CFO Stacy Smith, 48, has joined the CAD/CAM software giant's Board.

Electronic Arts: Web 2.0 Guru Joins Board

Jay Hoag
, 52, has joined the Board. Hoag is a founding General Partner at Technology Crossover Ventures and serves on the boards of eHarmony, TechTarget, Zillow, and Netflix.

Rackspace: Sabre CEO and Insider Joins Board

The web hosting and cloud computing company added Sam Gilliland, 48, Chairman/CEO of Sabre Holdings, to its Board. Gilliland also served as CEO of Travelocity, EVP & CMO of Sabre Holdings, and Group President of its Airline Solutions business.

Lew Moorman
, 41, also gained a seat on the Rackspace Board. Moorman is Chief Strategy Officer and President of Rackspace's cloud business.

Solera: Former AT&T Exec Joins Board

The global provider of software and services for the auto industry announced that Thomas C. Wajnert, 68, has joined the Board. Wajnert has served as a Senior MD of The Alta Group, a consulting organization. He is the former Chairman of the Board and CEO of AT&T Capital Corporation.

Synopsis: Academic Welcomed to Board

EDA Software company, Synopsys appointed Chrysostomos Nikias, 58, to its Board. Nikias is President of the University of Southern California (USC).

Progress Software: Former EMC Exec and Allscripts Chairman Join Board

John Egan
, 53, has joined the Board. Egan is Managing Partner of Boston-based Egan-Managed Capital. Egan held senior EVP roles at EMC and also sits on boards of EMC, VMWare, NetScout Systems, HighRoads, Platform Computing, and Healthrageous.

Progress also appointed Philip Pead, 58, to its Board. Pead is Chairman of Allscripts and Director at Emdeon. Previously, he served as CEO of Eclipsys, a leading provider of enterprise clinical and financial software for hospitals that merged with Allscripts in 2010.

Cadence: Academic Joins Board

Cadence, a CAD/CAM software company, elected Dr. James Plummer, 65, to its Board. Plummer is a Professor at Stanford University. He also serves on boards of Intel, Leadis Technology, and Cypress Semiconductor.

Plantronics: Former Polycom CEO Joins Board

The wireless headset maker appointed Bob Hagerty, 59, to its Board. He once served as CEO and Chairman of Polycom and held senior roles at Logitech, Conner Peripherals, Signal, and Digital Equipment. Currently, he sits on boards of Smart Technology, Eye IO, and Vibare.

PMC-Sierra: Brocade CEO and Comverse Director Join Board

Michael Klayko
has joined PMC-Sierra's Board. Klayko is the CEO of Brocade Communications Systems. Klayko also held roles at IBM, HP, EMC, McData, and Rhapsody Networks.

Dr. Richard Nottenburg
, 57, has joined PMC-Sierra's Board. He also serves as a board member at Comverse Technology and Aeroflex Holding. Between 2008 and 2010, he was President, CEO and a Director at Sonus Networks. He was previously EVP at Motorola and VP & GM at Vitesse Semiconductor.

Advent Software: Private Investment Exec Lends Board Experience

The investment management software company named Asiff Hirji, 45, to its Board. During his career, Hirji served as a Partner at global private investment firm TPG Capital. He also held President, COO and CIO roles at TD Ameritrade Holding. Hirji previously worked as VP & Partner at Bain & Co. and President of Meralix, a firm specializing in turning around troubled portfolio companies for private equity funds. He currently sits on Citrix Systems' Board.

NIC: Government Gurus Join Board

Karen S. Evans
, 51, has joined the Board at the eGovernment services company. Before retiring from government service in 2009, she was the de facto CIO for the US. Federal government.

Governor of Oklahoma C. Brad Henry, 48, has also been appointed.

Digital River: Former Governor Lands on Board

The eCommerce solutions provider named former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, 51, to its Board. He currently serves on boards of Miromatrix Medical, Ionix Medical, and Red Prairie. </>


Comcast: Veteran Exec Takes Over CEO Role

Neil Smit
, 52, is the new CEO of Comcast Cable Communications. Prior to 2010, he was Charter Communications' CEO. During his career, Smit has also served as President of Time Warner's America Online, CompuServe, and Netscape. He also served as EVP of Member Services at AOL and COO of MapQuest. Before that, Smit was a Regional President at Nabisco and served in a number of management positions at Pillsbury.

eBay: Former Thomson Reuters Markets CEO Takes On Marketplaces Role

Devin Wenig
, 44, is the new President of eBay's Marketplaces Business Unit. He will oversee eBay, eBay classifieds, and StubHub. In the past, he has held executive roles with Thompson Reuters Markets and practiced law at the New York firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore. Former Microsoft Exec Named CEO

The Priceline Group named former Microsoft executive Darren Huston, 45, as CEO of Huston held roles in the Consumer & Online division and was earlier CEO of Microsoft Japan. He previously served at Starbucks as SVP of Branded Products & New Ventures.

Checkpoint: New President Promoted

The security software company promoted Amnon Bar-Lev to the role of President. Bar-Lev joined in 2005 and led field organization, global partner programs, business development, and technical services. Prior to 2005, Bar-Lev was the Founder and CEO of Xpert Integrated Systems, a leading provider of security, business-continuity, and infrastructure platforms and solutions. He began his career in the Israeli Air Force.

FiServ: Two New Presidents Promoted From Within

The financial services technology giant named Rahul Gupta as Group President of its Digital Payment Solutions group. Most recently, he served as President of its Card Services Division. Prior to joining Fiserv, Gupta served as President of U.S. Operations at eFunds and held executive roles at at i2 Technologies and Financial Settlement Matrix (FSMx).

Cheryl Nash
has been named President of FiServ's Investment Services division. Nash was the 2009 recipient of the Money Management Institute's (MMI) prestigious Pioneer Award. She began her career as one of the first employees at Security APL, later CheckFree Investment Services, which was acquired by Fiserv in December 2007.

CA: New EMEA President Named

Marco Comastri
joined CA as President, EMEA. His experience includes Microsoft, IBM, and the Italian Post Office.

McAfee: Co-Presidents, Japan President, EVP Announced

Michael DeCesare
, 45, and Todd Gebhart, 56, are now Co-Presidents. The move comes in the wake of the resignation of President David DeWalt, 45, who will continue to serve on McAfee Board. DeCesare joined the company in 2007 and is currently EVP of Global Operations. Gebhart joined the company in 1999 and currently serves as the EVP and General Manager of the Consumer, Mobile and Small Business divisions at McAfee.

Jean-Claude Broido
is the new President of McAfee Japan. Most recently, he was SVP of International Sales at EMC's Information Intelligence Group. He has previously worked at Documentum, Cadence Design Systems, Digital Equipment, and Intel.

John Thode
joins McAfee as EVP and GM. He comes to the company from Dell, where he was GM of the Consumer Products Group. Previously, he served as CEO of Telecom Equipment Provider ISCO International and spent 25 years at Motorola.

Lam Research: President Named CEO

Martin B. Anstice
, 44, President of Lam Research, was named CEO. Anstice joined Lam Research in 2001 and has since served as CFO, COO, and inGroup President. Prior to that, he was at Raychem for 13 years in finance roles. He replaces Stephen Newbury, 56, who remains on the Board.

AMD: Former Lenovo COO Named CEO

Rory Read
, 49, is now CEO. Most recently, Read served as Lenovo's President and COO. Prior to Lenovo, he spent 23 years at IBM, most recently as a Managing Partner of the Business Consulting Services division.

OpenText: Changing of the Guard

Longtime CEO John Shackleton, 63, retired and SGI's CEO Mark Barrenechea, 45, took the helm. Previously, Barrenechea served as EVP and CTO for CA. Prior to CA, he served as SVP, Applications Development at Oracle. Barrenechea remains on SGI's Board, a very unusual move.

Progress: Autodesk SVP Finds Way to CEO Suite

Progress Software named Jay Bhatt, 42, as CEO. He was SVP for Autodesk's Global Architecture Engineering and Construction (AEC) Solutions. Earlier, he was CFO and SVP of BD at Prior to that, Bhatt worked as an investment banker and as a transactional attorney. He replaces Richard D. Reidy, 51, who held numerous positions at the enterprise software company during his 27-year tenure.

Blue Coat Systems: IBM Tivoli EVP Named CEO

The WAN optimization solutions provider named Gregory Clark, 46, CEO. Earlier, he was VP of IBM Tivoli and CEO of Mincom, a leading global provider of software and services to asset intensive industries.

Synaptics: Former AMD GM Takes on Permanent CEO Role

Rick Bergman
, 47, is Synaptic's new CEO. Synaptics provides human interface solutions for many major consumer electronics companies, such as Apple, Asus, Acer, Dell, Gateway, HP, HTC, Lenovo, LG, Logitech, Nokia, Samsung, Sony, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba, and several others. Bergman joined Synaptics in September 2011 from AMD, where he served as SVP and GM of AMD's Product Group.

Intralink: Novell's Former Chief Named New CEO

Ronald W. Hovsepian
, 49, was named CEO of the collaboration software company. Prior to this, Hovsepian was CEO of Novell and spent 17 years in leadership roles at IBM. He is the Chairman of the Ann Taylor Corporation.

RealNetworks: Digital Entertainment Company Promotes CEO

Thomas Nielsen
, 41, was promoted to CEO. Prior to joining in 2008, he served as VP of the Digital Imaging Group at Adobe, a $500 million business. He also spent five years at Microsoft in the digital media space and five years at MGI Software./>


In addition to the hunt at EMC for Tucci's successor, some additional positions opened up in the second half or remain open from the first half of 2011.

Akamai: Company Loses President

Akamai Technologies announced the resignation of David Kenny, 49, as President and Director. He will continue to serve the company as a consultant. Kenny joined Akamai in 2010 after serving on the company's Board for three years. He is the former CEO of Digitas, an integrated advertising agency. Currently, he sits on the Board at Yahoo!

CSC: Chairman and CEO Roles Open After Exec Retires

Michael Laphen
, 61, has retired as Chairman and CEO. The Board has retained Heidrick & Struggles, a nationally recognized executive recruiting firm, to search for the new CEO. Previously, he was COO, Corporate Vice President and President of the European Group.

Logitech: CEO Leaves, Search Initiated

In the wake of plummeting profits, Logitech announced resignation of its CEO, Gerald Quindlen, 51. Logitech Chairman Guerrino De Luca, 58, has taken on the additional role of Acting CEO.


  • Ronald D. Verdoorn, 60, Chairman of the Board at SGI stepped in as interim CEO while the Board conducts a search for a permanent CEO.
  • VA-based telecom service provider XO Holdings continues to search for a permanent CEO. CFO Laura Thomas, 54, is acting as Interim CEO.
  • Boston-based font software maker Bitstream has a vacant CEO role. Company Chairman Amos Kaminski, 81, is serving as the interim CEO.
  • Aware, a Massachusetts-based telecom products company, continues to search for a permanent CEO. Richard P. Moberg, 56, CFO, and Kevin T. Russell, 48 General Counsel, 48, are serving as co-CEOs and co-Presidents on an interim basis.
  • Sunnyvale-based Meru Networks, a leader in virtualized enterprise wireless networking, announced that CEO Ihab Abu-Hakima, 55, will transition out of the company as a successor is identified.
  • New York-based digital financial media company announced that CEO Daryl Otte, 49 is stepping down in March 2012.
  • New Jersey-based Radiant Communications CEO David Buffet resigned in late August 2011. The IT and telecom services provider is looking for a new CEO.
  • PSI Corporation has an interim CEO & Chairman while it searches for its new CEO.
  • Minnesota-based security identification company Digital Angel saw Joseph Grillo, 53, CEO, resign.
  • New Jersey-based Interactive Systems Worldwide is searching for a new CEO.
  • Toronto-based clean tech company Hy-Drive/BluTip is searching for its next CEO.


Vell has been busy in the second half of 2011. Here are some of our most recent placements:

Board Member –To Be Announced

Telematics Solutions

Volly - President

Digital Mail Delivery

Volly - CISO
Digital Mail Delivery

Morgan Stanley – EDG, Enterprise Data Group
Financial Services

GM, $500m+ Division Targeting SMB – To Be Announced

Signiant – CEO
Enterprise Solutions Targeting the Broadcast Industry

PBI - VP, NA Sales, Document Messaging Technologies ($650m Business)
Customer Communications Management

Healthcare Solutions

Delta-Q Technologies – VP, WW Sales

Aushon – VP, WW Sales


Dora VellManaging Partner

         Paula AxelrodVice President
Paula is a talent acquisition executive with over 25 years of experience helping dynamic organizations find and select the top talent they need to grow and evolve. She has served in various executive and leadership roles for several fast paced organizations, including leading the technology recruiting for a F500 company. She has led recruiting/staffing teams of up to 25 individuals and developed selection systems designed to screen in "A" players for these organizations.

Paula has been trained in the Topgrading interview process as well as in behavioral and situational interviewing techniques.

She holds a B.A. in Management with a concentration in Human Resources from the University of MA/Boston. She has been an active leader in the MetroWest Alliance for Workforce Diversity serving as Events Chair, Chair Elect, Chair (for 2008 and 2009) and presently serves on the Membership Committee. Paula is also an active member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), New England Human Resources Association (NEHRA) participating in the diversity and inclusion and college relations committees.

Dal CogerSenior Consultant

Judy SmithSenior Consultant

Keerthi SriSenior Business Development Analyst

Karen DumaineManager, Business Operations

Chris SkallMarketing Coordinator

Read 19045 times Last modified on Wednesday, 12 August 2020 09:49
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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