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.
For more information, please see the full 2015 Update