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Published on March 1, 2024

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New CEO Hires in February 2024

February 2024 saw a series of notable CEO appointments across various industries, providing valuable insights into the strategic direction and leadership changes within these companies. This in-depth analysis examines the background and experience of the newly appointed CEOs, the challenges they face in their respective roles, and the potential impact of their leadership on the companies’ future performance and market positioning. By exploring these key executive transitions, investors can gain a clearer understanding of the evolving corporate landscape and make more informed decisions in their investment strategies.

Kim Kelderman, Bio-Techne Corp. (TECH), Start Date: February 1, 2024

Kim Kelderman assumed the role of CEO at Bio-Techne Corp. (TECH) on February 1, 2024, succeeding the company’s long-standing CEO, Chuck Kummeth, who retired. Kelderman brings to the position a wealth of experience in the life sciences and diagnostics industries, having held leadership roles at several prominent companies in the sector. She began her career at Janssen Pharmaceutica, where she spent over a decade in various positions, including Global Project Director for Drug Delivery Systems. Kelderman later joined Qiagen as Vice President of Business Development and Licensing, where she was responsible for shaping the company’s strategic partnerships and alliances. Most recently, she served as Vice President and General Manager for the Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry Division at Thermo Fisher Scientific, overseeing a significant portion of the company’s analytical instruments business.

Kelderman’s educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium and an MBA from the Vlerick Business School. The board of directors at Bio-Techne Corp. unanimously selected Kelderman for the CEO position, citing her deep industry knowledge, strategic acumen, and strong leadership skills. As the company navigates the rapidly evolving landscape of the life sciences and diagnostics sectors, Kelderman’s experience in driving business growth, forging strategic partnerships, and leading innovation is expected to be valuable in positioning Bio-Techne for continued success.

Steve Vondran, American Tower Corp. (AMT), Start Date: February 1, 2024

Steve Vondran has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of American Tower Corp. (AMT) effective February 1, 2024. Vondran brings over two decades of experience in the telecommunications industry, having held various leadership positions at Sprint Corporation, including Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis, President of the Enterprise Solutions division, and Chief Operating Officer. During his tenure as COO, Vondran played a key role in the merger negotiations between Sprint and T-Mobile, which was completed in 2020. Following the merger, he served as the Executive Vice President of Tower Strategy and Operations at T-Mobile, where he led the integration of the two companies’ tower assets and developed strategies to optimize the combined company’s network infrastructure.

Vondran’s appointment follows the retirement of Tom Bartlett, who had been with American Tower Corp. since 2001 and served as CEO since 2012. The company faces increasing competition in the wireless infrastructure market, and Vondran’s extensive experience in network operations and tower strategy is expected to help AMT maintain its market position and continue its growth trajectory. With the rollout of 5G networks and the increasing demand for wireless connectivity, American Tower Corp. is positioned to play a critical role in the development of the next generation of wireless infrastructure.

Michael Rhodes, Discover Financial Services (DFS), Start Date: February 1, 2024

Michael G. Rhodes, an executive with over 25 years of experience in the financial industry, has been appointed as the new CEO of Ally Financial, effective April 29, 2024. Rhodes previously served as the CEO and President of Discover Financial Services from December 2023 until his resignation on April 1, 2024, following the announcement of Capital One’s acquisition of Discover in February 2024. He will serve as an advisor to Discover’s interim CEO, J. Michael Shepherd, until April 12, 2024. Prior to his role at Discover, Rhodes spent approximately 12 years at TD Bank, where he held various leadership positions, including Group Head for Canadian Personal Banking, Group Head of Innovation, Technology and Shared Services, and leading the North American credit card and merchant services business.

Rhodes’ departure from Discover comes at a time when the company faces regulatory scrutiny over past business practices and the proposed acquisition by Capital One, which has drawn criticism from lawmakers concerned about concentration in the banking industry. The acquisition is expected to close later this year or early next, pending regulatory approvals. As Ally Financial’s new CEO, Rhodes brings extensive experience in retail products, credit card and merchant services, and leveraging emerging technologies, which he gained during his tenure at TD Bank and his brief stint at Discover.

Doug Timmerman, Ally Financial, Inc. (ALLY), Start Date: February 1, 2024

Doug Timmerman began his career at Ally Financial, Inc. (ALLY) in 1993, participating in the company’s management development program. Over the next two decades, he held various leadership positions, including managing director of auto finance, president of auto finance, and president of insurance. During his tenure, Timmerman played a key role in driving growth and innovation within the company’s auto finance and insurance divisions. His strategic leadership and deep understanding of the financial services industry have earned him recognition within Ally Financial, Inc. and the broader financial community.

Before being appointed as CEO, Timmerman served as the president of Ally’s insurance business, where he oversaw a period of growth and expansion. Under his leadership, the insurance division expanded its product offerings and developed new partnerships, contributing to the company’s overall financial performance. Timmerman’s success in this role, along with his extensive experience within the company, positioned him as a strong candidate for the CEO position. As he assumes the role of CEO on February 1, 2024, succeeding Jeffrey Brown, Timmerman is expected to continue Ally Financial, Inc.’s growth and innovation, building on the company’s strong foundation in auto finance and insurance.

Frank Lonegro, Landstar System, Inc. (LSTR), Start Date: February 2, 2024

On February 2, 2024, Landstar System, Inc. announced the appointment of Frank A. Lonegro as its new President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Lonegro brings a wealth of experience in finance, operations, and technology to the role, having held prominent positions at large, publicly traded organizations. His background is considered by Landstar’s Board of Directors to be well-suited for the company’s needs in the fast-paced freight transportation industry.

Lonegro succeeds James B. Gattoni, who had a nearly 30-year career with Landstar. During his tenure, Gattoni made significant contributions to the company’s growth and success, establishing Landstar as a leading transportation logistics provider. Gattoni expressed confidence in Lonegro’s ability to lead the company, citing his experience and understanding of the industry. Lonegro, in turn, acknowledged the honor of following in Gattoni’s footsteps and expressed his commitment to building on Landstar’s success.

Kirk Tanner, The Wendy’s Co. (WEN), Start Date: February 5, 2024

Kirk Tanner, the newly appointed CEO of The Wendy’s Company (WEN), brings over three decades of experience in the quick-service restaurant industry to his new role. Tanner began his career in 1988 as a manager at Taco Bell, a Yum! Brands subsidiary, and held various leadership positions in operations, development, and franchising. In 2002, he joined Yum! Brands’ Pizza Hut division, serving as Chief Operating Officer for the United States and Canada. Tanner transitioned to The Wendy’s Company in 2014 as Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, overseeing the company’s global operations and implementing initiatives to improve restaurant efficiency, customer experience, and sustainability.

Tanner’s appointment as CEO, effective on February 5, 2024, comes as part of a planned leadership transition following the departure of Todd Penegor after a seven-year tenure. As CEO, Tanner will focus on continuing Wendy’s growth and expansion by building on the company’s foundation of quality food, innovative marketing, and customer-centric approach. He will oversee the implementation of strategic initiatives, including the acceleration of the company’s breakfast daypart, enhancing digital and delivery capabilities, and expanding the global footprint. Tanner will face challenges in the highly competitive quick-service restaurant industry, such as navigating the ongoing labor shortage, managing rising food costs, and adapting to changing consumer preferences.

Nacho Abia, Grifols SA (GRF), Start Date: February 5, 2024

Nacho Abia has been appointed as the new CEO of Grifols SA (GRF) effective February 5, 2024, succeeding Victor Grifols, who stepped down after 22 years leading the multinational healthcare company. Abia assumes this role during a time of significant change within the healthcare industry and amidst the ongoing challenges presented by the global pandemic. His appointment is part of a succession plan aimed at ensuring a smooth transition and maintaining the company’s forward momentum.

Abia brings to Grifols a wealth of experience from his previous roles in the healthcare sector. He most recently served as CEO of Acelity, a medical technology company, where he was responsible for global operations and growth strategies. During his time at Acelity, the company achieved notable milestones, such as the integration of Kinetic Concepts Inc. and the introduction of new products in the wound care market. Before his tenure at Acelity, Abia held various leadership positions at Medtronic, including Vice President and General Manager of the Spinal and Biologics division and Vice President of Global Marketing for the Spinal business.

J Erik Fyrwald, International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc. (IFF), Start Date: February 6, 2024

J. Erik Fyrwald has been appointed as the new CEO of International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc. (IFF). Fyrwald brings over 35 years of experience in the chemical and agriculture industries to his new role. He previously served as the CEO of Syngenta from 2016 to 2020 and as the CEO of Univar from 2012 to 2016. During his tenures at these companies, Fyrwald implemented strategies that aimed to drive growth, expand market presence, and improve financial performance.

Fyrwald’s appointment comes as IFF, a global creator of flavors and fragrances for various industries, seeks to further its commitment to sustainability, innovation, and delivering value to its stakeholders. While the specific circumstances surrounding Fyrwald’s hiring have not been disclosed, his extensive background in the chemical and agriculture sectors, as well as his experience in leading executive teams and fostering collaborative cultures, are likely to be factors that contributed to his selection as IFF’s new CEO.

Chris Thomas, Paycom Software, Inc. (PAYC), Start Date: February 7, 2024

Paycom Software, Inc. (PAYC) announced the appointment of Chris Thomas as its new CEO, effective February 7, 2024. Thomas brings extensive experience in the software and technology industries, with a particular focus on human capital management (HCM) and cloud-based solutions. His previous roles include serving as Chief Operating Officer at Ultimate Software, where he was responsible for operations, customer service, and professional services. Thomas has also held leadership positions at Workday, Oracle, and SAP, where he gained experience in product development, sales, marketing, and leading cross-functional teams.

Thomas’s appointment follows the departure of former CEO Scott McFarlin in January 2024, amid concerns from shareholders regarding the company’s financial performance and growth strategy. The Paycom board of directors conducted a search for a new leader who could address the company’s current challenges and position it for long-term success. Thomas’s track record in the HCM and cloud-based solutions space, as well as his experience in scaling businesses and driving profitability, were factors in his selection for the role.

BK Kalra, Genpact Ltd. (G), Start Date: February 9, 2024

Genpact Ltd. announced on Monday, April 29, 2024, that BK Kalra has been appointed as the company’s new CEO. Kalra, who joined Genpact in 2008, has held various leadership positions within the company, most recently serving as Chief Operating Officer (COO) since 2020. In his previous roles at Genpact, Kalra has been involved in driving the company’s growth and operational strategies. Prior to joining Genpact, Kalra held leadership positions at IBM and Cognizant, where he was responsible for overseeing the delivery of services to clients in the Asia Pacific region and expanding the company’s presence in the banking and financial services sector, respectively.

Kalra’s appointment comes as Genpact aims to navigate the evolving business landscape and strengthen its position as a provider of digital transformation services. With his extensive experience in the technology and services industry, Kalra is expected to lead Genpact in its next phase of growth, focusing on delivering digital solutions to clients and driving operational excellence. Analysts have noted that Kalra’s track record of delivering results in his previous roles positions him well to take on the challenges and opportunities facing Genpact in the coming years.

Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue Airways Corp. (JBLU), Start Date: February 12, 2024

Joanna Geraghty has been appointed as the new CEO of JetBlue Airways Corp. (JBLU) effective February 12, 2024. Geraghty brings a wealth of experience to the role, having joined JetBlue in 2005 and held various leadership positions within the company, most recently serving as president. In this capacity, she was instrumental in shaping JetBlue’s strategic direction and overseeing its daily operations. Prior to joining JetBlue, Geraghty spent nearly a decade at Northwest Airlines, where she held several positions in the legal department, gaining expertise in labor relations, regulatory affairs, and commercial agreements.

Geraghty’s appointment comes as JetBlue navigates the ongoing challenges faced by the airline industry, including the impact of the pandemic and the increasing focus on sustainable travel. She succeeds Robin Hayes, who stepped down from the CEO position to pursue other opportunities. As CEO, Geraghty will be responsible for leading JetBlue through its next phase of growth and innovation, building on the company’s reputation for exceptional customer service, expanding its network, and enhancing its sustainability efforts.

Paddy Srinivasan, DigitalOcean Holdings, Inc. (DOCN), Start Date: February 12, 2024

Paddy Srinivasan, the newly appointed CEO of DigitalOcean Holdings, Inc., brings over 25 years of experience in the technology industry to his role. Srinivasan began his career as a developer at Microsoft before moving to Oracle and later co-founding Opstera, a cloud monitoring and managed service provider that was eventually sold to Avanade. He also served as the General Manager of the data and learning machine that powers Alexa at Amazon. Srinivasan’s extensive experience in cloud technology and operational execution has been acknowledged by industry observers.

Srinivasan assumed the role of CEO at DigitalOcean on February 12, 2024, succeeding Yancey Spruill, who had led the company since 2019. During the company’s Q4 ’23 Earnings call on February 21, 2024, DigitalOcean reported a net income of $15.9 million, up from a loss of $10.3 million in the previous year, and revenue of $180.87 million, surpassing estimates. Under Srinivasan’s leadership, DigitalOcean has emphasized AI technology, as evident in the acquisition of Paperspace, an AI machine learning application platform that has expanded the company’s addressable market.

Neil Barua, PTC, Inc. (PTC), Start Date: February 14, 2024

Neil Barua, a veteran of the technology industry with extensive experience in the SaaS sector, has been appointed as the CEO of PTC. Before assuming this role, Barua served as the Chief Executive Officer at ServiceMax, where he led the company to become a prominent provider of cloud-native, product-centric field service management (FSM) software. His transition to PTC’s top leadership position was set in motion when PTC acquired ServiceMax in January 2023.

PTC announced Barua as the successor to Jim Heppelmann in February 2024, following a strategic decision by the company. During the transition period, Barua has been actively involved in PTC’s operations and strategy, including securing a significant new partnership with Volkswagen Group. In this collaboration, PTC will act as a strategic supplier for the automotive giant, focusing on the adoption of PTC’s Codebeamer Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) solution to support the software development of Volkswagen’s next generation of electric vehicles. As CEO, Barua has emphasized the importance of executing PTC’s strategy to drive consistent customer and shareholder value, highlighting the company’s unique market position and its ability to support closed-loop product life cycle management across various domains.

Siva Sivaram, QuantumScape Corp. (QS), Start Date: February 15, 2024

QuantumScape Corp. announced a leadership transition on [date], with Siva Sivaram assuming the role of CEO, succeeding Jagdeep Singh, who will continue to serve as the Chairman of the Board. Sivaram joined QuantumScape as President in September 2023, bringing with him extensive experience from his previous roles in the semiconductor and data storage industry. His background includes serving as the President of Western Digital Corp., where he was responsible for corporate strategy and technology, as well as holding leadership positions at SanDisk, Twin Creek Technologies, Intel, and Matrix Semiconductor.

Sivaram holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in materials science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the National Institute of Technology. Over the past year, QuantumScape has achieved several milestones, including improvements to components and processes necessary for transitioning from prototype to product, strengthening its balance sheet through a follow-on offering, enhancing relationships with OEM partners, and announcing its first planned commercial product, QSE-5. As CEO, Sivaram’s primary focus will be to oversee the transition of QuantumScape’s battery design into high-volume production.

Bhupender Singh, Teleperformance SE (TEP), Start Date: February 15, 2024

Bhupender Singh, the newly appointed CEO of Teleperformance SE (TEP), brings a wealth of experience and strategic leadership to the company. Singh’s educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. His career began at McKinsey & Company, where he spent six years working on projects in the technology, media, and telecommunications sectors. Singh then transitioned to the corporate world, holding leadership positions at Nokia and Sutherland Global Services, where he demonstrated his ability to drive growth and digital transformation.

Singh’s appointment as CEO of Teleperformance SE, effective February 15, 2024, comes following the retirement of Daniel Julien, who led the company for 23 years. The board of directors conducted a thorough succession planning process and unanimously agreed that Singh was the ideal candidate to lead the company into its next phase of growth. As CEO, Singh plans to focus on accelerating the company’s digital transformation, expanding its presence in high-growth markets, and prioritizing sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

Michael Iskra, QuidelOrtho Corp. (QDEL), Start Date: February 21, 2024

Michael Iskra has been appointed as the interim CEO of QuidelOrtho Corp. (QDEL) following the termination of former CEO Douglas Bryant. Iskra brings over 30 years of experience in the healthcare diagnostics industry to his new role. He has been serving as the Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at QuidelOrtho since May 2022, and prior to that, he held various leadership positions at Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, including Executive Vice President of Commercial Excellence and Strategy and President of North America Commercial Operations.

Iskra’s appointment comes as QuidelOrtho has decided to reduce its global workforce by less than 10% in an effort to cut costs and focus on growth opportunities in areas such as molecular diagnostics. During a recent presentation to investors, Iskra announced the acceleration of a previously planned headcount reduction, which the company aims to complete by the end of Q2 2024. The decision to terminate Douglas Bryant, who had been serving as CEO since QuidelOrtho’s inception following the $6 billion acquisition of Ortho Clinical Diagnostics by Quidel in May 2022, was made by the Board of Directors after a comprehensive evaluation, citing the need for a change in leadership to enhance operational efficiency, drive revenue growth, and deliver shareholder value.

Benjamin Fowke, American Electric Power Co., Inc. (AEP), Start Date: February 26, 2024

Benjamin G.S. Fowke III has been named the interim CEO and President of American Electric Power (AEP) following the departure of Julie A. Sloat. Fowke, who joined AEP’s Board of Directors in February 2022, brings a wealth of experience from his tenure at Xcel Energy, where he served as chairman and CEO for over a decade before retiring in August 2021. His leadership roles at Xcel Energy also included positions such as chief operating officer and chief financial officer, providing him with a comprehensive understanding of the utility industry.

The Board’s decision to appoint a new CEO was driven by the desire to lead AEP into its next chapter, building upon the company’s existing strengths in portfolio management, customer and community support, capital plan execution, grid reliability and resiliency, and the ongoing transformation of its generation fleet. Fowke’s background in operations, finance, regulatory policy, and sustainability, combined with his involvement in shaping AEP’s strategy as a board member and chair of the Finance Committee, positions him to guide the company during this transitional period while the Board searches for a permanent successor.

Adam Miller, Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings, Inc. (KNX), Start Date: February 27, 2024

Adam Miller has been appointed as the new CEO of Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings, Inc. (KNX) effective February 27, 2024. Miller assumes the role following the retirement of David Jackson, who served as the company’s CEO for 12 years. Miller brings over two decades of experience in the transportation industry to his new position, having held various leadership roles at Knight-Swift and its subsidiaries since 2002. He began his career at Knight Transportation as a Regional Manager and progressively advanced through the organization, holding positions such as Vice President of Operations and Senior Vice President of Operations. In 2017, when Knight Transportation merged with Swift Transportation, Miller was appointed as the COO of the combined entity, Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings.

During his tenure as COO, Miller played a key role in driving the company’s growth and expansion. He focused on leveraging technology and innovation to improve operational efficiency and customer service, leading the development and implementation of advanced transportation management systems. Under his leadership, Knight-Swift reported record revenues and profits, with its market capitalization more than doubling. Miller also spearheaded the company’s expansion into new markets and services, further solidifying Knight-Swift’s position in the transportation and logistics industry. His appointment as CEO reflects the company’s belief in his ability to continue driving growth and success in his new role.

Sridhar Ramaswamy, Snowflake, Inc. (SNOW), Start Date: February 28, 2024

Snowflake, the Data Cloud company, announced on February 28, 2024, that Sridhar Ramaswamy has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer, following the retirement of Frank Slootman, who will continue to serve as the Chairman of the Board. Ramaswamy brings over two decades of experience in the technology industry, having previously co-founded Neeva, the world’s first private AI-powered search engine, in 2019. Before Neeva, he spent 15 years at Google, where he played a significant role in growing the company’s advertising business from $1.5 billion to over $100 billion, leading various advertising products, including search, display, video, analytics, shopping, payments, and travel. Ramaswamy also held research positions at Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies, and Bell Communications Research (Bellcore).

Since joining Snowflake in May 2023, following the company’s acquisition of Neeva, Ramaswamy has been driving Snowflake’s AI strategy, leading the launch of Snowflake Cortex, a fully managed service that simplifies and secures AI for users. As the new CEO, Ramaswamy aims to focus on accelerating innovation for customers and partners, leveraging AI to deliver business value. Snowflake, which empowers organizations to mobilize their data with its Data Cloud, has thousands of customers across various industries, including 691 of the 2023 Forbes Global 2000 (G2K) as of January 31, 2024.

Denise Dignam, The Chemours Co. (CC), Start Date: February 28, 2024

Denise Dignam has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of The Chemours Company, effective February 28, 2024. Dignam has been with Chemours since its inception in 2015, holding various leadership roles in finance, corporate development, and investor relations. Prior to her tenure at Chemours, Dignam held several key financial positions at DuPont, a multinational conglomerate and Chemours’ parent company until its spin-off in 2015. She began her career at DuPont in 1995 as a senior accountant and advanced through the ranks, eventually becoming the global business controller for the Performance Coatings segment in 2006 and the Electronics & Communications segment in 2010. From 2012 to 2015, Dignam served as the vice president of Investor Relations at DuPont, where she was responsible for communicating the company’s financial performance and growth strategy to the investment community.

Dignam’s appointment as the CEO of Chemours comes at a time when the company is navigating a rapidly evolving chemical industry and striving to maintain its competitive edge. The board of directors has expressed confidence in Dignam’s ability to lead the company forward, citing her understanding of Chemours’ operations, financial background, and track record of driving strategic initiatives. Dignam’s promotion to CEO also marks a milestone in the company’s history, as she becomes the first female CEO in Chemours’ eight-year existence. In her new role, Dignam aims to build on Chemours’ foundation, focusing on innovation, sustainability, and operational excellence to create value for all stakeholders.

Sandro DiNello, New York Community Bancorp, Inc. (NYCB), Start Date: February 29, 2024

Sandro DiNello has been appointed as the new CEO of New York Community Bancorp, Inc. (NYCB), succeeding Thomas Cangemi. DiNello previously served as the President of NYCB and has held various executive positions within the company. The leadership change at NYCB comes amidst a series of challenges faced by the bank, including a significant decline in stock value due to investor concerns and the need for a $1 billion investment to bolster its capital reserves. The investment was led by Liberty Strategic Capital, a firm founded by Steven Mnuchin, with contributions from Hudson Bay Capital, Reverence Capital Partners, and Citadel Global Equities.

DiNello’s appointment as CEO is the third leadership change at NYCB in a relatively short period, reflecting the bank’s efforts to navigate a challenging financial environment. The bank has disclosed material weaknesses in its loan oversight and risk management practices, which have contributed to the decline in stock value and underscored the need for new leadership and a strategic overhaul. As the new CEO, DiNello will be responsible for presenting a new business plan and working to stabilize the bank’s financial position while addressing the concerns raised by investors and regulators.


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