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Monday, 13 January 2014 05:00

2013 Chairmen Appointments

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Vell Executive Search examined board appointments 83 major technology companies in 2013. We looked at 83 companies in the software, digital media, telecom and tech services sectors. For he patterns of these appointments, and more details, please refer to the entire study, per below.

There were 112 appointments, of which eleven were Chairman Appointments, and 29 total departures.
Out of the departures, there were 20 total resignations and nine retirements.

There were 29 women directors appointed, or close to 26% of the total appointments. Four women left or about 13% of the departures.  Finally, Advent software had the sole female Chairman appointment.

Two companies combined the Chair and CEO roles (Accenture and Fortinet); Two companies split the Chair/CEO roles (Symantec and e*trade) and six companies changed Chairs (HP, Yahoo, Infosys, Compuware, Advent, and Tellabs).

Former execs and founders are appointed as Chairmen:
•    Infosys named its former founder, CEO as Chairman
•    Fortinet appointed its founder and CEO as Chairman
•    Advent founder and former CEO, the sole female Chairman appointee

HP Searches for New Chairman After ISS Pressure
Hewlett-Packard’s Chairman Ray Lane, 66, is stepping down from his role as Chairman. He has served as Managing Partner of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a private equity firm, and also has served as President and COO and a director of Oracle, and as a senior partner at Booz Allen Hamilton. Lane and Rajiv L. Gupta, 68, the outgoing lead independent director remains on board. More details below on ISS’s advice to replace the Chairman and two of the board members.

Ralph V. Whitworth, 58, was named interim Chairman.  He has also served as Chairman of Apria Healthcare Group and of Waste Management. He has served on the board of other public companies: including Mattel, Sirius Satellite Radio, Tektronix, Sprint Nextel, Wilshire Technologies, United Therma, Sovereign Bancorp, and Genzyme.

Accenture Appoints GM Veteran to Board; CEO Assumes Chairman Role
Accenture CEO Pierre Nanterme, 53, has assumed the additional position of chairman of the board. Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, 73, former Managing Director of Royal Dutch Shell, assumes the role of lead director. The combination of the Chairman/CEO roles fits the Accenture pattern of CEO transitions in the past.

Yahoo! Appoints Chairman and Board Shake-Up
Maynard Webb Jr, 58, was appointed Chairman. Webb served as CEO of LiveOps, a provider of cloud contact center services, president of technology, and then COO, of eBay, as well as the CIO of Gateway.

Infosys Appoints former CEO as Chairman
India-based software Services Company Infosys appointed N. R. Narayana Murthy, 66, its former CEO, as Executive Chairman of the Board. K. V. Kamath steps down as Chairman and becomes Lead Independent Director.

Symantec Splits Roles, Cuts 8% of Workforce, Stock Price Soars
Dan Schulman, 54, was named non-executive chairman while Steve Bennett, 57, remains CEO. Schulman has been president of American Express' Enterprise Growth group, served as president of Sprint's PrePaid Group and CEO of Virgin Mobile USA, and former CEO of Schulman also served as president of the AT&T Consumer Markets Division.

The Appointment was made early in 2013, and according to Business Insider, Symantec cut 1,700 workers to “re-tool” skillsets. The stock price has since soared.

E*TRADE Appoints Chairman After Pressure from Hedge Fund
Rodger A. Lawson, 66, was appointed as Chairman to replace Frank J. Petrilli, 61. Mr. Lawson most recently served as President of Fidelity Investments. Petrilli was interim CEO and does not wish to stand for re-election after four years of bad results and pressure from Citadel. More details below.

Fortinet Combines Chairman and CEO Role After Stellar Results
Ken Xie, 50, who was Fortinet's President and CEO, was appointed Chairman and CEO. Prior to co-founding Fortinet, he was the Founder, President and CEO of NetScreen.

Christopher B. Paisley, 60, is the Lead Independent Director.

Compuware Names Chairman After Disappointing Results
Gurminder S. Bedi, 66, has assumed the position of Chairman of the Board. Bedi has served as one of Compuware's directors since 2002. He is a private investor and formerly served as a VP of Ford Motor Company during a 30-year career there. Bedi also serves on the board of KEMET and Actuant.

Advent Software Names Former Founder as Chairman
Advent Software, the company that makes software designed to automate portfolio accounting for investment management firms, named Advent founder and former CEO Stephanie G. DiMarco, 54, as Chair of its Board of Directors. John H. Scully, 67, former Chairman, resigned from the Board.

Wendell G. Van Auken, 68, has been named Lead Independent Director. Van Aucken was CEO and founder of Sunset Designs, System Industries, and Infinitek. He started his career in manufacturing operations at Hewlett Packard.

Tellabs Transitions Chairman before Company Sale
Vincent H. Tobkin, 61, co-founder chairman of the board, succeeding the retiring Michael J. Birck. Birck had been diagnosed with leukemia and has now passed on.  Tobkin has been a senior advisor and director at Bain & Co. General partner and a founder of Sierra Ventures.  Tellabs was sold later on October 2013.

For more information, please refer to our newsletter, where we examine in some detail the following:

Patterns in 2013 Board Placements

Boards with High Turnover: In addition to the Chair turnover, HP had two directors step down, on the advice of ISS, because of their role in the controversial Autonomy software acquisition; Yahoo’s extensive changes were associated with the departure of shareholder activists and their appointees;  salesforce revitalized its board, after two long serving execs retired; e*trade saw a number of changes, after four years of un-profitable results; similarly Compuware appointed a new Chair and board members after an announcement of missing earnings targets. See section on Boards with High Turnover.

We also look at specific sectors, such as Digital Media, Software, Telecom Services, IT Services and Telecom Products.

Vell Executive Search is a retained executive search firm that specializes in recruiting board directors, CEOs and C-Level executives in the software industry. Vell has built a reputation for recruiting talented high-performing leadership teams globally. You can reach us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and our website is

Read 3967 times Last modified on Friday, 24 July 2020 12:26
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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