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Thursday, 27 August 2015 14:55

Google, Amazon & Other Digital Media Board and Exec Shuffles Featured

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Google Reorganizes under New Holding Company Alphabet; Sundar Pichai to Lead Largest Subsidiary Google as CEO

Google reorganizes itself into a new holding company, Alphabet, whose largest wholly owned subsidiary will be Google. Google Co-Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin will be Alphabet’s CEO and President, respectively. Eric Schmidt will be the Executive Chairman of Alphabet. SVP of Corporate Development, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary of Google David C. Drummond will be the Chief Legal Officer and Secretary. The company’s Chief Business Officer, Omid Kordistani, will step down and become an adviser to Alphabet and Google. 

Sundar Pichai, 43, who had been SVP in charge of products, will be CEO of Google, which will encompass Internet products like search, maps, YouTube and applications like Gmail. Pichai will add YouTube to his list of products. YouTube CEO, Susan Wojcicki, will now report to him, whereas she previously reported to Page. In addition, Pichai will oversee the business operations for Google Inc.

Pichai was SVP, Android, Chrome and Apps before being promoted as SVP of all Google products last year. Earlier, Pichai served as VP of Product Management joining Google in 2004. Before that, he held various engineering and product management positions at Applied Materials, and was a Management Consultant with McKinsey for a variety of software and semiconductor clients. He served as a Director of Jive Software as a Member of Board of Advisors at Ruba.

Page, Brin, Schmidt and Drummond will leave Google, whereas Google’s CFO Ruth Porat will remain in that position and will also be CFO for Alphabet.

Other entities under Alphabet will include Google Fiber, a provider of ultrafast Internet service. There will also be two financial businesses, Google Ventures, the venture capital arm, and Capital, which does private-equity-like deals. Google X, which includes projects like self-driving cars, a drone delivery service and an attempt to make Internet-connected balloons, will be managed separately and run by Sergey Brin.

YouTube poached Susanne Daniels, an MTV exec, to run its fledgling original content business. Daniels served as MTV's head of programming for 3 years, and will be taking the new position VP of Originals at YouTube.

Top Amazon Executive Departs Second Time in a Year

Jon McCormack, the CTO of the Amazon unit that makes devices such as the Kindle and Fire TV, has left the company for the second time in less than a year. This time he’s headed to Google, where he has taken a job inside Google’s Advanced Technologies and Projects group, which works on futuristic projects.

McCormack first left Amazon late last year, after overseeing teams responsible for making software for the Kindle, Fire phone and other Amazon hardware. But he returned in March after a two-month stint at Yahoo.

Alibaba Names New Board Member from Consumer Markets Domain; Names New President and Music Division Heads

Alibaba Group named Wan Ling Martello as an independent director on the Company’s board of directors. Martello is currently Nestlé EVP responsible for Asia, Oceania and Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to this role, she was CFO of Nestlé. Before that, she worked at Walmart where she served first as SVP and CFO, Walmart International, and then EVP, Global Ecommerce. Before Walmart, Martello was President, U.S. at NCH Marketing Services. She also worked at Borden Foods and Kraft Foods where she held various senior management positions.

Alibaba Group appointed Michael Evans as President of Alibaba Group. Evans will continue his service as a management member of the Alibaba Group Board, having previously served as an independent director since the company’s IPO in September 2014. Prior to joining Alibaba, he spent 30 years in global finance, including the last 20 years as a Partner of Goldman Sachs, where he served as Vice Chairman, head of Global Growth Markets, and Chairman of Asia, in addition to leadership positions in the Securities and Investment Banking Divisions before leaving the firm in 2014.

Alibaba launched a music division and appointed Gao Xiaosong and Song Ke - two Chinese musicians - as its CEOs. As significant composers and music producers, the leaders are expected to bring more innovative elements to Alibaba's music business.

Top Target Digital Executive Leaves

Alan Wizemann, the Target executive who leads product teams for its website and apps, leaves the company. Wizemann started working with Target in late 2012 as a consultant, when he helped overhaul the team building the Cartwheel coupon app, which has generated more than $1 billion in sales for Target. He went on to become VP of product for and mobile last year.

PayPal Hires New CFO from United Airlines

John D. Rainey is joining PayPal as its new CFO. Rainey joins PayPal from United Continental Holdings, where he was EVP and CFO at United Airlines. Prior to that, Rainey held various positions of increasing responsibility in finance at United Airlines and Continental Airlines. Before joining Continental, Rainey worked at Ernst & Young in Houston for two years.

Yahoo! Promotes SVP, Sales, Americas as Chief Revenue Officer

Yahoo! named Lisa Utzschneider as Chief Revenue Officer. She joined Yahoo as SVP, Sales, Americas last year and has been pivotal in structuring the sales teams across North and South America for growth. She has successfully integrated sales across Yahoo, BrightRoll, Flurry and Tumblr to help bring new opportunities and tremendous value to advertisers.

Previously, she was VP of Global Advertising Sales at Amazon and spent 10 years at Microsoft where she lead advertising initiatives in product development, sales strategy, and online industry standards capacities.

Security Researcher Leaves Twitter

Charlie Miller, the security researcher who hacked into a moving Jeep earlier this year has resigned as Engineer, Platform Services at Twitter. Miller joined Twitter in 2012. Before joining Twitter, he spent several years as a security researcher and consultant with Accuvant and Independent Security Evaluators. He was the first researcher to discover a serious code execution vulnerability in the iPhone and has found a number of serious flaws in OS X over the years. Miller spent five years as a Global Network Exploitation Analyst for the National Security Agency. Names Co-Chairman and Co-CEO, China's largest online marketplace serving local merchants and consumers, appointed Mark Haoyong Yang as a director, co-Chairman and co-CEO of Yang is the founder and CEO of, a major online local services marketplace platform in China. In April 2015, acquired a strategic stake in Falcon View Technology, the holding company of the PRC entities operating

Zynga Adds Former EVP of EA as Director

Zynga named Frank Gibeau, former EVP at Electronic Arts, has joined the company's Board of Directors. Gibeau is an entertainment and gaming industry veteran who has spent nearly 25 years developing and publishing mainstream mobile, PC and console gaming franchises. Gibeau spent more than two decades at Electronic Arts, where he held a number of influential business and product leadership roles. Most recently he served as the EVP of EA Mobile. Prior to that, Gibeau was President of EA Labels, President of the EA Games Label, and EVP and GM of The Americas.

Box Appoints New CIO from HP Software and EMC Exec to Lead Platform and Strategy

Online file sharing and personal cloud content management company Box named Paul Chapman as its CIO, responsible for driving a broad range of IT initiatives. Chapman, most recently CIO of HP Software for Hewlett-Packard, brings a track record of leadership in optimizing business operations and driving productivity across global workforces. Prior to HP, Chapman served as VP, Global Infrastructure and Cloud Operations and VP of Enterprise Applications at VMware and has held leadership roles at Affymetrix and Sun Microsystems.

Box named Jeetu Patel as SVP of platform and chief strategy officer. Patel was most recently with EMC, where he was GM and CEO of the company’s Syncplicity business unit. He also previously held several leadership roles in EMC’s Information Intelligence Group, including CMO, Chief Strategy Officer and CTO. Prior to EMC, he was president of Doculabs, a research and advisory firm focused on collaboration and content management across a range of industries, including financial services, insurance, energy, manufacturing, and life sciences.

Shutterstock CFO to Resign; Successor Named

Shutterstock announced that Steven Berns will succeed Tim Bixby as the company's CFO. Berns, who served as a member of Shutterstock's Board of Directors until he resigned from the Board earlier this week, will help drive the strategic vision of the company while leading the company's financial and legal functions.

Berns has nearly 30 years' experience in global financial management, acquisitions, and business operations, including as CFO at the Tribune Media Company, a television and digital media company, and Revlon, a worldwide cosmetic and beauty products company. Hires CFO from Box, the provider of digital coupons, named Jennifer Ceran as CFO. Ceran comes to from Box, where she served as VP of Finance for the cloud-based, enterprise content management company.

Mir Aamir,'s current CFO and COO, is being promoted to President and COO. The promotion enables him to focus full time on strategy, operations and growing the business.

Prior to joining Box in 2012, she spent nearly a decade at eBay in varying global roles, including VP Investor Relations, VP Financial Planning & Analysis and VP Treasurer. Ceran also spent more than a decade at Sara Lee Corporation, where she held various finance roles across corporate development, FP&A and treasury in domestic and international markets.

Zillow Makes Series of Senior Leadership Appointments

Zillow announced leadership changes to its economic research team. Dr. Svenja Gudell has been promoted to Zillow’s Chief Economist. Zillow’s former Chief Economist, Dr. Stan Humphries, has expanded his role to become Zillow Group Chief Analytics Officer and Chief Economist.

Humphries was one of Zillow’s earliest pre-launch employees and is the creator of the Zestimate. In his additional role as Chief Economist of Zillow Group, Humphries will continue to serve as a thought leader and national expert on housing policy.

Gudell, who joined Zillow in 2011, was formerly Zillow’s Senior Director of Economic Research. In her new role, Gudell will be the face of Zillow’s housing research as she continues to lead Zillow’s economic research team. Prior to her work at Zillow, Gudell did economic, financial and strategy consulting for Analysis Group and was an Assistant Economist in the Research Group of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Zillow also announced two key executive promotions. Kathleen Philips, who was the company's COO since 2013, was named CFO. Amy Bohutinsky, who was CMO since 2011, was promoted to COO.

Kathleen Philips has been a critical part of Zillow Group's executive team since joining the company in 2010 as General Counsel, and has spent the last two years as COO. Before joining Zillow, Philips served as General Counsel of Hotwire, StubHub, Pure Digital Technologies, and FanSnap.

Bohutinsky joined Zillow pre-launch in 2005, as one of its earliest employees, and has been a critical force in growing the company's brand and traffic growth. Before joining Zillow, Bohutinsky ran communications for Hotwire.

Greg Schwartz, 43, currently Zillow Group's Chief Revenue Officer, was named Chief Business Officer. Prior to his promotion to Chief Revenue Officer of Zillow, he served as its VP of Sales. Prior to joining Zillow, he was VP of Advertising Sales at

Snapchat Hires Mattel Executive as Finance VP

The photo messaging app startup has hired former Mattel executive Drew Vollero as its VP of finance and acting CFO. He was most recently SVP, Corporate Strategy, Development & Investor Relations at toy maker Mattel. Before Mattel, he served as VP, Controller at Yum! Brands.

Tinder Founder Returns as CEO; New Chairman Appointed

Sean Rad, the co-founder of Tinder, who was replaced as CEO in March, is returning to the job. As part of the move, Chris Payne, the former eBay and Microsoft exec who was hired in March to give the company more experienced management, is leaving. In addition, Greg Blatt, a top executive at IAC, which owns a big chunk of the fast-growing dating app company, will become executive chairman of Tinder.

With Payne as CEO, Rad had become president and was in charge of product and marketing at Tinder. It was thought that the company needed stronger leadership after a series of internal issues that had caused worry at IAC.

UK based Co-operative Group Names Chief Digital Officer

Mike Bracken has been named Manchester based Co-operative Group’s Chief Digital Officer, leaving his current role as Executive Director of the Government Digital Service and the UK government's Chief Data Officer. Prior to joining the Government, Mike worked at Guardian News & Media as Digital Development Director for nearly four years; co-founded e-democracy site My Society and was a Director/Shareholder at technical services company Wavex.

News Corp’s Online Real Estate Services Subsidiary Move Names Key Senior Leaders

Move, online real estate services subsidiary of News Corp bolstered its consumer-facing and strategic capabilities and built out its executive leadership team with the recent appointments of Tapan Bhat as chief product officer, Nate Johnson as CMO, Bryan Charap as CFO and Hahn Lee as SVP, BD and Strategy.

Bhat was most recently served as chief product officer at Lithium Technologies. Previously, Bhat was SVP of integrated consumer experience at Yahoo!

Johnson joins Move from Path, where he served as VP of marketing and growth & engagement. Prior to Path, Johnson was head of consumer marketing at LinkedIn and held product marketing roles at Google and Apple.

Charap brings leadership experience in financial planning and analysis, business unit finance and analytics, investor relations, accounting, treasury and sales compensation to his new role as chief financial officer. Most recently senior vice president of finance, he has held a number of finance positions of increasing responsibility during his 14 years at Move. Charap began his career as a business analyst at Eddie Bauer.

Lee joins Move from Pop Media Group, a CBS/Lionsgate partnership, where he served as SVP, corporate development, strategy and head of financial planning & analysis. Earlier, Lee held business development and finance positions at The Walt Disney Company, Fox and TV Guide. He also held roles at investment banks Bear Stearns and Jefferies.

Demand Media Names Accounting Head from Activision

Content and social media company Demand Media has named Wendy Voong as the company's new Chief Accounting Officer. Voong was most recently Senior Director, North America Accounting and Reporting for Activision, and also has served at Ernst & Young.

Dropbox Hires Twitter Exec as Head of Product; Microsoft SVP Joins as Sales Head

Dropbox hired Todd Jackson, who ran Twitter’s content and discovery team, to lead Dropbox’s charge into business products as well as shepherding its consumer growth. Jackson has the tech equivalent of an Ivy League degree, having worked at Google and Facebook.

He left Facebook to start the app Cover, which surfaced different apps to mobile home screens depending on people’s location and time of day. When Twitter acquired Cover, Jackson joined the social network as director of product management. He oversaw Twitter’s timeline, search function and the new logged-out homepage.

Dropbox has created a new position of head of sales and recruited long-time Microsoft executive Thomas Hansen to the role. Hansen has worked at Microsoft since 2001, most recently as a SVP of its small and medium business products. Earlier in his time at the company, he traveled the globe as a regional manager for several different areas — Africa, the Middle East, the Indian Ocean Islands and the French Pacific.

Yelp Chairman Resigns

Yelp, the company that connects consumers with great local businesses, announced that Max Levchin resigned as Chairman and Director to pursue other interests. The Board has not yet appointed a new Chairman but plans to consider the issue at the next Board meeting in September. He is the former CTO of PayPal, which he co-founded in 1998.

Reddit’s Head of Community Leaves Company

Reddit’s head of community, Jessica Moreno, has left the company. Moreno joined the company in 2011 when her gift-exchange service, RedditGifts, was acquired by Reddit. Moreno plans to return to Salt Lake City to spend time with her family. 

Date Range: July 22nd - August 25th

Read 2900 times Last modified on Wednesday, 08 July 2020 16:38
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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