Changes at Google, Starbucks, Wells Fargo and Election of Trump Impacting Corporations, Industries and Nation
CLEVELAND, OH – DECEMBER 23, 2016 ─ ON Partners, the results-driven retained executive search firm, today reported its ON the Move list of the biggest corporate executive moves in 2016. The Top Five list reflects the resignations of influential tech executives, the leaders of the world’s largest coffeehouse chain and an embattled financial institution, and the election of a certain high-profile CEO and controversial public figure to the most powerful office in the world.
The five biggest executive changes in 2016 include:
Laszlo Bock, vice president of people operations, Google. The company’s head of HR, who has been credited with transforming Google’s culture and hiring process over the last decade, announced in July he is leaving the company to launch a startup. The influence of Bock, who joined Google from GE, can be felt beyond Google’s walls. His 2015 book, Work Rules! Insights From Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead, is on the shelves at Harvard Business School, and Google’s policies have shaped Silicon Valley’s fast-and-loose environment. Eileen Naughton, Google’s VP of UK sales and one of the highest-rated Google managers among employees, will replace Bock as head of human resources.
Tony Fadell, CEO, Nest (Google). The charismatic former Apple executive and CEO of Nest, which was acquired by Google for more than $3 billion, announced in June he was leaving amid reports of poor results, internal turmoil and staff departures. Known for his aggressive management style, Fadell left Nest after leading it for six years, following months of controversy regarding his leadership. At the time of his departure, he told The New York Times, “I’m a guy who’s at the beginning of things. I don’t like to do maintenance mode. It’s not what gets me out of bed.” Fadell remains an advisor to Alphabet, Google’s parent company, and to its chief executive, Larry Page.
Howard Shultz, CEO, Starbucks. Stepping down for the second time, Schultz is credited with steering the company back on track after sales slowed after he first left the company 16 years ago. This time, the visionary leader is confident in his successor’s ability to lead, though he will remain as chairman when President Kevin Johnson, who has served on the company’s board for seven years and has been second in command for almost two years, takes over in April. With sales slowing and questions being raised about potential for continued growth, this transition is taking place at a critical time in the company’s history – a situation not unlike Jobs’ departure from Apple and the continued need for innovation.
John Stumpf, CEO, Wells Fargo. In the aftermath of a scandal over the bank’s past practice of secretly selling services to unsuspecting customers, Wells Fargo Chairman and CEO John Stumpf resigned in October, after 34 years with the company. The company paid a $185 million fine and fired 5,300 employees who were blamed for the scandal, and Stumpf was replaced by President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Sloan, long considered to be Stumpf’s eventual successor. In the wake of the scandal, Sloan has urged President-elect Donald Trump to roll back a number of regulations, including Dodd-Frank’s Volcker Rule, which restricts banks from betting heavily with their own money, a pre-crisis trend known as proprietary trading. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported that retail banking branch interactions and new consumer checking-account openings continued to fall in November following the scandal.
Donald Trump, President-Elect, and his cabinet. With Trump’s inauguration just weeks away, many questions remain: What will the White House be like now that he and so many of his cabinet members and top advisers will be former CEOs? What might it be like for Trump to work with so many other CEOs on his cabinet and elsewhere in his administration? Will their ability to identify with one another foster mutual understanding, or will there be trust issues? Will it be a clash of egos among people who are used to being boss? Will there be an inability to identify with anything other than bottom-line concerns? And how will Trump, as the CEO of CEOs, handle this culture?
According to ON Partners partner Bryan Buck, “Over the past year we witnessed arguably the biggest executive move in modern history with the election of Donald Trump. We also saw the departure of two high-profile executives at one of the world’s biggest tech companies, which will no-doubt impact the evolution of its culture, as well as the resignation for a second time of the visionary leader of one of the biggest brands on the planet at a critical time in its history. And with a scandal of epic proportions uncovered at one of the nation’s oldest financial institutions, it was inevitable that someone would have to take the fall. ”
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Jay Roberts, Roberts Buchanan Associates
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