The 10 Most Important Executive Moves This Week

George PaulPeople on the Move
Jeff Bezos

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos laughs at a discussion at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference in December 2020. Editorial credit: Christos S /

This week, Jeff Bezos said he would step back from Amazon, Apple hired a Porsche exec, CNN's president announced his end date, and GameStop hired its first-ever CTO.

These are our top picks for the most important executive appointments and departures this week. For executive news updated daily, check out The Org's People on The Move.

1. Jeff Bezos to Step Down as Amazon CEO, Andy Jassy to Take His Spot

In a titanic shakeup, Jeff Bezos has announced he will vacate the top spot at the e-commerce behemoth he founded 27 years ago. In an email sent to employees, Bezos said in Q3 2021 he will transition to become the Executive Chair of the Amazon Board, while Andy Jassy will become CEO.

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2. Apple Nabs Porsche Cayenne Boss for Mysterious Car Project

Apple has hired a chassis expert, Manfred Harrer, from Volkswagen-owned sports car brand Porsche to work on its own secretive car program, codenamed Project Titan, per Business Insider Deutschland. Harrer has served as the VP in charge of Porsche’s Cayenne product line and will help the tech giant build its own car, according to a source cited by BI Deutschland.

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3. Jeff Zucker to Leave CNN by End of Year

Warner Media announced that CNN President Jeff Zucker, will be leaving the cable channel at the end of 2021. Joining a wave of high-profile media executives who will be stepping down from their positions following the 2020 presidential elections.

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4. Merck's Kenneth Frazier to Retire After Almost a Decade as CEO

Merck announced that Kenneth Frazier will retire from his post as CEO, which he has held since December 2011, at the end of June 2021. He will continue to serve on Merck’s board as Executive Chairman, for a yet to be determined transitional period.

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5. IBM Names Top 50 Influential Hispanic Recipient as New CMO

Carla Piñeyro Sublett has joined IBM as the new Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, where she will be overseeing the company's global marketing and brand initiatives. Sublett will be replacing Michelle Peluso, who left the company in January, to join CVS Health as their first-ever Chief Customer Officer.

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6. GameStop Hires First-Ever CTO Amid Wall Street Drama

GameStop announced that it has hired Matt Francis to fill its newly-created Chief Technology Officer role. Francis, who will step into his new role on February 15, 2021, will be responsible for overseeing the retailer's e-commerce and technology functions.

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7. L Brands CFO is Retiring As Company Looks to Split with Victoria’s Secret

L Brands announced Thursday that Chief Financial Officer Stuart Burgdoerfer will retire in August 2021. Burgdoerfer has worked as CFO for the company for over 14 years and currently acts as interim CEO of Victoria’s Secret.

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8. Salesforce Names Co-Founder of Vlocity as its New President and Chief Product Officer

Salesforce named David Schmaier its new president and chief product officer on Monday. He initally joined the cloud-based software company as the former co-founder and CEO of Vlocity, which Salesforce acquired back in June 2020.

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9. Parler CEO Says He Was Forced Out After App Shutdown

Parler terminated its CEO and Co-Founder John Matze at the end of January 2021, according to a memo written by Matze that was obtained by Fox Business. In the memo Matze wrote to the controversial social media app’s staffers, he explained that he was fired by the company’s board, which is controlled by Rebekah Mercer.

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10. Ancestry Hires Facebook's Marketplace Leader as CEO

Ancestry announced that Deborah Liu has been appointed as CEO of the family history and consumer genomics company. She will also serve as a member of the company’s Board of Directors when she takes over the top executive role on March 1.

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