We seek a qualified individual to be the key person working as the business manager with the Principal of Vell Executive Search to grow and build our boutique practice. We have a nine year history of delivering excellent results of talent management and recruiting. In order to grow our practice further, we are seeking to continue to professionalize our established infrastructure and need someone to lead and implement that effort, mentored by a seasoned senior executive with experience in all of the areas.
How to structure the leadership of large corporations – and specifically whether to split or combine the roles of Chairman and CEO – remains an active and often controversial question.
Under recent shareholder pressure, Walt Disney Company preemptively amended its corporate governance guidelines to require the board of directors to provide annual justification whenever the roles are combined, as they currently are. At Disney and an increasing number of major corporations, the board is obligated to revisit the structure question on a regular basis.
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.
Microsoft appointed activist shareholder president of ValueAct Capital, a firm that owns $2b of Microsoft Stock.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Vell Sample Board Expertise Matrix
The increasing importance of boards, as well as our extensive experience in building them, has made corporate board work a growing focus for Vell Executive Search. Based on our experience we have built this expertise matrix. Using this Matrix, a board might be able to identify the capabilities and experiences of a board candidate.
Vell Search Technology Chart 2014 - Technology Product Development Functions
Based on its technology product development function experience, Vell elaborates on the roles that comprise of this organization - CTO, product management, engineering and operations functions.
Vell Sample VP, Technology Scorecard for Secure Digital Mail Company
In order to evaluate the incumbent VP, Technology, Vell used the following scorecard for the connected vehicle solutions company. The scorecard directly corresponds to his key responsibilities around seven areas. This scorecard can provide substantial feedback and a valuable ground for discussion with the candidates.