Mar 23, 2021

People Moves Americas: Reddit, Wells Fargo, Robinhood, Visa

Kate Birch
4 min
Google exec joins Robinhood, while Deloitte lands one of Advertising’s most creatives. Here’s this week’s biggest C-suite transitions across America
Google exec joins Robinhood, while Deloitte lands one of Advertising’s most creatives. Here’s this week’s biggest C-suite transitions across Ameri...

In a week where Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, lands his first C-suite executive position, as Chief Impact Officer of Silicon Valley mental health unicorn BetterUp, we round up the latest executive transitions across the Americas. 

From Chief Creative Officer to Chief Product Officer to Chief Diversity Officer, discover the latest C-suite appointments in the financial services, consulting and media industries. 

Leslie Sims joins Deloitte as Chief Creative Officer

Award-winning creatibe executive Leslie Sims joins Deloitte Digital US as Chief Creative Officer and Managing Director of Deloitte Consulting. Recognised as a Top 10 US CCO by AdWeek and one of the Most Creative Women in Advertising by Business Insider, Sims brings extensive experience setting and resetting the reactive vision for Fortune 500 organisations such as IBM, US Navy, Mastercard and Staples. 

Sims has previously served as Chief Creative Officer, for Y&R and then for Ogilvy, where she led the national creative vision for both agencies, creating award-winning client work. In this new role, Sims will work across the entire business to integrate its creative capabilities and will help Deloitte Digital clients across the C-suite harness the power of creativity to develop brand-defining experiences. 

According to John Peto, US head of Deloitte Digital, Sims’ “creative leadership will fuel new growth for clients, inspired our talent and elevate the human experience for everyone with whome she works”. 


Aparna Chennapragada becomes Robinhood’s CPO

Google executive Aparna Chennapradada has been selected as the first Chief Product Officer for commission-free investment platform, Robinhood

Having been a leader at Google for almost 13 years, most recently as VP overseeing product management for new product areas in augmented reality, Chennapragada brings more than two decades of experience across various industries, combined with a deep understanding of technology, information, AI and customer experience. In this new role for Robinhood, Chennapradada will focus on making the financial markets accessible to millions pf people through the firm’s suite of products. 


Reetika Grewal named Head of Digital for Wells Fargo

Financial services expert Reetika Grewal is set to join Wells Fargo as head of Digital for Commercial Banking and Corporate & Investment Banking. Grewal joins from JP Morgan Chase, where she most recently served as head of Digital for the Commercial Bank, and prior to this she was global head of Payments Strategy and Solutions at Silicon Valley Bank. 

Lauded for her work in the payments and innovation space, Grewal has secured multiple accolades, including PaymentsSource Most Influential Women in Payments for four consecutive years. Set to lead the digital transformation of the company’s commercial banking and corporate and investment banking businesses, Grewal brings “proven success in the payments and fintech industry” that will “help us delivery deeper financial experiences”, says Ather Williams III, head of Strategy, Digital, and Innovation.  

Michelle Gethers-Clark becomes Visa's Chief Diversity Officer

Following more than two decades in senior leadership roles, Michelle Gethers-Clark has been appointed by Visa as its Chief Diversity Officer and Head of Corporate Responsibility, a newly expanded role that will see Gethers-Clark drive a company-wide approach to includsion and diversity, sustainability and social impact with a focus on inclusive and equitable economic growth. 

Having spent more than 20 years in various senior roles at Amerivan Express and more recently as President and CEO of the United Way of Greater Greensboro, North Carolina, where she led fundraising and distribution of US$90 million to social impact programs, Gethers-Clark has “tremendous leadership experience closely aligning inclusion and diversity, social impact and philanthropic initiatives to business objects and producing transformational results”, says Al Kelly, CEO and Chairman. She is stet to join in May and will be based in the firm’s San Francisco headquarters. 


Laura Nestler appointed VP of Community for Reddit

Global leader Laura Nestler has joined Reddit ’s executive leadership team as VP of Community. Nestler comes to Reddit with a 15-year track record of building strategic, high-impact teams and scalable community systems at growth-stage startups. In addition to nine years spend at Yelp, where she was instrumental in crafting the original community growth playbook, Nestler was most recently Global Head of Community at Duolingo, where she spearheaded community-focused global brand initiatives. 

Passionate about community-led growth, Nestler is well-versed to lead Reddit’s Community Operations team, where she’ll be responsible for defining Reddit’s international community strategy, driving key initiatives for community development, evolving the company’s community governance model, and transitioning the team into a global organisation. “Laura embodies the true meaning of community and belonging and will be an excellent trailblazer as we mature our Community team and reach millions of more users across the globe,” says Alex Le, VP of Product, Design, and Community at Reddit. 

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Jun 6, 2021

Business Chief Legend: Former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi

Kate Birch
4 min
As the first and only female CEO of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi smashed corporate America’s glass ceiling and transformed the performance and purpose of PepsiCo

At a recent Asia Pacific-focused event, organised by P&G and UN Women, the former CEO of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi, shared why enabling a diverse and inclusive workforce can directly impact the bottom line.

“If 80% of our products are bought by women because they were the gatekeepers at home, or make all the purchases, why don’t we have a large number of women represented in our ranks,” she told a virtual global crowd of thousands. 

Such business advice may seem rather obvious today, but in 2006, when Nooyi put this business philosophy into practice at PepsiCo, it was both pioneering and progressive. Because not only did the performance of PepsiCo transform under Nooyi’s 12-year tenure as CEO, but so did its purpose and people, with Nooyi widely praised for transforming the firm’s diversity and inclusion agenda.

And who better to do so than someone who had herself smashed the corporate American glass ceiling. Because, when Nooyi became CEO in 2006, following 12 years as Chief Strategist, not only was she among just a handful of female CEOs leading Fortune 500 firms, and one of very few foreign-born executives, she was both the first female CEO to lead PepsiCo, and the first person of colour. Not to mention also being a wife and mother.

Proving performance and purpose can co-exist

And she more than got the job done, growing PepsiCo revenues by 80%, making the firm more global than it had ever been, so that by the time she stepped down in 2018, nearly 20% of net revenues came from MENA, Asia and Latin America, and expanding the business significantly with key acquisitions (Tropicana) and mergers (Quaker Oats).

But it was Nooyi’s strategic redirection of PepsiCo, transforming both its purpose and people, that really made an impact. As chief architect of PepsiCo’s pledge, Performance with Purpose, unveiled in 2006 and a precursor to the modern sustainability movement, Nooyi repositioned the firm to focus on what is best for the world and for its people, from sustainability and social responsibility to diversity and diet.

She transformed the firm’s D&I agenda, created a culture where workers were encouraged to stay with the company, moved corporate spending away from junk food and into healthier alternatives, redesigned packaging to reduce waste, and switched to renewable energy sources and recycling.

As she told Forbes in 2017, “I wanted to make sure that PepsiCo was not only delivering top-tier financial returns but doing so in a way that was responsive to the needs of the world around us.”

Indra Nooyi talking with US President Biden (then Vice President) in 2014

Smashing corporate America's glass ceiling

And it was this ability to realise a world in which business is both practiced and recognised as a force for good that has earned Nooyi a place in CEO history books and landed her numerous accolades, including 11 honorary degrees, the Hero of Conscious Capitalism award at 2017’s CEO Summit, consistent inclusion in the world’s 100 most powerful women (including #1 by Forbes in 2009/10) and most recently, induction into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

Not bad for a girl from Chennai, India, who was expected to lead a conventional life as a wife and mother, but by her own admission was a bit of a “rebel”, with a passion for playing cricket and lead guitarist in a band. In the late 70s, she relocated to the US, earning herself a Master’s in management from Yale, and beginning a four decade-long strategy-focused career that was born at BCG in 1980 where she spent six years and ended in 2018 following 24 impactful years at PepsiCo.

And while she has now retired from corporate life, Nooyi continues to wield the influence that so positively changed the direction of one of the world’s largest companies. As well as serving on the board for ecommerce giant Amazon, she speaks at summits close to her heart, and has recently penned her memoir, advising corporates on better integrating work and family.

And while she has now retired from corporate life, Nooyi continues to wield the influence that so positively changed the direction of one of the world’s largest companies. As well as serving on the board for ecommerce giant Amazon, she speaks at summits close to her heart, and has recently penned her memoir, advising corporates on better integrating work and family. 

Indra Nooyi's memoir will be available from September 28, 2021, and can be pre-ordered. 

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