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John Willis

Executives on the Move: The Week of January 9th – 13th

by John Willis | Dun & Bradstreet Editor

January 16, 2017 | No Comments »

Here are just a few of the interesting executive changes making headlines over this past week:

Yahoo!’s Mayer to Leave Board upon Partial Sale to Verizon

Marissa Mayer, president and CEO of faltering internet publisher Yahoo!, on the job for more than four years, will be leaving the board this year if the sale of most of the company to Verizon goes through. (That’s still an open question due to Yahoo!’s security breaches that came to light over the last few months.) The same SEC document making the announcement also divulged that what’s left of Yahoo! after Verizon’s acquisition of its internet business will change its name to Altaba, probably a reference to Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. Altaba’s main asset will be the 15% of Alibaba stock owned by Yahoo!, along with 35% of Yahoo Japan. Meanwhile, Yahoo! shifted chairmen ahead of the sale: Eric Brandt took the post relinquished by Maynard Webb.

Southwest Air Picks Two New Top Officers

In what looks like a succession plan for the US’s largest carrier of domestic passengers, Southwest Airlines expanded its top executive office to include a separate CEO, president, and COO. Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly gave up the president title he’d held with his others for nearly a decade and awarded it to Tom Nealon, EVP of strategy and innovation. Nealon was a one-time CIO for Southwest before working at J. C. Penney, Frito-Lay, and elsewhere, then returned to the airline in 2015. At the same time, a longtime employee, Michael Van de Ven, took on the COO position. He was an EVP of aircraft operations for about a dozen years but has been with the company for more than 20. Meanwhile, Kelly said he has no clear plan to retire soon.

Cutera Gets Back on Track with New CEO

Medical laser maker Cutera has put a new CEO in place after the abrupt departure of longtime chief Kevin Connors last year. He’s James Reinstein, who comes to Cutera from leading a General Electric subsidiary and was once an EVP at medical equipment manufacturer Cyberonics. Connors had been CEO for 18 years before leaving abruptly. He was replaced on an interim basis by Ronald Santilli, who now reverts to his EVP and CFO role.

Look for more Executives on the Move next week!


John Willis has been an editor at Hoover’s/Dun & Bradstreet for more than two decades. He mainly polishes up others’ writing but occasionally adds, then edits, his own words in Executive on the Move blog posts.

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