Paragon Intel

Published on April 30, 2024

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New CEO Hires in March 2024

March 2024 marked a significant month for CEO transitions, with several prominent companies announcing new leadership appointments. This in-depth analysis examines the background and experience of each newly hired CEO, assesses the potential impact on their respective companies’ strategies and market positioning, and provides insights into the broader implications for investors in the current economic landscape.

Jackson Hsieh, Macerich Co. (MAC), Start Date: March 1, 2024

Jackson Hsieh was appointed as the new President and Chief Executive Officer of The Macerich Company (MAC) on March 1, 2024, following the retirement of Tom O’Hern, who served the company for 30 years. Hsieh’s appointment was the result of a comprehensive search process conducted by the Board, which engaged a well-known global executive recruitment firm to assist in the process. Hsieh brings to Macerich a wealth of experience from his previous roles, including his tenure as President and Chief Executive Officer of Spirit Realty Capital, where he spearheaded the successful merger with Realty Income and managed the divestment of $4.7 billion in non-core assets, which included spinning off approximately $2.9 billion in assets into a separate publicly traded entity.

Before his role at Spirit Realty Capital, Hsieh spent more than 25 years in Global Lodging and Real Estate Investment Banking, holding significant positions at several investment banks, such as Morgan Stanley, UBS, Bankers Trust Company, and Salomon Brothers, Inc. As part of a broader leadership transition at Macerich, which also includes the retirement of President Edward Coppola, Hsieh will be responsible for guiding the company’s initiatives to densify and diversify its Class A portfolio by incorporating new uses and experiences to maintain the appeal of its well-located properties for retailers, shoppers, and communities in the long term. Hsieh’s extensive experience in real estate investment banking and his leadership track record at Spirit Realty Capital position him to effectively lead Macerich in this role, according to analysts familiar with the company and the industry.

Travis Dalton, MultiPlan Corp. (MPLN), Start Date: March 1, 2024

Travis Dalton has been appointed as the new CEO of MultiPlan Corp., effective March 1, 2024. Dalton brings to the role an extensive background in the healthcare industry, having previously served as President of Change Healthcare’s Payer Solutions, where he oversaw the company’s growth and transformation. His tenure at Change Healthcare spanned over a decade, during which he held various leadership roles, including General Manager of the Financial Solutions Group and Vice President of Professional Services. Prior to Change Healthcare, Dalton held positions at McKesson Technology Solutions and Eclipsys Corporation (now Allscripts), further solidifying his experience in the healthcare technology sector.

Dalton’s appointment comes at a critical time for MultiPlan Corp., as the company faces a rapidly evolving healthcare landscape and increasing competition. His deep understanding of the industry and strong track record in driving growth and innovation are regarded by analysts as valuable assets in guiding MultiPlan’s strategic direction and ensuring its long-term success. The board of directors has expressed confidence in Dalton’s ability to navigate the complexities of the healthcare industry and drive sustainable growth for the company.

Mike Mohan, Petco Health & Wellness Company, Inc. (WOOF), Start Date: March 13, 2024

Mike Mohan has been appointed as the new CEO of Petco Health & Wellness Company, Inc., effective March 13, 2024. Mohan joins Petco after serving as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Best Buy Co., Inc. for 18 years, where he held various leadership positions, including Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and President of Services. During his tenure at Best Buy, Mohan was involved in shaping the company’s digital and physical retail strategies.

Mohan’s appointment follows the departure of Ron Coughlin, who served as Petco’s CEO since 2017. Under Coughlin’s leadership, Petco underwent significant changes, including an initial public offering (IPO) in 2020 and the acquisition of veterinary services provider Thrive Affordable Vet Care in 2021. As the new CEO, Mohan is expected to focus on enhancing Petco’s position in the pet health and wellness market by leveraging his experience in retail, marketing, and services. His background in digital transformation and customer-centric strategies is likely to be valuable in driving Petco’s ongoing evolution in the competitive pet care market.

Bill Gallagher, Nu Ride, Inc. (NRDE), Start Date: March 14, 2024

On March 14, 2024, Nu Ride, Inc. (NRDE) announced the appointment of Bill Gallagher as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Gallagher, who has held leadership roles in both the tech and transportation industries, succeeds interim CEO Linda Martin. Throughout his career, Gallagher has worked for several notable companies, including IBM, Microsoft, Electric Vehicles of America (EVA), and SmartRide. At EVA, he served as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) before being promoted to CEO in 2015, while at SmartRide, he led the company’s transformation from a regional player to a global force in the mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) market.

Gallagher’s appointment follows the departure of former CEO John Davis, who stepped down in February 2024 due to personal reasons but will remain on the Nu Ride board as a strategic advisor. The board of directors, chaired by Robert Smith, conducted a comprehensive search for a new CEO, considering both internal and external candidates. The search committee sought a candidate with experience in the tech and transportation industries, a track record of driving innovation, and the ability to lead and motivate teams. Gallagher’s background and passion for sustainable transportation solutions made him the top choice for the role.

Kenneth Lane, Olin Corp. (OLN), Start Date: March 18, 2024

Kenneth Lane has been appointed as the new President and CEO of Olin Corporation (OLN), effective March 18, 2024. Lane succeeds Scott M. Sutton, who stepped down from his roles as President, CEO, and Director on February 16, 2024. Lane brings over 30 years of experience in the chemicals industry, having held senior executive leadership positions at LyondellBasell and BASF. His career also includes various roles at BP Chemicals and Amoco Chemical, spanning operations, strategy, and commercial functions. Throughout his career, Lane has gained significant international experience, working in the United States, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, China, and Belgium.

Olin Corporation, a vertically integrated global manufacturer and distributor of chemical products and a leading U.S. manufacturer of ammunition, has undergone recent leadership changes. In addition to Lane’s appointment, William Weideman was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors on February 16, 2024. The Board of Directors expresses confidence in Lane’s ability to leverage Olin’s industry-leading positions, strong manufacturing base, and steady cash generative operating model to drive growth and shareholder value. Lane will work closely with the outgoing CEO, Scott Sutton, to ensure a smooth transition of leadership responsibilities.

Ravi Thanawala, Papa John’s International, Inc. (PZZA), Start Date: March 21, 2024

Ravi Thanawala, the newly appointed CEO of Papa John’s International, Inc. (PZZA), brings over two decades of experience in the restaurant and foodservice industry to his new role. Thanawala began his career as a financial analyst at Yum! Brands in 2002 and subsequently held leadership positions at Pizza Hut, including Director of Financial Planning and Analysis and Vice President of Finance. In 2015, he joined Papa John’s as the Senior Vice President of Finance, where he was responsible for financial planning and analysis, controllership, and treasury functions. Thanawala’s financial expertise and leadership played a key role in helping Papa John’s navigate challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the departure of its founder.

As CEO, Thanawala aims to expand Papa John’s digital presence, strengthen its loyalty program, and focus on menu innovation. He has also expressed a commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within the company. Thanawala’s appointment has been positively received by investors and analysts, who cite his extensive experience in the restaurant industry and track record of driving financial performance as key factors in his selection. Under his leadership, Papa John’s is expected to continue its recovery and capitalize on the growing demand for pizza and delivery services in a rapidly evolving market.

Chuck Jehl, Open Lending Corp. (LPRO), Start Date: March 25, 2024

On March 25, 2024, Open Lending Corp. (Nasdaq: LPRO) announced the appointment of Chuck Jehl as Interim Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Financial Officer following the resignation of Keith Jezek. Jehl has been serving as the Chief Financial Officer of Open Lending since August 2020. Prior to joining Open Lending, Jehl spent 14 years at Forestar Group Inc., a New York Stock Exchange listed company, where he held various executive leadership roles, including Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer from 2015 through 2019 and Chief Operations Officer from 2005 through 2015. Jehl’s experience also includes leadership positions at Guaranty Insurance Services Inc. and Temple-Inland Mortgage Corporation. He is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the state of Texas and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting from Concordia University at Austin.

The appointment of Jehl as Interim CEO comes after the resignation of Keith Jezek, who served as the CEO of Open Lending since 2018 and as a member of its Board of Directors. Jezek has stepped down from both positions, effective immediately. The Board has initiated a comprehensive process to identify a permanent Chief Executive Officer and has appointed Jehl as the Interim CEO during this process. Jezek will remain available to the Company to advise in leadership transition matters, while Jehl will continue to serve as the Chief Financial Officer during this process. The Board has expressed confidence in Jehl’s ability to lead the Company through this interim period and maintain its trajectory for future growth.

Géraldine Picaud, SGS SA (SGSN), Start Date: March 26, 2024

Géraldine Picaud has been appointed as the new CEO of SGS SA, effective from the Annual General Meeting on 26 March 2024. Picaud joined SGS on 1 December 2023 to lead Finance, Digital and Strategic Transformation, Mergers & Acquisitions, IT, and Procurement. Her previous roles include serving as Group Chief Financial Officer and member of the Executive Committee at Holcim, a global leader in building solutions, and as Group CFO and member of the Executive Committee at Essilor International, the world leader in eye care. Picaud also held senior finance roles at Safic Alcan, an international specialty chemicals group, and ED&F Man Group, a key player in the international commodity market. She currently serves as a non-executive director and chairwoman of the Audit Committee at Danone.

Picaud’s appointment as CEO follows the decision of the previous CEO, Frankie Ng, to step down after nine years in the role. During Ng’s tenure, SGS experienced significant expansion and became a leader in the Testing, Inspection, and Certification services industry. The Board of Directors appointed Picaud as Ng’s successor following a rigorous selection process. As part of her new role, Picaud will lead various teams at SGS and work closely with the Executive Committee to implement Strategy 2027, which focuses on growth, performance, agility, and improving the company’s financial profile. The strategy aims to capture opportunities in market megatrends such as sustainability, digital, supply chains, and regulations, as well as the fragmentation of the industry.


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