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Week in review: Kaiser Permanente, Abbott Labs, Wells Fargo, and more!

By Christian WylonisWeek In Review
Bernard Tyson
Image credit: Bernard Tyson, Chairman and CEO at Kaiser Permanente

Every week we bring you an overview of the most important executive changes from around the world. This week, Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson passed away, the longtime chief executive of Abbott Labs Miles White steps down, and Wells Fargo general counsel and former interim CEO C. Allen Parker will leave the company. Read more about this and other notable executive changes:

Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO Bernard Tyson Dies at Age 60
Bernard Tyson, the chairman and chief executive of Kaiser Permanente, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit health-care providers and insurers, died unexpectedly on November 10 at the age of 60. Tyson joined Oakland-based Kaiser Permanente over three decades ago and held various roles in hospital administration and executive positions before being named as chief executive in 2013, and chairman of the board in 2014. During his tenure at Kaiser, the organization grew its annual revenue from $53 billion to almost $83 billion, according to the company. Tyson was also a leading African-American CEO and a champion for accessible healthcare, racial justice and workplace diversity. Time Magazine named him to its 2017 list of the 100 most influential people. Kaiser announced that Gregory Adams, an executive vice president and group president, would serve as interim chief executive and chairman.

Abbott Labs Chief Executive Miles White to Step Down After More Than Two Decades at the Helm
Abbott Laboratories CEO Miles White is stepping down effective March 2020 after more than 20 years at the helm of the medical devices and health-care company. White presided over the growth and transformation of the company with a series of acquisitions and spinoffs, including Abbott’s 2001 acquisition of BASF’s pharmaceutical division which brought in the best-selling arthritis drug Humira, and the sale of Hospira to Pfizer in 2015. Since White joined the company in 1998, Abbott’s market capitalization has reached $150 billion today from around $75 billion when he became CEO. The company named Robert B. Ford, an Abbott veteran and its president and chief operating officer, to succeed White. Ford was appointed president and chief operating officer by White last year in a move that was widely seen as a succession plan. Ford previously ran Abbott’s medical-device business and led the integration of the company’s $25 billion acquisition of St. Jude Medical in 2017.

Wells Fargo General Counsel and Former Interim CEO C. Allen Parker to Step Down
Wells Fargo announced that General Counsel C. Allen Parker, who briefly served as interim chief executive, will step down at the end of March. His departure is the first from the executive management team since Charles Scarf became the permanent CEO of the bank. Parker joined Wells Fargo as general counsel in March 2017 from the law firm Cravath Swaine & Moore. He became interim CEO when former CEO Tim Sloan retired amid a series of scandals at the bank before returning to his general counsel role when Scarf became CEO in October. Scharf, previously head of Bank of New York Mellon Corp, has already started to make his mark on the bank’s leadership with the appointment of Bill Daley, a banker who also served as President Barack Obama’s chief of staff. Mr. Daley now heads public policy and communications. The bank said it would immediately start looking for a new general counsel to replace Parker.

Amazon Executive Steve Kessel Will Leave the Company After Two Decades
Amazon announced that Steve Kessel, one of the company’s longest-serving executives, is leaving early next year after over 20 years with the company. Kessel, who was a senior vice president, oversaw the development of Amazon’s Kindle e-reader and was a major force behind Amazon’s expansion into brick-and-mortar retail. He was also responsible for Prime Now, Amazon’s rapid-delivery operation, and AmazonFresh, its grocery-delivery arm, in addition to Whole Foods. Dave Clark, who is the Senior Vice President Worldwide Operations at the e-commerce giant, will be taking over Kessel’s role. Clark is responsible for the company’s global supply chain, and massive logistics and delivery operation. Kessel’s planned exit from the company was announced to his team in an internal email according to technology news site GeekWire. Kessel said he will be focusing on community service and non-profit work.

Thasunda Brown Duckett Joins Nike’s Board of Directors
Nike named Thasunda Brown Duckett to its board of directors. Ducket is the CEO of Chase Consumer Banking, a division of JPMorgan Chase & Co., where she oversees 50,000 employees and a banking network with more than $800 billion in deposits and investments. Prior to that, she was CEO of Chase Auto Finance, a leading bank provider of auto financing, and a director of emerging markets at Fannie Mae. Duckett, who has ascended rapidly through corporate America, was named one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women to Watch this year and one of American Banker magazine’s Most Powerful Women in Banking in 2019. She is also executive sponsor of JPMorgan Chase’s Advancing Black Pathways program which is an initiative that helps black people achieve economic success and empowerment through wealth creation, educational opportunities and career development.

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