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Executives on the Move – Stellantis starts its engines, Virgin Galactic stalls

March 12, 2021

A lot can change in a year — particularly in a year like we just had — and in the C-suite, change is the only constant. 

Executives in many industries are leveling up and moving on as the world slowly gets back to normal, and we’ve got the latest across industries and sectors. These are some of the most interesting changes we’ve seen lately. 

GameStop CFO steps down amidst turmoil 

gamestop_logoAmidst the now-infamous GameStop short squeeze, the retailer is also undergoing a major transition in its C-suite. The company recently announced executive vice president and CFO Jim Bell would resign on March 26. Bell joined the company in 2019 and has helped oversee the closure of hundreds of locations.

The news comes after a bizarre and high-profile Q1 for GameStop. The video game chain has seen its share price surge tenfold since January, thanks to the saga, in which savvy day traders on Reddit initiated a run on GameStop stock, forcing short sellers to cover at a higher price. 

This saga has been playing out for weeks, with celebrities and Congress jumping in on the action. Meanwhile, critics have encouraged GameStop to cash in on the craziness and issue more shares, like movie theater giant AMC. 

GameStop has hired an executive search firm to find a new CFO who can help accelerate its transformation. In the meantime, the company has said that SVP and Chief Accounting Officer Diana Jajeh will serve as interim CFO.

Virgin Galactic: Do we have liftoff? 

Screen Shot 2021-03-12 at 4.29.42 PMCommercial space flight has long captured the imaginations of investors and potential customers. Virgin Galactic has been working to make space tourism a reality for more than a decade, but that reality has proven elusive.  

In recent years, the company seemed to be gaining traction, with a public listing in 2019 and several planned test flights. But delays and safety concerns have slowed that momentum. 

In February, Virgin Galactic announced the departure of CFO Jon Campagna hours before releasing its Q4 earnings report. His replacement was Doug Ahrens, the former CFO of semiconductor provider Mellanox, now a subsidiary of Nvidia. 

This month, the company announced that CEO and chief space officer George Whitesides had left the company. Whitesides, the former NASA chief of staff, served as Virgin Galactic’s CEO from 2010 to 2020. Now he plans to pursue opportunities in public service and is expected to serve as chair of the company’s space advisory board.

Stellantis staffs up after merger 

The automotive world is changing, and many car brands are changing with it. This year brings a new name to auto manufacturing: Stellantis. 

Now the fifth largest automaker by market cap, Stellantis was created through the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Peugeot parent company Groupe PSA. The deal, which took effect in January 2021, brings more than a dozen makes such as Dodge, Jeep, Maserati and Citroën under one portfolio. 

The company is led by CEO Carlos Tavares. Previously, Tavares served as chairman of the PSA managing board and worked for more than three decades at Renault, ascending to COO. In his free time, Tavares is an avid fan of Formula 1 racing and an amateur race car driver himself. Numerous hires also have taken place in Q1.

Going forward, Stellantis reportedly plans to concentrate its U.S. efforts on Dodge, Chrysler and Alfa Romeo, and it has backed down from selling Peugeot stateside. While some wonder where Chrysler fits in the company’s plans with slumping sales, so far Stellantis is standing by the American brand. Tavares recently visited Detroit plants and gave the Chrysler his vote of confidence. 

More executives on the move…
  • Donald Allan is now President and CFO, Stanley Black & Decker, Inc.
  • Nicole Anasenes is now CFO and SVP, Finance, Ansys Inc.
  • Kirkland Andrews is now EVP and CFO, Evergy, Inc.
  • Martin Bally is now Chief Information Security Officer, Stellantis N.V.
  • Michael Brown is now President and CEO, Travel + Leisure Co. 
  • Stephanie Buscemi is now CMO, Confluent, Inc.
  • Hendrikus Derksen is now EVP and CFO (effective March 15, 2021), Viavi Solutions Inc.
  • Trish Donnelly is now CEO, Americas, PVH Corp.
  • Chad Doyle is now Global IT Director, Connected Vehicle Programs & Product Development Systems, Stellantis N.V.
  • Elizabeth Dreyer is now SVP and Chief Accounting Officer, Travel + Leisure Co.
  • Patrick Dumont is now President and COO, Las Vegas Sands Corp.
  • Jason Ewing is now CIO, Universal Health Services, Inc.
  • Olivier Francois is now Brand CEO, Fiat, Abarth, Global CMO, Stellantis N.V.
  • Jane Fraser is now CEO, Citigroup Inc.
  • Nicholas Gangestad is now SVP and CFO, Rockwell Automation Inc.
  • Patrick Gelsinger is now CEO, Intel Corporation.
  • Ralph Gilles is now Chief Design Officer, Stellantis N.V.
  • Robert Goldstein is now CEO, Las Vegas Sands Corp.
  • Pietro Gorlier is now Chief Parts and Services Officer, Stellantis N.V.
  • Davide Grasso is now Brand CEO, Maserati S.p.A., Stellantis N.V.
  • Phil Hartling is now Lead, Service Area Expansion, Rogers Communications Inc.
  • Stuart Haselden is now CEO, Arc'teryx Equipment, Amer Sports Corporation.
  • Laurie Havanec is now EVP and Chief People Officer, CVS Health Corporation.
  • Michael Hug is now EVP and CFO, Travel + Leisure Co.
  • David Hurtado is now Chief Procurement Officer, Western Union Company.
  • Michael Jones is now EVP and Co-CIO, Global Technology, Chubb Limited.
  • Chris Kaddaras is now Chief Revenue Officer, Nutanix, Inc.
  • Danielle Keighery is now Chief Customer Officer, Bank of Queensland Limited.
  • Donnie King is now COO, Tyson Foods Inc.
  • Mary Ann Kirsch is now Director, Business Development, Stellantis N.V.
  • Jody Kissling is now VP, Marketing, Grayshift, LLC.
  • David Kornberg is now President and CEO (effective March 15, 2021), Maurices.
  • Stan Kreydin is now CTO and Chief Information Security Officer, Travel + Leisure Co.
  • Stephanie Linnartz is now President, Marriott International Inc.
  • Michael Manley is now Head, Americas, Stellantis N.V.
  • Jennifer Manry is now VP, Financial Services Global Industries Group, VMware, Inc.
  • Kevin McAuliffe is now VP, Digital Transformation and Delivery, Travel + Leisure Co.
  • Harmeen Mehta is now Chief Digital and Innovation Officer, BT Group Plc.
  • Scott Millard is now Head, Enterprise Acquisition, Dell Technologies Inc.
  • Laura Miller is now CIO (effective March 15, 2021), Macy's, Inc.
  • Lance Moll is now President and CEO, FedEx Freight, FedEx Corporation.
  • Marie Myers is now CFO, HP Inc.
  • Richard Palmer is now Group CFO, Stellantis N.V.
  • Geoffrey Richards is now COO, Wyndham Vacation Clubs, Travel + Leisure Co.
  • Mark Rittenbaum is now EVP & Senior Advisor to Chairman and CEO, Greenbrier Companies, Inc.
  • Philippe de Rovira is now Chief Affiliates Officer, Stellantis N.V.
  • Maria Shields is now SVP, Administration, Ansys Inc.
  • Timothy Skeen is now SVP and Enterprise CIO, Sentara Healthcare.
  • Carl Smiley is now COO, India and Asia Pacific, Stellantis N.V.
  • John Smith is now President and CEO-elect, FedEx Ground, FedEx Corporation
  • Mark Stewart is now COO, North America, Stellantis N.V.
  • Christoph Wedermann is now EVP and CIO, J.D. Power and Associates.
  • Harald Wester is now Chief Engineering Officer, Stellantis N.V.
  • Julia White is now Chief Marketing and Solutions Officer, SAP SE.
  • Peter Zaffino is now President and CEO, American International Group, Inc.
Each executive featured here has an in-depth profile available in the Boardroom Insiders platform. Not a customer? Click here to learn more.

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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.