Keep up to date with technology leadership moves by category.

Monday, 01 July 2013 11:43

Facebook, Paypal - Among Latest Digital Exec & Board Shuffles Featured

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Facebook Names General Counsel and New European Boss; Brand Design Head Leaves

Facebook named Colin Stretch as VP and general counsel for the social giant, assuming responsibility for leading Facebook’s legal team. Stretch will take over the position after the departure of Ted Ullyot, Facebook’s acting VP and general counsel of the past five years, who announced his intention to leave the company. Stretch had previously worked as VP and deputy general counsel under Ullyot, and was a partner at Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel.

Facebook also appointed Karmarama executive chairman and former IPA president Nicola Mendelsohn as its VP for Europe. She replaces Joanna Shields, who left Facebook’s top European job to lead the government’s investment group for technology startups, The Tech City Investment Organisation. Mendelsohn will be responsible for growing Facebook’s advertising revenue and improving relationships with brands across Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia. Mendelsohn has served as Karmarama executive chairman for five years, working with clients such as the BBC, Costa, Honda and B&Q. She will step down from the role when she joins Facebook. She is also a former IPA president and currently chairs the Creative Industries Council.

Well-known designer Paul Adams, who played an integral role in designing Google+ and then went on to Facebook, is leaving Facebook and joining business collaboration startup Intercom as head of product design. Adams has been advising Intercom for about 9 months, and is leaving Facebook as global head of brand design after just over two years.

PayPal Appoints Nokia Exec for EMEA Comms Role

PayPal has appointed Nokia's Lee Brooke as its first EMEA communications head. Brooke joins from his position of global communications director, smart devices, at Nokia, which he took up three years ago following a stint as managing director of Harvard PR. His new role would be focused on understanding the variety and appreciating the brand's different stages of maturing across each of the markets within the EMEA region. Previously, he was Practice Director, Technology at Hill & Knowlton, Western Region Communications Manager at CA, Business Group Director at Brodeur, and Account Director at Grant Butler Coomber.

AOL's Patch Unit Sees CTO Replacement

AOL's local news network of sites, Patch, witnessed its leader, CTO Rob Platzer, leaving the company. He joined Patch three years ago when AOL bought his prior employer, Prior to, Rob was the Director of Application Development at Digital Railroad where he spent the majority of his 'hands on' time innovating in the area of image search while leading the development team to build and maintain an online archival, sales and marketing platform for professional photographers. Rob has previously led application development at HUGE and Intrasphere where he was responsible for the strategic direction of technology for clients such as iVillage/NBC, Pfizer and Scholastic. A veteran of the New York City start-up scene, Rob developed his early passion for innovative technology and scalable web based architectures at BlueTip and Nicholson.

Patch will make Andreas Turanski its new CTO. He was Senior Technical Director - Leading Technology Strategy for AOL Services. Prior, he served as Senior Technical Director of Social, Community & Identity + Entertainment at AOL, Director of Technology at The Spoken Hub, Senior Director-Web Engineering at, Director-Web Development at United Media, Director of Technical Operations and Project Management at McGraw-Hill / The Grow Network, VP of Technology at Bluefly and Medsite, and Principal Consultant Tech Manager and Software Developer at MicroStrategy.

Former Zynga COO to Lead Operations at Online Education Start-up

Udacity hired Vish Makhijani as President and COO. He is an investor and advisor to start-up and emerging technology companies. Prior, he served as SVP of Zynga Network Products and COO at Zynga. He was President & CEO of Yandex, and SVP Yahoo Search Group, VP YSM International and Monetization Strategy, and VP&GM - International Search at Yahoo.

Shutterfly Appoints Finance and Digital Commerce Experts to Board

Internet-based social expression and personal publishing service firm Shutterfly appointed Ann Mather, 52, to its board of directors. She is a corporate finance executive who has driven global accounting and strategic business initiatives for some of the world's most recognized brand names including Pixar and Disney. In her time at Pixar, she was EVP and CFO, and was Pixar's prime contact with Disney on distribution issues as part of the Disney/Pixar co-production agreement, and served as the Company Secretary. Prior to joining Pixar, she was EVP and CFO at Village Roadshow Pictures, as well as SVP at the Walt Disney Company, in the Buena Vista International Theatrical Division.

Michael Zeisser, 47, has also joined the board of directors. Zeisser has worked in the consumer internet industry since its inception, first as a Partner with McKinsey and then a senior deal-maker at Liberty Media. Most recently at Liberty Media, he led numerous M&A transactions in digital media, gaming, and commerce in the US and abroad. He created Liberty's eCommerce Group of companies, which comprises leading digital commerce brands such as,,,,,,,, and Evite.com2. Prior to joining Liberty Media in 2003, he was a partner at McKinsey in New York, where he co-founded and led McKinsey's Internet Practice, in addition to being a member of the firm's Media & Entertainment and Private Equity practices.

Orbitz Worldwide Appoints Rightmove Chairman to Board

Online travel company Orbitz Worldwide appointed Scott Forbes to its board of directors. Scott joins the Orbitz board following the resignation of Jill Greenthal. Scott currently serves as chairman of Rightmove plc, the UK's leading online classified property portal. From 1990 to 2005, Scott held several senior level positions at Cendant Corporation and its predecessor HFS, which was a leading global provider of travel and residential real estate services, operating in more than 100 countries. He established Cendant's international headquarters in 1999 and was Cendant's CEO for EMEA and Asia. During his tenure as group managing director, Scott led and/or participated in over 45 acquisitions and divestiture transactions and had additional portfolio responsibilities for non-travel and non-real estate related companies such as National Car Parks, Green Flag and Cims (loyalty marketing). He also led Cendant's strategic entry into the vacation rental sector. Prior to 1999, Scott was SEVP for finance, responsible for financial operations and the operational integration of acquired businesses.

Twitter Principal Designer to Depart

Josh Brewer, principle designer at Twitter for nearly three years, will soon leave the company to “pursue his own thing.” Brewer worked on a number of key initiatives during his years on Twitter’s design team, where he focused primarily on product. Prior to Twitter, he was Director of User Experience at Socialcast, and Creative Director at

Twitter Legal Director Officially Joins White House as Deputy CTO

Nicole Wong, former director of legal products at Twitter, will depart the company to join the Obama administration as deputy U.S. CTO. Wong will be working on privacy and technology issues under Todd Park, the acting U.S. CTO. Previous to her time at Twitter, Wong spent years at Google working on issues around user-generated content and censorship on YouTube.

Bloomberg Appoints Former IBM CEO as Privacy Advisor

Samuel J. Palmisano, 61, former Chairman and CEO of IBM, will serve as an independent advisor for the Bloomberg’s privacy and data standards. Palmisano was chairman, president and CEO of IBM from 2003 to 2011. Under his leadership, IBM achieved record financial performance, transformed itself into a globally integrated enterprise and introduced its Smarter Planet agenda. He began his career with IBM in 1973. In a 39-year career with the company, he held leadership positions that included SVP and group executive of the Personal Systems Group, SVP and group executive of IBM Global Services, SVP and group executive of Enterprise Systems, and president and COO. He is a member of the board of Exxon Mobil and American Express.

Date Range: May 25th - June 27th

Read 39146 times Last modified on Wednesday, 08 July 2020 17:39
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.

Leave a comment

Subscribe to Vell Leadership Insights

Track leadership moves and stay up to date with current trends