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Executives on the Move: Starbucks high-profile hire, CVS feels shakeup

December 14, 2020

For C-suite executives, 2020 has been a wild ride. Between a pandemic, warp-speed digitization and a presidential election, this has been a year of monumental change.

In the wake of all this transformation, many corporate leaders are finding new opportunities. Looking ahead to 2021, here are some of these most interesting executive hires we’ve seen in recent weeks. 

Starbucks promotes finance executive to board chair 

Starbucks_Logo_Hi-resImproving diversity in the C-suite has been one key thread of 2020, particularly company boards. This month, Nasdaq submitted a proposal to the Securities and Exchanges Commission that would require thousands of participating companies to prioritize appointing women and other minorities to board positions. 

In the meantime, Starbucks is leading the way. On Dec. 9, the coffee chain announced that finance leader Mellody Hobson would assume the role of board chair in March 2021. Hobson, a Black woman, has been a fixture on the Starbucks board since 2005, most recently serving as vice chair. 

Hobson is co-CEO and president of Ariel Investments, an investment firm with a focus on small to mid-cap companies. At Ariel, Hobson began as an intern and climbed the corporate ladder over the past three decades. She has been featured in the Time 100 and is married to “Star Wars” director George Lucas. She also serves on the board at JPMorgan Chase. 

CVS steels itself for new competition 

CVS_Health_Neela_MontgomeryCVS Health has a new challenger: Amazon is waiting in the wings. 

While Amazon has been readying its new e-commerce pharmacy, CVS has undergone considerable change. In recent years, CVS assumed billions in debt to buy insurance leader Aetna, a landmark merger that finished working its way through the court system last year. 

This year, a boardroom shakeup began with the company’s pharmacy and insurance businesses hanging in the balance. Pharmacy head Kevin Hourican left the company for the CEO job at Sysco, and chief merchandising officer Judith Sansone followed suit. In November, CVS announced that president and CEO Larry Merlo would retire in 2021, and Aetna executive and CVS Health EVP Karen Lynch would take his place

This month, the company went outside and named former Crate & Barrel CEO Neela Montgomery to the role of EVP and President of CVS Pharmacy and Retail. Montgomery brings multichannel experience to the position. She was noted for “continued sales growth” at Crate & Barrel, which is privately held, and that experience could prove critical in the face of incoming pressure from Amazon. 

Dick’s Sporting Goods names first new CEO in decades

Screen Shot 2020-12-11 at 10.25.52 AMEd Stack has had quite the run. Since taking the helm in 1984, the longtime CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods transformed his father’s business into a publicly traded household name. Now, Stack is stepping down as CEO, effective Feb. 1. He will retain the role of executive chairman and chief merchant.  

His replacement will be company President Lauren Hobart. Hobart, a former PepsiCo executive, came to Dick’s in 2011 and was named president in 2017. Earlier in her career, Hobart had previous stops at JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo. She was named a member of the board of directors at Yum! Brands this year. 

Unlike other retail leaders, Dick’s has weathered the economic storm from COVID-19 rather well, with increasing in-store and digital sales. The reason? Home has become the new gym as consumers stock up on athletic apparel and fitness products to stay in shape.  

More executives on the move…

  • Bertrand-Marc Allen is now Chief Strategy Officer, Boeing Company.
  • David Burns is now Group Executive, Enterprise, Telstra Corporation Limited.
  • Scott Collary is now COO, Westpac Banking Corporation.
  • Robert Coppola is now CTO, Envestnet, Inc.
  • Joanne Crevoiserat is now CEO, Tapestry, Inc.
  • Suzy Deering is now Global CMO (effective January 4, 2021), Ford Motor Company.
  • Patrick Dodd is now Chief Operating and Growth Officer, CoreLogic, Inc.
  • Shay Dvoretzky is now Head, Supreme Court and Appellate Litigation Practice Group, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.
  • Geraldine French-Hull is now VP, Client Services, North America, Gucci, Kering
  • Fabian Garcia is now President, North America, Unilever NV.
  • Matthew Gonterman is now CTO, Coyote Logistics, LLC.
  • Andrew Goodwin is now System VP, Technology and Information Security, Covenant Health Systems.
  • Sheila Goodwin is now VP, Information Security, UKG Inc.
  • Joel Grade is now EVP, Business Development, SYSCO Corporation.
  • Ralph Hamers is now CEO, UBS Group AG.
  • David Heard is now CEO, Infinera Corporation.
  • William Hicks is now Chief Relationship Officer, UKG Inc.
  • Yuzo Ishikawa is now Representative Director, President and Co-CEO, Jupiter Telecommunications Co., Ltd. and EVP, KDDI Corporation.
  • Rahul Jalali is now SVP and CIO, Union Pacific Corporation.
  • Jody Kaminsky is now CMO, UKG Inc.
  • Martha King is now Chief Client Officer, EVP and Head, Mid-Atlantic Retirement Services CoE, Infosys Limited.
  • David Lamont is now CFO, BHP Group.
  • Scott Lane is now CFO, ThreeBridge Solutions, LLC.
  • Gottfred Langseth is now EVP and CFO, PGS ASA.
  • Talvis Love is now SVP and CIO, Baxter International Inc.
  • Steven May is now VP, Technology and Product Development, UKG Inc.
  • Anthony Mauro is now President, Developed Markets, Viatris.
  • Sofia Merlo is now Head, Group Human Resources, BNP Paribas.
  • Jamie Moldafsky is now Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Nielsen Holdings PLC.
  • Stephanie Nehmens is now Managing Director, Home Point Financial Corporation.
  • Karen Renner is now SVP and CIO, Veritiv Corporation.
  • Vijay Sankaran is now Chief Software and Information Officer, Ford Motor Company.
  • BJ Schaknowski is now CEO, symplr
  • Paul Schmiedel is now VP, Chief Privacy and Risk Officer, UKG Inc.
  • Hervé Sedky is now President and CEO (effective January 5, 2021), Emerald X, LLC.
  • Teddy Seidman is now Head, Strategic Partnerships, New Verticals, Instacart.
  • Kenneth Sharp is now EVP and CFO, DXC Technology Company.
  • Jim Swanson is now EVP and CFO, Columbia Sportswear Company.
  • Juliet Tainui-Hernandez is now Assistant Governor and General Manager, Transformation and People, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
  • Timothy Tindle is now CIO and Chief Information Security Officer, Spok, Inc., Spok Holdings, Inc.
  • Tayfun Tuzun is now Deputy CFO, BMO Financial Group.
  • Lance Tucker is now CFO, CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc.
  • Tiffany Warren is now EVP, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Sony Music Entertainment, Sony Corporation.
  • Cassandra Willis-Abner is now Chief Human Resources Officer, Press Ganey Holdings, Inc.
  • Christopher Womack is now President, Georgia Power Company. 

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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.