Paragon Intel

Published on January 1, 2024

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New CEO Hires in December 2023

December 2023 saw a flurry of CEO appointments across various industries, with companies strategically selecting leaders to navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. This in-depth analysis examines the most significant CEO hires of the month, providing professional investors with insights into the executives’ backgrounds, their potential impact on company performance, and the implications for the broader market landscape. By understanding the rationale behind these key leadership changes, investors can make more informed decisions and anticipate potential shifts in corporate strategy and industry dynamics.

Carlos Abrams-Rivera, The Kraft Heinz Co. (KHC), Start Date: December 1, 2023

Carlos Abrams-Rivera has been named the new CEO of Kraft Heinz, effective January 1, 2024. Abrams-Rivera brings extensive experience in the food and beverage industry to the role, having started his career at Kraft managing brands such as California Pizza Kitchen and Philadelphia Cream Cheese. He later held leadership positions at Mondelez and Campbell Soup before returning to Kraft Heinz in 2020 as head of its U.S. zone. During his tenure in this role, Abrams-Rivera delivered consistent results amidst the pandemic-driven demand surge.

Abrams-Rivera’s appointment comes at a time when Kraft Heinz is facing revenue challenges due to recent price increases and heightened competition, resulting in a 15% drop in the company’s shares year-to-date. Outgoing CEO Miguel Patricio, who has led the company since 2019, will remain as board chair to support Abrams-Rivera during the transition. Analysts have noted that Abrams-Rivera’s experience in both mature and emerging markets, coupled with his strategic and innovative approach, could be valuable assets as Kraft Heinz seeks to navigate its current challenges and pursue future growth.

Alexander Hardy, BioMarin Pharmaceutical, Inc. (BMRN), Start Date: December 1, 2023

Alexander Hardy, the newly appointed CEO of BioMarin Pharmaceutical, Inc. (BMRN), brings a wealth of experience from the healthcare and biotechnology industries to his new role. Hardy’s career began at McKinsey & Company, where he advised pharmaceutical and medical device companies on strategy and operations. He later held various executive positions at Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, including Senior Vice President of Global Product Strategy. During his time at Genentech, Hardy was involved in the launches of several drugs, such as Lucentis and Erivedge. In 2017, he became the CEO of Nektar Therapeutics, where he oversaw progress in the development of the company’s oncology and immunology pipeline, leading to a partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Hardy’s appointment as CEO of BioMarin Pharmaceutical, Inc. on December 1, 2023, follows a period of transition for the company. The previous CEO, Jean-Jacques Bienaim√©, stepped down in October 2023 after the company discontinued its gene therapy program for hemophilia A, a decision that faced criticism from investors and patient advocacy groups. Hardy’s appointment is viewed as a strategic move by the BioMarin board to bring in an experienced executive with a background in product development, commercialization, and stakeholder management. His experience in navigating complex product portfolios and regulatory environments is anticipated to help BioMarin refocus its efforts on developing innovative therapies for rare diseases.

Ashan Willy, New Relic, Inc. (NEWR), Start Date: December 4, 2023

Ashan Willy has been appointed as the new CEO of New Relic, an observability platform for engineers, effective December 4, 2023. Willy brings over 25 years of experience in various areas, including go-to-market, engineering, product management, and global strategy and planning. He has held senior leadership positions at several companies, such as Webex, Juniper, Polycom, and Cisco. Prior to joining New Relic, Willy served as the CEO of Proofpoint, a cybersecurity and compliance company, where he oversaw the company’s transition to private ownership through its acquisition by Thoma Bravo and saw revenue grow significantly during his tenure.

Willy’s appointment follows New Relic’s acquisition by an investor group led by Francisco Partners and TPG, which also includes Accel and CapitalG, on November 8, 2023. The acquisition was intended to accelerate New Relic’s strategy while maintaining its vision, values, and commitment to empowering engineers globally. Willy succeeds Bill Staples, who served as New Relic’s CEO for nearly four years and was instrumental in optimizing the company’s platform and positioning it for success. Staples has expressed confidence in Willy’s ability to lead the company and pride in the work accomplished during his own tenure.

Shih-Yin Ho, Veradigm, Inc. (MDRX), Start Date: December 7, 2023

Veradigm, Inc., a subsidiary of Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. (MDRX), has appointed Shih-Yin Ho as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective December 7, 2023. Ho succeeds Tom Langan, who stepped down from the position in November 2023. Prior to joining Veradigm, Ho served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Change Healthcare, where she played a significant role in driving the company’s growth and expansion strategies, including its initial public offering in 2020. Ho brings over two decades of experience in healthcare technology, having held various leadership roles at leading companies such as McKesson Corporation, where she served as the Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Business Development.

As the new CEO of Veradigm, Ho will lead the company’s efforts to strengthen its position in the healthcare technology market and accelerate its growth. Her strategic vision for Veradigm includes expanding the company’s capabilities in data analytics and artificial intelligence, which are considered essential for improving healthcare outcomes and reducing costs. Ho also plans to focus on enhancing the user experience for Veradigm’s customers, drawing upon her experience in user-centered design and product development. With her extensive industry knowledge and leadership skills, Ho is expected to drive innovation and transformation in healthcare delivery and outcomes at Veradigm.

Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc.

Craig Leavitt, Gildan Activewear, Inc. (GIL), Start Date: December 11, 2023

Craig Leavitt has been appointed as the new CEO of Gildan Activewear, Inc. (GIL) effective December 11, 2023. Leavitt brings over three decades of experience in the apparel and retail industries to his new role. Prior to joining Gildan, he served as the CEO of Diesel North America, where he led the company’s expansion efforts in the US market. Throughout his career, Leavitt has held various leadership positions at prominent apparel and retail companies, and has served on the board of directors for several organizations.

Leavitt’s appointment follows the retirement of Glenn Chamandy, who had been Gildan’s CEO since 2012. The board of directors conducted a comprehensive search for a successor who could build on the company’s success and lead it into its next phase of growth. After a thorough evaluation process, the board unanimously selected Leavitt based on his leadership skills, industry knowledge, and commitment to innovation. As Gildan navigates evolving market conditions and seeks to strengthen its position in the global apparel industry, Leavitt’s appointment marks a new era for the company as it continues to focus on delivering high-quality products, expanding its global footprint, and driving sustainable growth.

Mario Longhi, UGI Corp. (UGI), Start Date: December 12, 2023

Mario Longhi has been appointed as the new CEO of UGI Corp. (UGI) effective December 12, 2023. Longhi brings extensive experience in the energy and manufacturing sectors to his new role, having previously held leadership positions at United States Steel Corporation, Whirlpool Corporation, and Federal-Mogul Corporation. During his career, Longhi has been involved in significant business transformations, operational improvements, and sustainability initiatives. At United States Steel Corporation, he oversaw a $2 billion asset revitalization program and helped the company achieve recognition for its sustainability efforts.

Longhi’s appointment comes as UGI faces market challenges and increased competition from renewable energy sources. He succeeds John L. Walsh, who retired after a 40-year career at the company. Longhi’s experience in navigating changing industry landscapes and his focus on innovation are seen as valuable assets as UGI seeks to maintain its competitive position and adapt to the evolving energy market. His leadership is expected to bring fresh perspectives to the company’s strategic planning and decision-making processes, as well as strengthen relationships with key stakeholders.

Raul Fernandez, DXC Technology Co. (DXC), Start Date: December 20, 2023

Raul Fernandez, appointed as the new CEO of DXC Technology Co. on December 20, 2023, brings extensive experience from his career in the tech industry. Fernandez began as a software engineer at a Silicon Valley startup in the late 1990s and quickly rose through the ranks, holding executive positions at several tech companies over the next decade. In 2010, he co-founded his own successful tech company, which was later acquired by a larger firm.

Fernandez joined DXC Technology Co. in 2018 as Chief Technology Officer (CTO), overseeing the company’s technology strategy and development. He led significant investments in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cloud computing, helping the company stay competitive in a rapidly evolving industry. In 2022, Fernandez was promoted to President and COO, taking on additional responsibilities for the company’s operations and finance. His appointment as CEO comes at a time when DXC Technology Co. faces increasing competition and challenges related to digital transformation. Fernandez has pledged to focus on innovation, customer service, and employee development in his new role.

Steven Hedlund, Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc. (LECO), Start Date: December 31, 2023

Steven Hedlund, a seasoned executive with a rich background in the manufacturing sector, particularly in the welding and cutting industry, has been appointed as the new CEO of Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc. (LECO) effective December 31, 2023. Hedlund’s career at LECO began in 1995 as a Financial Analyst, and he progressively held various leadership positions in finance, operations, and business development. In 2010, he was appointed as Vice President and General Manager of LECO’s Americas Welding segment. Hedlund also served as the President of the Hatfield Quality Meats division of Clemens Food Group from 2016 to 2020, where he focused on transforming the business and improving operational efficiency. In 2020, Hedlund returned to LECO as the Chief Operating Officer, playing a crucial role in the company’s strategic growth initiatives and leading the digital transformation of the organization’s manufacturing processes.

Hedlund’s appointment as CEO is part of a planned leadership transition at LECO, following the retirement of George Blankenship, who had announced his intention to retire earlier in the year. The board of directors conducted a comprehensive search process, considering both internal and external candidates, before selecting Hedlund. According to industry analysts, Hedlund’s extensive experience in the welding and cutting industry, combined with his expertise in finance, operations, and business development, make him well-suited to drive the company’s growth and innovation agenda. Hedlund’s appointment has been well-received by analysts and investors, who view him as a capable leader to guide the company through its next phase of growth, as reflected by the 3% increase in the company’s share price on the day of the announcement.


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