Keep up to date with technology leadership moves by category.

Thursday, 15 January 2015 00:22

2014 Tech Board & Exec Moves Patterns & Trends Featured

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Happy New Year!

2014 saw many changes in technology company boards and executive ranks. This newsletter summarizes some of these changes and identifies some patterns and potential trends we observed. The sections are as follows:

  • Overall Trends and Patterns for 2014 into 2015
  • Tech Giants Big Changes:  we report here on the companies with the most dramatic changes: Nadella's Microsoft, Google Glides Ahead, More of the Same at Oracle?, Qualcomm's new CEO, Intel Creates Security BU, SAP Consolidates CEO Role, HP’s Split, ebay’s Split, VMWare’s Hybrid Cloud, Yahoo’s Charm, InfoSys External CEO is CTO,  Nokia After Microsoft Sale, Symantec Split,  Gregoire’s CA, Citrix CEO Stays 
  • Chairman/CEO Splits & Combines: which companies split the role and which did not
  • Other Board Appointments
  • Other CEO Appointments 

Overall, we observe that companies are securing talent in place faster: Increasing activist shareholder pressure and high profile CEO searches accelerate leadership changes. With many giant companies splitting up, we can expect them to attract more stars as standalone companies.

There were a few notable transitions from co-CEOs to CEOs at SAP and Workday, and other transitions from long term founders or CEOs. The majority of these were internal promotions, but a couple externally recruited talent. In all cases but one, the long term Chair/CEO took over an Executive Chair seat (the sole exception was a private equity acquisition).  New CEOs are solidifying their bases, and putting their ‘men in Havana’ (and some women) in their board and exec teams.

Many of the Chair/CEO Splits occurred with a transition from a long term founder or CEO.   Companies are merging roles either for terrific or lack-luster performance.

2014 was a very traditional year for board appointments with a large preference for CEOs, investment executives in the “usual” age group.  A couple of years ago we saw more functional areas and age groups represented. A couple of exceptions to the norm more CIOs/CTOs join boards, and there were surprisingly few are pure CFOs

In terms of diversity, for the boards we covered, 14 of the 49 appointments (or about 28%) were women.

CTOs (& other tech execs) were very much in vogue this year, which indicates tech companies are in a big investment cycle. Announcing many engineering/CIOs and CTOs is an omen for technology investments.  We are also seeing market CTOs being announced at a more rapid clip, ie CTOs specifically focused on a geographic region or industry segment. Also as the cloud takes on increasing importance, CIOs and engineering roles have blurrier edges. The technology function seems to have had a dizzying merry-go-round in 2014.

We are also seeing expanded career paths for CTOs/CIOs/Engineering, getting on boards in larger numbers (as previously noted) and also taking on new leadership roles as  Chief Strategy Officers and CEOs.

Other appointment themes, either in the recruiting or promotion realm:

  • While we saw the reference to cloud, mobile and big data analytics, cloud by far was the biggest theme in 2014, in the announcements we include and many we do not.
  • Unresolved successions or internal strife slows down talent acquisitions in new area
  • Chief Digital Officers are emerging
  • Creative Recruiters: some companies recruit talent from very surprising companies

We welcome any comments you may have.

I wish you a fabulous 2015!

All the best,

Dora Vell
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. *617-530-1260


Trend 1 - Activist Shareholders & Protecting Star Execs

  • Activist Shareholders: Shareholder activism has rapidly changed how corporate America thinks. Yahoo, eBay, HP all took actions after strong activist shareholder pressure. It has not worked out so well yet for Carl Icahn with Nuance communications, but the story is still being written.
  • Microsoft CEO Search: rumors of the Microsoft CEO Search targeting Mark Hurd at Oracle and Steven Mollenkopf at Qualcomm may have precipitated the CEO promotions of Hurd and Mollenkopf.

Trend 2 - Splitting of the Giants Will Attract Better Talent: HP, eBay, Symantec.  While we cannot comment on the financial merits of each of these splits, the ability to attract better talent to a standalone company is undeniable. One can attract significantly better talent to a significantly sized standalone company with a differentiated strategy and more flexibility to move. In addition, given the same type of talent, the ability to operate more independently in itself, has significant benefits in attracting executives. Nokia is a split of sorts, with the sale of its handset division to Microsoft.  It promoted from within for the CEO role, as well as the successor to the map division of HERE.

Trend 3 – Board Leadership Collaborative Succession Plans Split Chair/CEO Roles - Most of these corporations split the role to promote a candidate to the CEO role, five of the six for internal candidates (Oracle, Qualcomm, FIS,  Jive, TIBCO) and one external candidate, Ixia. In one case for the internal candidate, TIBCO, the change was precipitated by Vista Equity Partners. The TIBCO case is the only one where the former CEO does not stay on the board as Executive Chairman, as the ownership has changed.

Trend 4 - Great or Poor Performance Results in Combining Chair/CEO Roles-  The merging of the  Chairman & CEO roles, is due to either outstanding or lacklustre performance.  Harris Corporation and Demandware have outstanding performance and  NetApp probably needed more concentrated focus.

Trend 5 – Boards Appoint Many CTOs/CIOs and Few CFOs – board appointments were very standard in 2014, with ages and functional groups represented as usual. The usual preponderance of CEOs and GMs, investment executives were present this year. One big surprise was the increase in the number of technology executives and very few CFOs.

Trend 6 – More Women on Boards but Few in Board Leadership - 28% *14 of 49 total. Tech companies appointed 14 women on boards. In addition, two  existing board members who undertook leadership roles at HP.

Trend 7 – CEO Transitions. We cover this topic extensively for the technology section every month in our Open CEO roles monthly newsletter and most recent appointments (this can be found in our blog Open CEO Roles; Recent CEO Appointments).

  • Transitions from Long term founders/CEOs : Microsoft, Oracle, Ixia, and InfoSys. InfoSys was the only one that had the Chair/CEO roles already split. As with Ixia, InfoSys hired an external candidate.
  • Collaborative Transitions from Co-CEOs to Sole CEO at SAP and Workday.
  • New CEOs Strengthening their Teams: Microsoft and CA’s CEOs made significant changes to their companies. Satya Nadella, an insider with Bill Gates as his mentor,  at Microsoft moved almost immediately. Michael Gregoire at CA, moved more carefully, having been in the seat a year.  Microsoft also made significant board changes while CA did not change the board.   Blackberry’s new CEO is attracting talent from his former Sybase (now SAP)

Trend 8 – Cloud, Cloud and More Cloud… Some Mobile, Big Data/Analytics: Every other announcement whether included or not, refers to the cloud it seems, in every single functional area. Some companies, like VMWare are distinguishing with announcements in the Hybrid Cloud.  Others, like Rackspace, in a CEO succession, have made less pronounced cloud announcements. 

Trend 9 - The Year of the CTO -  Merry Go Rounds & Promotions: Corporate CTOs appointed in 2014, include GE Software, eBay Enterprise, VMWare, EA and Microstrategy.

New CTOs and Departures include:

  • CTO/Eng Merry Go-Rounds:   GE Software recruits from VMWare and IBM;  eBay recruits from Salesforce, Yahoo! from Box and Netflix; SAP from Microsoft; EA from eBay,Google from Red Hat, Oracle from Google/Snapchat,Rackspace from eBay, Infor from SAP and QAD, Square and VMWare from Amazon.
  • Twitter sees many departures in the engineering and product ranks, including a newly hired google product exec.

Market oriented CTOs emerge more visibly: Adobe recruits an Apple/NeXT exec, FireEye from Symantec, and VMWare from Gartner Group.

CTOs /CIOs Take On New Roles as  CEOs, Boards and Chief Strategy Officers:InfoSys ‘s new CEO was SAP CTO and Chief Software Architect; Intel's Security CTO becomes President & COO at Bluecoat Systems, inc. Amazon  ‎Head of Enterprise Strategy, AWS is  Dow Jones CIO; CIO of Bechtel is Citrix as SVP and Chief Strategy Officer; CIOs and CTOs Increasingly take On Board Roles at Yahoo, Intuit, Iron Mountain, Splunk

We are not covering this topic in depth in this newsletter. For more information, our blog covers these appointments in detail.

Trend 10 – Unexpected Hires From Outstanding Companies - Outstanding companies often make hires that are not expected: google hired the Red Hat CTO, Intel hired a CMO from Staples; Citrix and Amazon promoted CIOs into Enterprise strategy roles; Microsoft hired the C orporate VP of Consumer Channels Group  former Chief Commercial Officer of Best Buy.

Also, of note in 2014, there were a large number of international appointments, the vast majority in Asia Pac.


Satya Nadella’s Great First Year as Microsoft CEO

Microsoft appointed company veteran Satya Nadella, 46, as CEO and board member. Bill Gates, 59, assumed a new role on the Board as Founder and Technology Advisor. John W. Thompson, 64, formerly CEO of Symantec, was named Chairman. 

Satya Nadella’s first year as CEO has boded well with a pay package of $90m, and has increased his predecessor’s, Steve Ballmer, net worth by $3 billion.

Four new board members join and are more likely to approve a controversial share buyback not likely supported by the prior board.

  • Activist shareholder Mason Morfit, 38, president of ValueAct Capital, a firm that owns $2b of Microsoft Stock.
  • John W. Stanton, 58, a pioneer and innovator and Western Wireless’ former CEO
  • Visa’s CEO Charles W. Scharf, 49
  • Kraft Foods’ EVP and CFO Teri List-Stoll, 51

Stepping down Microsoft’s board:

  • Steven A. Ballmer, 58, former CEO and Microsoft’s largest individual shareholder
  • Stephen J. Luczo, 57, Chairman and CEO of Seagate
  • Venture capitalist and board member since inception David Marquardt, 65
  • Dina Dublon, 61, former CFO, JPMorgan Chase

Microsoft Promotes Most EVPs from Within; Hires EVP from Qualcomm

  • Scott Guthrie, 39,   is named EVP Cloud and Enterprise, Satya Nadella’s former role.
  • Eric Ruderm 47 is named EVP, Advanced Strategy
  • Mark Penn, 60, EVP Advertising and Strategy was named Chief Strategy Officer. Formerly of PR firm serving Bill Gates and Bill Clinton, amongst others.
  • Margaret L. (Peggy) Johnson, 52, a Qualcomm executive, is named EVP of BD.
  • Chris Capossela, 44 is named EVP and CMO
  • Stephen Elop, 51 is named EVP Microsoft Devices. He rejoined Microsoft following the Company’s Nokia acquisition. Phil Spencer was promoted to run the Xbox division.

Execs Depart for GoPro, Optum, Zenefits & Sonos

  • Former Skype CEO and EVP BD Tony Bates, 47, went on to become GoPro’s President and board member, in preparation for an IPO.
  • EVP, Marketing Tami Reller, 50, is now in a Healthcare IT business, United Health Group as EVP and CMO of Optum.
  • Founder and former CEO, Yammer (also former COO, Paypal), David Sacks is now COO at Zenefits, a hot benefits start-up that is scaring health insurance companies
  • Xbox Chief Product Officer Marc Whitten left for Sonos (a surprise move, as he was scheduled to appear at the Game Developers Conference), and following Don Mattrick’s departure for Zynga a year prior.​

       Google Adds Car / Aerospace CEO to Board & Promotes from Within

Google’s newest board member is the former CEO of Ford Motor, Alan Mulally, 68. Mr. Mulally, also a former Boeing executive, brings to Google expertise in both the auto and aviation industries as the search giant expands into self-driving cars, information and entertainment systems for cars and delivering Internet access from drones and satellites.

At the executive level, many were promoted:

  1. Android Chief Sundar Pichai, 42,  was given a big promotion in October, in a role analogous to a Chief Operating Officer, that includes engineering & product for all products excluding YouTube.
  2. The new CEO, Youtube is Susan Wojcicki, 45, a Googler since 1998, former co-SVP for advertising and commerce.  
  3. Salar Kamangar, who ran Youtube,  was appointed SVP, Products
  4. Sridhar Ramaswamy was co-SVP for advertising and commerce and now runs the business standalone, as Susan Wojcicki moved to Youtube
  5. Omid Kordestani, 41, an early googler, was promoted to Chief Business Officer and SVP as Nikesh Arora, 46, left to become Vice Chairman, SoftBank.
  6. SVP, Social, Vic Gundotra, 46, leading Google+ left in April​

       Oracle – Change of an Era or More of the Same?

While Oracle announced changes at the top of the house, everyone’s responsibilities essentially have remained the same.

  • Lawrence J. “Larry” Ellison, 70, becomes the company's Executive Chairman and CTO.
  • Co-Presidents Safra Ada Catz, 52, and Mark Vincent Hurd, 57 are named as Co-CEOs
  • Jeff O. Henley, 69, Oracle’s Chairman for 10 years, and former long-time CFO, was named Vice Chairman.

Oracle Hires Cloud Execs & Retail Exec

Shawn Price, former cloud business executive at SAP, SuccessFactors, Zuora  joins Oracle in the cloud unit, reporting to CEO Mark Hurd.  His title is SVP,  product strategy and marketing, Cloud.   Also, Peter S. Magnusson, a former executive with Google and Snapchat, to run development of its platform-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-service efforts, as SVP, Public Cloud.

New SVP, & GM, Oracle Retail, Jill Puleri, recruited  from IBM,  most recently serving as the Worldwide Retail Industry Leader for IBM Global Business Services.

       Qualcomm Promotes CEO From Within When Microsoft Comes Calling

Steven M. Mollenkop, 45, a long timer was promoted to CEO and Dr. Paul Jacobs, 51, former longtime CEO and Chairman, and son of a Qualcomm  co-founder,  assumes the role of Executive Chairman. The announcement, which was on expected lines, was still timed unexpectedly. A report claimed Microsoft was considering Mollenkopf as a potential CEO candidate. Derek Aberle, 46, assumes the role of President.

Qualcomm  also tapped  Unilever COO, Harish Manwani, 60,  as its latest board member.

       Intel Adds Workday CEO to Board & Merges McAfee

Intel and McAfee have come together to form a new Intel business unit called Intel Security Group and has made some major announcements.

Intel appointed Aneel Bhusri, 48, CEO of Workday, to serve on the company's board.

Executive changes at Intel

  • Intel’s new CMO is Steven Fund, formerly Staples’ SVP, and Marketing and also held roles at Gillette/ P&G.
  • Scott Lovett, joins as Intel’s EVP WW Security Sales, from Cisco
  • Christopher Young, Cisco’s top Security exec,  as SVP & GM, Intel Security  to run McAfee and the Intel Security Platform.
  • John Giamatteo, 46, joins as SVP and GM of the McAfee consumer business. Formerly COO, AVG and from Solera Holdings, Real Networks and Nortel
  • Michael Fey, CTO, EVP & GM, Corporate Products left Intel Security Group and was named President, Blue Coat Systems, a Thomas Bravo Security Software company.

       SAP Ends co-CEO Structure After 70% Stock Boost

Charismatic leader Bill McDermott, 52, was announced as SAP’s sole leader.. Co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe, 47, joined the supervisory board in May. Over 3 1/2 years, the co-CEOs spent more than $14 billion on M&A in mobile, cloud and invested in the Hana database, boosting the stock about 70 per cent.

Global Appointments

  • Robert Enslin, President of Global Customer Operations. Jennifer Morgan as President of SAP North America, reporting to Enslin.
  • Bernd Leukert, Managing Director and Head of Innovation
  • Ingrid-Helen Arnold,  CIO, SAP Group and head, Cloud Delivery
  • Rodolpho Cardenuto named ‎President, Global Partner Operations (GPO)
  • CMO Jonathan Becher, 49, is named Chief Digital Officer, in charge of the Digital Store unit

External hires include:

  • CTO - Microsoft Cloud and Big Data Leader Quentin Clark
  • CMO - Maggie Chan Jones, long time Microsoft executive, joins from Level 3
  • CHRO - Dr. Stefan Ries, formerly Egon Zehnder

Cloud and Mobility Appointments:

  • Rick Costanzo as EVP and GM of Global Mobility Solutions, formerly of Blackberry and AT&T. 
  • Mike Ettling, 50, appointed global head of cloud HR. He is former CEO, NGA HR.

SAP Departures: SAP continues to be a source of talent for executives in other companies, and some execs that came in via acquisitions also leave:

  • SAP’s Dr. Vishal Sikka, 47, senior exec with a products and tech background,  left to become CEO of Infosys. 
  • Cloud Execs: Shawn Price, President, Global Cloud Business  joined Oracle as Cloud Chief;  Graham Younger, 45, SAP’s SuccessFactors Chief,  joins Box as EVP, WW Field Ops; Steve Winter, 39, SAP Customer  LoB head,  and  former CEO, Isochron, joins Marketo as EVP, WW Field Ops. 
  • Execs joining John Chen, CEO at Blackberry: Eric Johnson  for enterprise sales and Howard Stephens for carrier sales
  • Adam Binnie, SVP of Emerging Products joins Canadian Software company, visier

Diego Dzodan, recently appointed President of SAP Latin America & Caribbean, departs. 

       HP Announces Historic Split

Ralph V. Whitworth, 58, activist investor, resigned in July as interim Chairman and from the board to focus on his health. Meg Whitman, 57, added  Chairman in addition to her CEO role. Pat Russo, 62, former Chairman and CEO of Alcatel-Lucent was appointed lead independent director. Joining the board, Klaus Kleinfeld, 56, CEO & Chairman, Alcoa, a global leader in lightweight metals technology, engineering and manufacturing.

HP will break up into the Enterprise business and HP, Inc. consisting of the PC and printing businesses.CEO Meg Whitman will head Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, a new company focusing on corporate hardware and services, while Dion Weisler, 47,EVP, Printing & Personal Systems, will become CEO of the printing and PC business, known as HP, Inc.  Weisler spent many years at Acer and Lenovo and has extensive international experience.  Whitman will remain as non-executive Chairman of HP, Inc. and Pat Russo will become Chairman of the enterprise Company. CFO Cathie Lesjak,55, will remain with the enterprise company.

       eBay Splits Marketplaces from PayPal

eBay will split into the auction house, eBay Marketplaces,  and PayPal—-

It had been rumored for a long time that this move was planned “when the time was right”, but it had never come to pass. The fight turned nasty. Icahn launched a verbal assault on eBay management calling it a poorly run company and accusing eBay board members Marc Andreessen and Scott Cook of placing their interests ahead of shareholders and self-dealing. Others joined in, like the PayPal founders were quoted as saying “it’s as if Target owned Visa or something”.

eBay’s CEO Donahoe eventually won the fight. In February Icahn backed off his attack, settling for an independent member to be added, David W. Dorman, 60, Chair, CVS Caremark and former chairman and CEO of AT&T, to eBay’s board. But a series of big events seemed to give eBay a change of heart.

  • David Marcus, 41,  had left in June of 2014 to run Facebook’s messaging products, to focus on the all important whatsapp acquisition (amidst denied rumours of getting fired due to his management style)
  • Alibaba, which runs a massive mobile payment arm Alipay, went public at a giant $230 billion valuation
  • Apple’s iPhone 6 launch introduced  Apple Pay–a mobile wallet that could be a total game changer for payments

When the dust settled and the split was announced, Marc Andreessen, 43, resigned from the board in October 2014.

The CEO Succession plans were:

  • John Donahoe, 53, who will step down as EBay’s CEO after the split, and it is unclear whether he will hold board seats, but is rumored to be going on PayPal’s board. He is reported as having a $23m exit package.
  • eBay Marketplaces President Devin Wenig, 47, taking over at eBay. Wenig joined EBay in 2011 from Thomson Reuters Corp., where he led the financial data and news division that competes with Bloomberg News. In June 2014, Craig Hayman, an IBM executive, joined eBay as President, eBay Enterprise business. Chris Saridakis, 45, former marketing chief for GSI Commerce, left earlier ‘for personal reasons’. He has since pled guilty to insider trading, by alerting friends of the GSI Commerce pending acquisition and was recently charged with 15 months jail time.
  • Dan Schulman, 56, joined from Amex to lead Paypal​

       VMWare’s Invests in Hybrid Cloud and Networking

VMWare’s appointments indicate a strong period of future investments. A roster of CTOs is announced as well as Hybrid Cloud and Networking executives.

At the board level, David Goulden, 54, CEO of VMWare’s parent EMC Information Infrastructure and CFO was replaced by Paul Sagan, 55, former CEO of Akamai Technologies and board member of parent EMC, joins the board.

Corporate level promotions include:

  • CFO Jonathan Chadwick, 47, expands his responsibilities to  COO
  • Ben Fathi is named CTO for the corporation, formerly SVP R&D, with experience at Cisco and Microsoft Windows.. Fathi succeeds Steve Herrod, now at General Catalyst Partners
  • Chris Wolf, Research VP, Virtualization at Gartner joins as CTO for Americas region

Hybrid Cloud & Networking Appointments

  • Bill Fathers, 45, EVP and GM, Hybrid Cloud Services BU
  • Martin Casado SVP and GM, Networking, formerly fellow & CTO, Nicira, acquired by VMWare for $1.26 billion in 2012. Casado replaces Steve Mullaney, 50, former CEO of Nicira
  • Simone Brunozzi, global technology evangelist at Amazon, named VMware’s vCloud Hybrid Service VP and chief technologist. ​

​       Yahoo! Third Time’s a Charm? New Ad Exec, Board and War Chest

Board Members: David Filo, 48, founding member of Yahoo!, Charles R. Schwab, 76, Chairman of The Charles Schwab Corporation,  and former CEO of WalMart H. Lee Scott, Jr., 65, join Yahoo’s board. John Hayes, 59, EVP and CMO, American Express, has decided not to seek re-election to Yahoo's board.

Third time a Charm? Yahoo’s New Head of Ad Sales

  • Lisa Utzschneider, formerly Amazon’s SVP, National Ad Sales joined Yahoo as SVP, Sales Americas, reporting to the CEO. Utzschneider is the third top sales exec that Mayer has installed to try to turn around its troubled advertising business,
  • Yahoo!’s COO Henrique de Castro, 48, formerly Google, Dell and McKinsey, got severance worth $58 million after 18 months on the job. Business Insider reports: "[Henrique] is very smart, but he has a difficult personality; both his teams and his clients dislike him ... He has no experience whatsoever running any kind of a real ad sales force, let alone a 1,000+ team selling experiential media into brand buyers. Yahoo's Editor-in-Chief Jai Singh, formerly of Huffington post, has quit the company just one day after the COO’s Departure

As expected, cash rich Yahoo! Is the target of an aggressive activist shareholder, who aims to split the company into various pieces and combine the AOL and Yahoo! Core businesses together. Much of Yahoo!’s cash comes from its significant stake in Alibaba.

       Infosys Names First Non Founder & External CEO

  • Infosys founder Narayana Murthy, 67, steps down as executive chairman, continuing as chairman emeritus.  Kundapur Vaman Kamath, 66, CEO and MD of ICICI Bank took over as Chairman.
  • Dr. Vishal Sikka, 47,  was named CEO and board member, Infosys Ltd. He is former CTO,  SAP AG  and replaces S.D.Shibulal, 39, who ran the company for 3 years.
  • U. B. Pravin Rao, 52 is the newly promoted President and joins the board (although still listed as COO everywhere).
  • New board member added is Ms. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, 61, is the Chairman & Managing Director of Biocon, a biotechnology company.
  • David L. Boyles, 64, former Amex and Bank of America exec will reach retirement age next year and leave the board then.

       Nokia Adjusts Leadership After Microsoft Handset Sale

Nokia has three businesses left after the handset division sale to Microsoft: the networks division, maps business, and the unit responsible for licensing its patents.

Jesper Ovesen step down as Executive Chairman of Nokia Solutions and Networks, stepped down at the start of the year. Risto Siilasmaa, 48, is now Chairman of the board.

Rajeev Suri, 46,  the head of the Networks division was named CEO.

Michael Halbherr, 49, the chief of Nokia’s mapping business and CEO of HERE, left in September over a strategy disagreement on whether to focus on automotive companies and enterprise clients or also continue to target consumers. Cliff Fox, currently SVP, Core Map Group, at HERE, is acting CEO of HERE, while a search is under way.

       Symantec Puts Pin in Place for the 2015 Split

Symantec is following HP’s and eBay’s footsteps in breaking up into two entities, by December 2015. The two businesses will be  the security business ($4.2b) and the information management business ($2.5b).

Michael Brown, 55, former CEO of Quantum Corp., will remain in his newly announced role as Symantec’s President & CEO.  Brown replaced Thomas Bennett, 60, as CEO in September 2014, after being interim CEO  since March 2014.  Thomas Seifert, 50, former Brightstar CFO, will also remain in his new post of CFO. John Gannon, 68, former President  & COO of Quantum Corp., is the new EVP & GM for the new information management business with Don Rath as the CFO.

In November, Symantec eliminated the COO role and Stephen Gillett, 38, formerly Best Buy’s President of Tech and e-commerce and Starbucks’ CIO, left the company.

Symantec hires Security Stars:

  • Balaji Yelamanchili, EVP & GM, Enterprise Security Products; formerly of Oracle and EMC with big data analytics experience.
  • Jeff Scheel, SVP, Corporate Development, Alliances and Strategy, joins from FireEye. He is formerly of Mandiant, HP and ArcSight.

Symantec Beefs Up the Information Security Business

  • Matt Cain was named Chief Product Officer of the Information Management Business. He is formerly of Cisco and has been with Symantec since 2012.​

       CA’s CEO New Leadership Team

CA’s new CEO, Michael Gregoire, formerly Taleo CEO, joined in December 2012. The company formerly announcedthe  hiring Juniper and Nortel exec as CMO & EVP Lauren Flaherty, 56.  In the  first half of 2014,, the picture changed more drastically.

  • Adam Elster, 46, is now the EVP, WW Sales and Services,  from the mainframe group replaces George Fisher, 51, who is now SVP, of Global Sales of Verizon Enterprise Solutions
  • Amit Chatterjee, 42, is named  EVP, Enterprise Solutions and Technology Group, formerly of SAP’s GRC business and Mckinsey. He replaces Peter Griffiths, 50, former IBM software development exec who is leaving the company
  • CTO John Michelsen will now report directly to the CEO
  • Alyssa Fitzpatrick, McAfee alliances exec and formerly of Oracle and Informatica is named SVP, Global Partners and Alliances
  • Ronald Alepian, formerly VP and head of corporate marketing at Toronto Stock Exchange’s TMX Group, was named SVP and Chief Communications Officer​

       Citrix CEO Stays;  Focus on Cloud/ Mobile

Citrix’s CEO, Mark B. Templeton, 61, is resuming his role as CEO, permanently, reversing a previous announcement. David J. Henshall, 46, EVP and CFO, who had been serving as acting CEO, has been promoted to COO. 

Joining Citrix’s board are Robert M. Calderoni, 54, the former CEO of Ariba, acquired by SAP as well as Francis A. deSouza, 44, formerly of IBM TJ Watson Research, Microsoft and Symantec and current president of biotech company Illumina.

  • Geir Ramleth, CIO of Bechtel and former CEO of Bechtel subsidiary Genuity, is joining Citrix as SVP and Chief Strategy Officer
  • Rakesh Narasimhan, 46, as Group VP and GM, Desktop and Cloud. Formerly CEO at InstallFree, GM at Microsoft and Oracle
  • Brian Dye, was named Group VP and GM of its Mobile Platforms group. Formerly SVP, Information Security Group, Symantec

Steve A. Daheb, 42, SVP and CMO of Citrix Systems, decided to leave in July but is staying as an advisor until February 2015.  As a result of the reorganization, Citrix has eliminated the role of CMO.


 Splitting Roles to Appoint CEO

Most corporations that split the role did so as to promote a candidate to the CEO role, five of the six for internal candidates and one external candidate. In one case for the internal candidate, TIBCO, the change was precipitated by Vista Equity Partners. The TIBCO case is the only one where the former CEO does not stay.

Oracle: Larry Ellison becomes Exec Chair & CTO and Names Safra Catz and Mark Hurd as co-CEOs. It is rumoured that Mark Hurd was actively pursued by Microsoft

Qualcomm Splits Chairman / CEO Roles  to ensure Steven Mollenkop was not recruited by the Microsoft CEO search process.

TIBCO’s CEO Changed upon acquisition by Vista Equity Partners in December 2014.  Murray Rode, 49, COO was promoted to CEO. Founder, chairman and CEO of TIBCO, Vivek Ranadivé. 57 stepped down and the roles were split

Fidelity National Information Services Chairman/ CEO Split  - Frank R. Martire, 66,, five year CEO keeps Executive Chairman role, and Gary Norcross, 48, President assumes CEO role.  Ellen Alemany, 58, former  Chair and CEO of RBS' Citizens Financial Group, joins FIS’s board

Ixia:   Bethany Mayer, 47, SVP networking equipment, HP joined Ixia as CEO. Founder Errol Gingsberg, 58 retains his role as Chairman and head of Innovation.

Jive Chairman and five year CEO,Tony Zingale,  58, moves to become Executive Chairman,  and  Elise Steele, 47, former CMO and President was named iCEO, while a search is under way.

Combine Roles for Good Performance or Ability to Execute

The combination of  Chairman & CEO roles, is due to either outstanding or lacklustre performance.  Harris Corporation and Demandware have outstanding performance and  NetApp probably needed more concentrated focus. HP’s case is the exception - CEO Meg Whitman assumed the Chairman role when the interim Chair resigned for health reasons. In addition, this appointment is temporary until HP’s split happens.

NetApp Combines Chairman / CEO. New Lead Director: Former CEO and current chairman, Dan Warmenhoven, 63, is moving off the NetApp Board. Tom Georgens, 53, CEO, has been elected chairman, amidst a 600 person layoff. Lead Director Nicholas G. Moore, 72, former Global Chair and CEO of PwC and Coopers & Lybrand is retiring.  Replacing him is former McKinsey Managing Director, T. Michael Nevens, 65.

Harris Corporation CEO William M. Brown, 50, adds chairman to his responsibilities and Thomas A. Dattilo, 62, former Chair and former CEO, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company is now lead independent director.

Demandware Combines Chairman and CEO Roles: Demandware elected its CEO Tom Ebling, 58, as Chairman and Len Schlesinger, 61, HBS Baker Professor as Lead Independent Director.  Stephan Schambach, 43, Demandware’s founder, remains on the board as Chairman Emeritus. EVP and COO Jeffrey Barnett, 51, will also  join the Demandware’s Board. 

Demandware also added a new CFO, Timothy M. Adams, 54, formerly of athenahealth, while Scott J. Dussault, 43, the former CFO, remains as an advisory capacity for a period of time. 




This year has seen a traditional mix of profiles and ages. Traditional categories of investors, CEOs/COOs, and CFOs. There were surprisingly few executives that were pure CFOs, and an increasing number of executives that have CIO/CTO backgrounds.

From the changes above, Microsoft appointed activist shareholder president of ValueAct Capital, a firm that owns $2b of Microsoft Stock.

  • Apple elected Susan L. Wagner, 53, founding partner and director of BlackRock, to board. While, Bill Campbell, 73, former CEO of Intuit, and the board’s longest-serving member, retired after 17 years of service.
  • AT&T addedSilver Lake Co-Founder.Glenn Hutchins, 58,
  • SS&C Technologies Holdings named Michael J. Zamkow, former Goldman Sachs partner, to its Board.
  • Palo Alto Networks board added Stanley J. Meresman, 67, former Venture Partner with Technology Crossover Ventures

CEO/ COO/ President/ GMs

From the large company changes above, Microsoft added Western Wireless’ former CEO and Visa’s CEO, in addition to two others. Google’s newest board member is the former CEO of Ford Motor.  Qualcomm added  Unilever’s COO, HP Chair & CEO of Alcoa, eBay added the Chair, CVS and former  Chair & CEO of AT&T, VMWare added the former CEO, Akamai, Yahoo! added the Chair of  Charles Schwab Corporation,  and former CEO of WalMart, InfoSys adds a biotech Chair/CEO, Citrix added two CEOs former CEO of Ariba, and the CEO of a biotech,  formerly of IBM TJ Watson Research, Microsoft and Symantec.

  • IBM expands board to 14 with the appointments of  Alex Gorsky, 54, Chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson; and Peter R. Voser, 54, retired CEO of Royal Dutch Shell.
  • Intel’s board added Aneel Bhusri, 48, co-founder and CEO of Workday
  • ADP Michael Gregoire, 47, CEO, CA joins the board. Former Chair/CEO of Taleo.
  • Salesforce also named Susan Wojcicki, 46, CEO of YouTube, to its Board
  • FiServ’s Dan Kearney, 74, is named Fiserv’s new Chairman, following the retirement of 19 year board member Don Dillon, 74. Fiserv Appoints Investor and Managing Partner of Fifth Era Alison Davis, 52, as Director
  • Red Hat Appoints GE exec to Board GE Veteran Charlene Begley, 47, former CEO, GE Home and Business Solutions joins the board, while UC San Diego Chancellor, Marye Anne Fox, Ph.D., 66 is stepping off the board.
  • Blackbaud appointed Peter (Pete) Kight, 57, founder, and former chairman and CEO of CheckFree, to its Board of Directors
  • TIBCO appointed three to its board, prior to the acquisition by Vista Equity Partners:  Manuel Fernandez, 68, former Chairman and CEO of Gartner.  David West, 51,  current CEO Big Heart Pet Brands,  and formerly of Del Monte Foods Company, The Hershey Company, and Nabisco Holdings. Phillip Fernandez, 54, a visionary in marketing and cloud technology and co-founder, chairman and CEO of Marketo.
  • LogMeIn has named Steven Chambers, 52, most recently President, Worldwide Sales and Marketing, at Nuance Communications and Marilyn Matz, 60, CEO and Co-Founder of Paradigm4, to the company's board.  Hilary Schneider, 53, President, Lifelock resigned from the board
  • SaaS Provider Fleetmatics Appoints HubSpot CEO, Brian Halligan, 46, and Intuit VP & GM, Allison Mnookin, 43, and Vince de Palma, CEO Shred-IT,  to its  Board.
  • Monotype Imaging’s Chairman Changes and Beefs up Board with Ad Exec:  Robert L. Lentz, 63, former CEO, Digital Reef has been appointed chairman. Monotype cofounder and former CEO, Robert M. Givens, 69, retired to be chairman emeritus.  Gay Warren Gaddis, 58, founder and CEO of the advertising agency, T3 (The Think Tank), is Monotype’s latest board member. 

CIOs/ Tech

Yahoo added one of the founders of Yahoo to its board.

  • Intuit adds Richard L. Dalzell,57, former Amazon CIO
  • Akamai Appoints former Goldman Sachs CIO and long-time technology executive, Steven M. Scopellite, 48, to board
  • Iron Mountain’s board added Jennifer Allerton, 62, former CIO at Roche’s Pharma Division, joins Board.Vincent J. Ryan, 78, one of Iron Mountain’s founders, who served on the company’s board since prior to the IPO in 1995, retires.
  • Splunk appointed recently retired eBay CTO Mark Carges, 52, to board.


In addition to the Microsoft board announcement adding  Kraft Foods CFO to its board, 

  • Palo Alto Networks board added Michael Lehman, 64, former CFO of Palo Alto Networks
  • Solera Holdings, the provider of software and services for the automobile claims industry, elected couple of high ranking former CFOs Patrick D. Campbell, 62, retired CFO of 3M, and Michael Lehman, 64, former CFO of Palo Alto Networks and Sun Microsystems to board.


  • AT&T also added  former Chairman, FCC  and U.S. Ambassador to the EU, William Kennard, 57.
  • ServiceNow appointed two new board members: Susan Bostrom, 53, former EVP and CMO of Cisco; and Anita Sands, 38, UBS Financial Services’ veteran executive
  • Appoints Gen. Colin Powell, 77, as Director for More Public Sector Focus


  • Cisco saw Salesforce CEO Marc Russell Benioff, 50, leave.
  • Former EducationDynamics and Sallie Mae CEO Thomas Anderson, 51, resigns from Constant Contact’s Board.
  • Riverbed Technology, the WAN optimization company loses Microsoft CEO Nadella as Board Member, and appoints sales execs
  • Warburg Pincus MD and Partner Patrick T. Hackett, 53, leaves Nuance’s board, amidst disappointing results.  Activist shareholder Carl Icahn owns about 19 of the stock. There were rumours earlier this year of a Samsung acquisition, but these have died down
  • Nicholas G. Moore, 72, former Global Chair and CEO of PwC and Coopers & Lybrand, and NetApp board member since 2002 and Lead Independent Director since 2009 is retiring. 

Women Board Appointments

Tech companies appointed 14  women on boards out of 49 total appointments covered.  The functional breakdown is as follows: Investment (2), CEO/GM (8), CIO (1), CFO (1), Other (CMO, and Financial Services Exec).


  • Apple, founding partner and director of BlackRock, to board
  • Fiserv Appoints Investor and Managing Partner of Fifth Era Alison Davis, 52, as Director

CEOs / GMs

  • Increased Leadership - HP - Whitman Chairman in addition to her CEO role. Pat Russo,  lead independent director
  • InfoSys - the Chairman & Managing Director of Biocon, a biotechnology company.
  • Red Hat former CEO, GE Home and Business Solutions joins the board
  • LogMeIn appointed a big data CEO
  • Fleetmatics appointed an Intuit Executive, with strong product roots
  • Jive’s named President and iCEO, while the board conducts a search
  • Ixia CEO - Bethany Mayer, 47, SVP networking equipment. joined Ixia as CEO.

CIOs: Iron Mountain former CIO at Roche’s Pharma Division

CFO:  Microsoft - Kraft CFO


  • ServiceNow appointed two women - former EVP and CMO of Cisco; and UBS Financial Services’ veteran executive
  • Monotype -  CEO of ad agency, T3.


  • Joel Anderson, 49, CEO,, has left the online giant to assume the role of president at Five Below, the retailer targeting pre-teens and teens. Fernando Madeira, CEO of's Latin America unit replaced Mr. Anderson.
  • GE Healthcare’s new CEO is its SVP Business Development, John L. Flannery, 53 , succeeding John Dineen, 51, who left to join a Private Equity firm
  • Rackspace Replaces Long Term CEO, Continues Independent Path: Rackspace shares tanked in February as investors reeled from the surprise news that CEO Lanham Napier, 43, was retiring, effective immediately. Shares have plummeted about 18% so far, to around $33. Napier joined Rackspace in 2006 and under him it grew from $1.5 million in revenue to $1.5 billion in 2013. Rackspace's co-founder and its original CEO, Graham Weston, 50,  took over  the CEO job again for now while the company conducts a search. Meanwhile Taylor Rhodes,43, the leader of sales and finance,  was promoted to president and later on to CEO. The company disclosed they had multiple parties interested in acquisition, but decided to continue on its independent path.
  • Workday Appoints Sole CEO:   Co-CEO Aneel Bhusri, 48, was appointed the sole CEO of Workday. Co-CEO David A. Duffield, 73, was appointed the Chairman of the Board, and George J. Still, Jr., 53, was appointed Lead Independent Director.
  • Mozilla CEO Succession:  Gay Marriage Controversy; Board Exits - iCEO Chris Beard, former Mozilla CMO and EIR at Greylock,  has been named CEO of Mozilla. Brendan Eich, Mozilla's co-founder and CTO, was promoted to CEO in March, but resigned less than two weeks later in April after a firestorm of protest about his 2008 contribution of $1,000 to a movement against gay marriage in California. The Wall Street Journal reported that three board members —  ex-Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs, ex-Mozilla CEO John Lilly, and Ellen Siminoff, CEO of online education startup Shmoop — left Mozilla's board because they wanted an outsider to run the company. The three board members who resigned sought a CEO from outside Mozilla with experience in the mobile industry, as Firefox ranks 13th, with less than 0.1% share.
  • HP’s Chief Strategy Officer Mohamad Ali, 44, joins Carbonite as CEO
  • Twitter’s COO, Ali Rowghani, 40,formerly of Pixar  has resigned.  Initially, he was Twitter's CFO, and he successfully led the company's IPO. There was reportedly tension over more than just Twitter’s lackluster user growth, lack of product innovation, reporting structures, with employees unhappy about a large sale of his stock in the company. Rowghani’s responsibilities will be split between two key execs: Adam Bain, 40, is in charge of revenue and partnerships while Gabriel Stricker 43l is responsible for marketing and media.
  • TriZetto CEO and Former Cerner President, Trace Devanny, 61,  to Lead Nuance's Healthcare Business
  • Reddit CEO Yishan Wong has resigned, with second-in-command Ellen Pao stepping in as interim CEO. Board member Alexis Ohanian is taking a larger role as chairman and will now be in charge of marketing, communications, strategy and community.


For Specific bios and announcements, please refer to Vell Website.

LogMeIn (LOGM),  SaaS & IoT Software  - Board members  (2)

Chairman & CEO  - Mobile Application Software company (West Coast)

Fleetmatics (FLTX), Fleet Management Software for SMB (SaaS)  - Board members  (4)

Carbonite (CARB), Online Backup for SMB (SaaS) - Board Members (2)    

mHealth Software CEO (Announcement being made)

CIO, Univision 

$1b CFO  Media Company

$60m SaaS to Retail Industry Company: VP North America (now SVP Sales)  

VP Product Management, $120m SaaS Co.      

Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Product Officer (CPO), $100m Mortgage Software company    

VP & GM, Transportation and Logistics Software (SaaS, large public co.)

VP & GM, SMB (SaaS, large public co.)

CMO, SaaS Software Company




Dora Vell Managing Partner

​Dal Coger – Vice President

Paula Axelrod – Vice President

Judy Smith - Senior Consultant

Earl Stephens - Business Manager

Ajanta Banerjee – Research Consultant

Tori Agel – Marketing Coordinator

Read 8085 times Last modified on Saturday, 08 August 2020 20:01
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