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Executives on the Move: Bezos moves on, Walgreens makes historic hire

February 11, 2021

It’s official: The groundhog has spoken. And although we may be in for a few more weeks of winter, brighter days are ahead for C-suite executives. Vaccines are coming, and as companies are beginning to plan for life after COVID-19, they’re finding new faces to lead the way.

As usual, we’ve had our ear to the ground. Here are the most intriguing executive changes we’ve seen as the midpoint of Q1 approaches: 

Jeff Bezos steps down as CEO 

More than 25 years after founding the world’s largest online retailer in his garage, Jeff Bezos is stepping down as Amazon CEO. The move is expected to take place in Q3, and his replacement is Andy Jassy, current CEO of Amazon Web Services. Bezos will retain the role of executive chairman.  Screen Shot 2021-02-10 at 2.36.00 PM

Bezos’ tenure has had it all: meteoric rise, countless innovations, controversy and cash – lots and lots of cash. In an email to Amazon employees, Bezos expressed a desire to pursue other interests. 

“Being the CEO of Amazon is a deep responsibility, and it’s consuming,” Bezos wrote. “When you have a responsibility like that, it’s hard to put attention on anything else. As Exec Chair, I will stay engaged in important Amazon initiatives but also have the time and energy I need to focus on the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and my other passions.”

The elevation of Jassy, an Amazon employee since the early days, represents how far Amazon has come from online bookseller to an entertainment and cloud computing giant.

Can Rosalind Brewer save Walgreens? 

The pressure is on for pharmacy chain Walgreens Boot Alliance. Now playing a crucial role in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, Walgreens has struggled to compete with rival CVS, which has reinvented itself in recent years with the health insurance provider Aetna and an ensuing corporate shakeup

And that’s just the half of it. Walgreens now finds itself in Amazon’s crosshairs since the retailer announced its entry into prescription drugs

Enter Rosalind Brewer. The newly announced CEO of Walgreens will be tasked Screen Shot 2021-02-10 at 2.40.34 PMwith invigorating the company for the future. She’s no stranger to the C-suite, having served as Starbucks group president and COO since 2017, in addition to a five-year stint as Sam’s Club president and CEO. When the move is complete in March, Brewer will be the sole black woman currently serving as CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Investors appear to be bullish on the hire. 

Merck CEO Ken Frazier to retire

Screen Shot 2021-02-10 at 2.42.51 PMFor the first time in more than a decade, pharmaceutical juggernaut Merck will have a new CEO. The company announced Feb. 4 that longtime CEO Ken Frazier would retire at the end of June. He is expected to remain with the company as executive chairman for a “transition period.” 

Frazier, a Harvard law grad, assumed the role in 2011, becoming the first Black man to lead a major drug manufacturer. He will be replaced by Robert Davis, company CFO and executive vice president of global services. Davis earned both his MBA and his JD degrees from Northwestern and has worked in the healthcare and drug sectors for more than 30 years. 

Davis will take the helm after a choppy year for the company. In late January 2021, Merck announced it would end the development of two COVID-19 vaccine candidates after clinical trial data did not live up to expectations. The company’s stock has been largely falling ever since. 

More executives on the move…
  • Cristiano Amon is now President and CEO-Elect, Qualcomm Inc.
  • Louis Attanasio is now Chief Revenue Officer, Transact Holdings Inc.
  • Richard Baldridge is now President and CEO, Viasat Inc.
  • John Barbagallo is now Strategy Advisor, Progressive Corporation.
  • Amy Bunszel is now EVP, Architecture, Engineering and Construction Design Solutions Group, Autodesk, Inc.
  • Giuseppina Buonfantino is now VP, Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), Google Cloud.
  • James Burke is now President and CFO, Vistra Energy Corp.
  • Roland Busch is now Deputy CEO, Siemens AG.
  • David Campbell is now President and CEO, Evergy, Inc.
  • Sona Chawla is now Chief Growth and Innovation Officer, CDW Corporation.
  • Ivy Chin is now SVP and Chief Digital Officer, Sherwin-Williams Company.
  • David Chubak is now Head, US Retail Services (effective May 1, 2021), Citigroup Inc.
  • Fiona Cicconi is now Chief People Officer, Google LLC.
  • Richard Collopy is now VP, Business Applications and Strategic Programs, PowerSchool Group LLC.
  • Jordy De Vries is now Manager, Pricing and Business Control, Houthoff Coöperatief U.A.
  • Michael Del Casale is now SVP, Operations, Calpine Corporation.
  • Theodore Dosch is now EVP, Finance and Chief Transformation Officer, Anixter International Inc.
  • Luis Dueñas is now Executive Managing Director, Energy Transition, Sustainability & Technology and Deputy CEO, Repsol, S.A.
  • Bradley Elmenhurst is now VP, Strategy Programs, Dassault Systemes SE.
  • Darren Ercolani is now SVP, Business Transformation, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC.
  • Amy Evans is now SVP and Chief Accounting Officer, Hexcel Corporation.
  • David Fachetti is now Chief Strategy Officer, BitSight Technologies.
  • Daniel Finke is now President, Health Care Benefits Segment (HCB) and EVP, CVS Health Corporation.
  • Brian Gladden is now CFO, Zelis Healthcare, LLC.
  • Jason Goldberger is now CEO, Dollar Shave Club, Inc.
  • Michele Holcomb is now EVP, Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer, Cardinal Health, Inc.
  • Garrett Jackson is now VP, ESG and EHS, Devon Energy Corporation.
  • Mark Keim is now CFO, Molina Healthcare Inc.
  • Sean Kerins is now COO, Arrow Electronics, Inc.
  • Marla Kessler is now Advisor to the CEO, IQVIA Holdings Inc.
  • Lisa Knudsen is now SVP and Director, Treasury Management Operations, Arvest Bank.
  • Robert Kupbens is now Chief Product and Technology Officer, Neiman Marcus Group Ltd LLC.
  • Tolga Kurtoglu is now CTO and Global Head, HP Labs, HP Inc.
  • Stefan Larsson is now CEO, PVH Corp.
  • Timothy Leach is now EVP, Lower 48, ConocoPhillips Company.
  • Susan Ledger is now President, Worldwide Field Operations, Okta, Inc.
  • Steven Liles is now CIO, Corporate & Institutional Banking (C&IB), PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.
  • Hector Lima is now EVP, Customer Experience, Citrix Systems, Inc.
  • Gonzalo Luchetti is now Head, US Consumer Banking, Citigroup Inc.
  • Satish Malhotra is now President and CEO, Container Store Group Inc.
  • Paul McEwen is now Global Head, Infrastructure, Wells Fargo & Company
  • Michael McGarry is now VP, Governance and Risk, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.
  • Vineet Mehra is now Chief Growth and Customer Experience Officer, Good Eggs, Inc.
  • Kristi Melani is now VP, Global Growth Marketing, Anaplan, Inc.
  • Michael Mikula is now Director, Manufacturing, Vehicle Programs, Ford Motor Company.
  • Bryce Morrow is now Chief Corporate Officer, Beck Group.
  • Andy Nallappan is now CTO and Head, Software Business Operations, Broadcom Inc.
  • Andrew Novotny is now COO, Calpine Corporation.
  • Ryan Ostrom is now EVP and CMO, Jack in the Box Inc.
  • Abhay Parasnis is now EVP, CTO and Chief Product Officer, Document Cloud, Adobe Systems Inc.
  • Michelle Peluso is now Chief Customer Officer, CVS Health Corporation.
  • David Peranich is now President, Go-to-Market, Netskope.
  • Gerald Petkau is now SVP, Commercial Markets, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.
  • Robert Riesbeck is now EVP, Finance, Information Technology and Supply Chain Functions, Terminix Global Holdings, Inc.
  • Rachel Ruggeri is now EVP and CFO, Starbucks Corporation.
  • Nancy Quan is now SVP and Chief Technical Officer, Coca-Cola Company.
  • Malek Said is now Chief Corporate Strategy Officer, Affin Bank Berhad.
  • Anand Selvakesari is now CEO, Global Consumer Banking, Citigroup Inc.
  • Tracy Skeans is now Chief Operating and People Officer, Yum! Brands, Inc.
  • Christina Spade is now EVP and CFO, AMC Networks Inc.
  • Walter Strankman is now CEO, Integration Innovation, Inc.
  • Barbara Turner is now President and CEO, Ohio National Financial Services Inc.
    Steven Van Wyk is now Global CIO, HSBC Holdings plc.
  • Amy Weaver is now President and CFO, Salesforce.com Inc.
  • Kim Wismer is now CIO, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.
  • Lindsey Young is now Manager, Workplace Real Estate, Rivian Automotive.
  • William Zielinski is CIO, City of Dallas.
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Sharon Gillenwater

About the Author

Sharon Gillenwater

Sharon Gillenwater is the founder and editor-in-chief of Boardroom Insiders, which maintains an extensive database of the most in-depth executive profiles on the market, from Fortune 500 companies to independent non-profits, to help sales and marketing professionals build deeper relationships and close more deals with clients. Gillenwater is a long-time marketing consultant with expertise in marketing strategy, account-based marketing, and CXO engagement programs.