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Introduction

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.

Investors

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 CEOSatya Nadella

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. 

Thursday, 15 January 2015 01:41

Top 10 Leadership Trends for 2015 in Tech Sector

Written by

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:

Boards with high turnover are as a result either of disappointing results, shareholder pressure, or outstanding results and strategic re-positioning.

Monday, 13 January 2014 05:00

2013 Chairmen Appointments

Written by

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.

Happy New Year!

This newsletter summarizes Board of Director changes in major technology companies in 2013. We looked at 83 companies in the software, digital media, telecom and tech services sectors.

Vell Executive Search has summarized Board of Director changes in major technology companies in 2013. We looked at 83 companies in the software, digital media, telecom and tech services sectors.

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