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2013 Contenders

NASDAQ: Eric Noll (Executive VP, Transaction Services)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2013 in 2013 contender | 0 comments

Why this is a big quit: Eric Noll was in line to succeed Robert Greifeld as the next CEO of NASDAQ, the number two securities exchange platform that he joined in 2009. During his time there, NASDAQ’s share price nearly doubled [7]. But instead, he left to take the top position at ConvergEx, a broker for institutional traders and money managers. The real story is succession planning. If Noll was supposed to take over NASDAQ, then who does NASDAQ have on the bench? Why it’s not as big as our Top 10: First, ConvergEx is not a direct competitor...

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Instagram: Emily White (Business Lead)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2013 in 2013 contender | 0 comments

Why this is a big quit: Emily White was a Facebook executive put in charge of Instagram advertising after the $1B acquisition. She just left to become COO at Snapchat [6]. An aggressive talent grab from Snapchat to make her the CEO’s right-hand and may spur further industry disruption from this social photography startup Why it’s not as big as our Top 10: Although Snapchat is becoming more popular, it is not yet a direct competitor of Instagram. Also, the Business Lead position she left at Instagram is not prominent enough to have substantial...

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Toms Shoes: Laurent Potdevin (President)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2013 in 2013 contender | 0 comments

Why this is a big quit: Potdevin is leaving Toms Shoes to take over at Lululemon for Christine Day (See the Big Quits list). At Toms Shoes, he successfully directed the global expansion and current management structure of the company. He would have helped to boost the new eyewear product line, and deploy manufacturing jobs directly in some of the countries that benefit from the charitable “One for One” shoe model [5]. Why it’s not as big as our Top 10: However, Potdevin was at Toms Shoes for only three years. And for a president role,...

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Chesapeake Energy: Aubrey McClendon (CEO)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2013 in 2013 contender | 0 comments

Why this is a big quit: Chesapeake Energy is the second-largest natural gas producer, the most active driller in the United States, and consistently charting on the best places to work lists. Aubrey McClendon founded it in 1989 with a $50,000 loan and eventually becoming the highest-paid CEO of all S&P 500 in 2008. He is also distinct as 1 of only 8 American chief executives with at least 20 years tenure AND produced 20% or higher annual returns [4]. Why it’s not as big as our Top 10: In April 2012, Reuters reported that McClendon...

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Blackberry: 5 Executives

Posted by on Dec 30, 2013 in 2013 contender | 0 comments

Why this was a big quit: Blackberry has made our list before, and an executive retention strategy would be highly valuable at this point. This year they lost their VP of Social Networks, Calendar/Contacts, COO, CMO, and CEO. Among the 5 executives that quit Blackberry, Marc Gingras’s departure will leave a bruise. As the creator of one of the few well-received inventions of the “hub”, his innovation helped keep overseas purchases afloat as US purchases plunged. Why this is not as big as our Top 10 : When the buyout bid failed and the company...

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ABC News: Katie Couric (Special Correspondent)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2013 in 2013 contender | 0 comments

Why this is a big quit: Star of NBC’s “Today” show, anchor at CBS News, and talk show host at ABC News, Katie Couric seems to be on the move once again. Her own show “Katie” not likely see a third season, she ended her contract with ABC in order to be the “Global Anchor” at Yahoo news[1]. This would be the most high profile cross over from TV to internet news. Why it’s not as big as our Top 10: While Katie Couric has star power, the impact of this departure is limited. Yahoo makes an admirable selection, but they are in an inherently...

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Electronic Arts: John Riccitiello (CEO)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2013 in 2013 contender | 0 comments

Why this was a big quit: Electronics Arts is the world’s third-largest gaming company, after Nintendo and Activision Blizzard. John completed several major strategic acquisitions and became a solid player in the Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) game market. EA is leading the hyper-growth mobile segment with hits that you know you’ve played at work like Bejeweled, SCRABBLE and Plants v. Zombies. Why this is not as big as our Top 10: John faced criticism on, and took an admirable “100% accountability for”, the financial difficulties of EA...

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Walt Disney Co.: Brian Britton (VP of Global Park Operations & Planning)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2013 in 2013 contender | 0 comments

Why this was a big quit: Why leave the happiest place in the world? Brian Britton was at Disney for decades serving as the VP of Global Park Operations and Planning. A former U.S. Navy officer with a Harvard MBA, Britton’s departure is certainly a loss to this high-profile position.  Britton oversaw the experience for millions of people (up to 75,000/day at Magic Kingdom alone) and the merch they purch’d. Why this is not as big as our Top 10: There’s a 2 year restructuring at Disney’s theme park division. Several top level executives were...

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Symantec: 2 Executives (President of Products and Services + CFO)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2013 in 2013 contender | 0 comments

Why this was a big quit: Whenever two top executives, including the CFO, leaves, it is always a big deal. More than CEO, CFO departure is a greater predictor of future company bankruptcy. Symantec is almost synonymous with PC security, and when James deSouza, President of Products and Services, and James Beer, CFO left, job security was on the mind of many around them. As one of the remaining players in the market who charge a fee for their antivirus products, innovation and financial stability is the pop-up message you don’t want to block....

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Proctor & Gamble: Bob McDonald (Chairman & CEO)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2013 in 2013 contender | 0 comments

Why this was a big quit: After living and breathing P&G for 33 years (4 years as CEO), why did Bob McDonald resign, effective immediately? McDonald was expanding the company’s reach into emerging markets, top line increased during a very tough recession, stock price was improving. His departure is a loss of experience and leadership to the largest consumer goods company in the world. Why this is not as big as our Top 10: The numbers may tell another story. Since July 2009 when McDonald took the helm, bottom line revenue dropped 20%....

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