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Week in review: General Electric, Premier League, SoulCycle, and more!

By Christian Wylonis
Week in review
Image credit: Week in review

Every week we bring you an overview of the most important executive changes from around the world. This week, General Electric announced Maersk CFO Carolina Dybeck Happe as its new finance chief, WeWork names former Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Lévy as interim chief marketing and communications officer, and incoming Premier League CEO David Pemsel resigns before starting the job. Read more about this and other notable executive changes:

General Electric Taps Maersk CFO Carolina Dybeck Happe as its New Finance Chief

General Electric announced that it named hired Carolina Dybeck Happe as its next chief financial officer, effective in early 2020. Dybeck Happe is currently the CFO and executive vice president of the Danish shipping giant, A.P. Moeller-Maersk, a role she has served in for less than a year. She will replace Jamie Miller, GE’s first female CFO who has served in the role for just over two years, and whose transition was previously announced in July by GE’s CEO Larry Culp. Dybeck Happe, who will be based in Boston, will also head GE’s digital technology and global operations functions. Prior to joining Maersk, Dybeck Happe was the CFO and executive vice president of Assa Abloy, in addition to holding other executive positions there. She steps into the role of finance chief at a challenging time for GE as it continues the process of cost cutting and restructuring its business. GE is also facing a federal probe into its accounting practices and a potential change in its auditor.

Incoming Premier League CEO David Pemsel Resigns Before Starting Following Allegations

David Pemsel, the recently appointed chief executive of the English Premier League, resigned two months before he was set to start the job following allegations of inappropriate conduct towards a former female employee. Pemsel, the former CEO of the Guardian Media Group, is the second executive to resign before taking over the top job at the most-watched sports league in the world. The league had initially tapped Susanna Dinnage, the global president of Discovery, Inc.’s Animal Planet, to succeed Richard Scudamore in the leadership position in November 2018, but she declined the role in December 2018 prior to starting at the league. Subsequently, a senior BBC executive turned down the opportunity to take the job. The Premier League said Richard Masters will remain as the interim chief executive as the league restarts its search for another CEO candidate.

SoulCycle CEO Melanie Whelan Resigns

SoulCycle announced that CEO Melanie Whelan is resigning from her position as chief executive officer and stepping down from the company’s board. Sunder Reddy, SoulCycle’s chief financial officer, will take over as interim CEO as the company seeks a replacement for Whelan. She became the chief executive in 2015 after joining the company as its chief operating officer in 2012. That same year, SoulCycle filed for an initial public offering in 2015 only to withdraw it in 2018 citing market conditions. Prior to joining SoulCycle, Whelan was vice president of business development for Equinox, the luxury fitness company, which together with SoulCycle are owned by The Related Companies. Whelan’s resignation comes amid a challenging year for the fitness company which was the subject of nationwide backlash after reports that Stephen Ross, the chairman of The Related Companies, held a fundraiser for President Trump.

LG Electronics Names Brian Kwon as New Chief Executive Officer

LG Corp, one of South Korea’s largest multinational conglomerates, named Brian Kwon as the new chief executive officer of LG Electronics. Kwon, a 30-year veteran of the company, led LG’s mobile communications and home entertainment divisions prior to assuming the chief executive role. He replaces Jo Seong-jin who joined LG in the 1970s and became CEO in 2016. In addition to the appointment of Kwon, LG made several other executive changes at LG Electronics marking a generational shift in the leadership team initiated by LG Corp chairman and CEO Koo Kwang-mo who assumed his role in June of last year. Kwon’s former positions will be filled by Park Hyoung-sei heading the home entertainment division and Morris Lee as president of the mobile communications business. The company said in a statement that the changes were intended to accelerate LG's digital transformation across all operations to be more data-centric.

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