Mar 9, 2021

People Moves North America: Nike, Reddit, Emerson, NewCo

Kate Birch
4 min
In a week of firsts where three firms hire for new executive roles including in sustainability and finance, check out our round-up of C-suite transitions
In a week of firsts where three firms hire for new executive roles including in sustainability and finance, check out our round-up of C-suite transition...

In a week where IBM Announces senior roles for NewCo., the spin out Independent Managed Infrastructure Services Business, and Nike makes some big changes to its senior leadership team, we round up the latest executive hires that are making news.

Just as Reddit edges closer to going public, the social media site instals its inaugural chief financial officer, while Emerson, whose priority is to advance ESG momentum, hires its first-ever chief sustainability officer. 

Nike names Sarah Mensah as VP and GM of North America

Formerly serving as Nike’s VP and GM of the Asia-Pacific and Latin America regions, Sarah Mensah has been appointed VP and GM of North America and will be tasked with leading the Swoosh’s marketing, digital and sales departments, as well as its Direct and Consumer Construct strategies. Mensah, who has been with Nike since 2013 and prior to this spent 19 years NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers as SVP and COO, has “continually demonstrated her ability to deliver strong results across our geographic and Jordan Brand businesses”, states Heidi O’Neill, Presdient, Consumer and Marketplace.

Kelley Conway to head up digital strategy at Northern Trust

Following a 20-year-long consulting career, Kelley Conway is set to join investment firm Northern Trust as Head of Corporate and Digital Strategy. With a consulting career that includes leading Accenture’s Financial Services Technology Advisory practice in North America, as well as lead partner for financial services strategy for Strategy& (part of PwC), Conway has a track record of partnering with management teams to drive practical, rapid impact by strategically applying new technologies and approaches. 

As Northern Trust continues to accelerate its digital journey, Conway will “play a key role in executing the company’s digital strategy and roadmap” in order to “enhance our client experience and product quicker business outcomes with security, stability and scalability”, says Michael O’Grady, CEO, Northern Trust. 

Drew Vollero becomes Reddit’s first chief financial officer

No stranger to the responsibilities of being a chief financial officer, CFO veteran Drew Vollero has been snapped up by social media site Reddit to be the firm’s first chief financial officer. This appointment follows Reddit’s US$6 billion valuation in February and comes just as the company edges ever closer to going public. Vollero previously served as Snap’s first-ever CFO, leading the social media company through its US$33 billion IPO in 2017, making him the perfect choice. 

With more than three decades of experience in finance roles, including 15 years at Mattel, and roles at PepsiCo, Yum Brands, Taco Bell and most recently as CFO at security company Allied Universal, Vollero will work across areas including tax, treasury, audit, financial planning, sales finance, accounting, procurement, and investor relations. 

As an “industry through leader”, Vollero brings to the Reddit table a “track record of building a global finance organisation for high-growth companies” and will be a “tremendous addition to our Executive Team as Reddit continues accelerating our business and user growth”, says Steve Huffman, co-founder and CEO of Reddit. 


Tech veteran Elly Keinan to be Group President of NewCo

A veteran of more than three decades in the technology industry, Elly Keinan is set to serve as Group President of NewCo. , the independently managed infrastructure services business to spin out from IBM. While Keinan was a venture partner of Pitango Venture Capital, Israel’s leading venture capital group, prior to joining NewCo., he previously held a number of roles at IBM including GM of IBM North America, GM of IBM Latin America and Chairman of IBM Japan. 

A global leader specialising in digitally transforming businesses for growth in both emerging and mature markets, Keinan is expert in building high performance teams and restructuring operations, go-to-market, and routes-to-market and brings “great global expertise as we build a purpose-led culture for our new company”, says Martin Shroeter, NewCo’s CEO. 


Mike Train is Emerson’s first-ever chief sustainability officer

Following 30 years in leadership roles at Emerson, most recently President of Emerson since 2018, Mike Train is set to take on a completely new role for industrial software leader and step into the shoes of its inaugural chief sustainability officer. Having already been a “critical member of Emerson’s global leadership team that oversees strategy to advance environmental, social and governance momentum”, according to Emerson CEO Lal Karsanbhai

Train will now lead the company’s environmental sustainability strategy and will focus on technologies and advocacy to enhance company operations and enable customer improvements. Train not only has decades of experience across industries, but he has a “deep personal passion for sustainability” and has been “tirelessly driving our work in this space”, adds Karsanbhai. 

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Jun 20, 2021

5 Ways Leaders Can Create a Healthy Workplace Culture

5 min
As the world embraces Men’s Health Week, five experts advise how leaders can create a healthy workplace culture for employees

This week (14th-20th June 2021) is Men’s Health Week. Physical and mental well-being have been important considerations for leaders over the past year, and it is essential this focus is maintained as we build back for the future. Here we have asked 5 experts for practical tips leaders can implement to create healthy workplace cultures.


Know the early signs of burnout 

Recently it was reported by the BBC that burnout for health and social care staff had reached emergency levels. 

Monkey Puzzle Training Co-Founder Karen Meager has studied the burnout recovery process in partnership with Coventry University: “The past year has seen people suffer from job-loss worries, work from home challenges, isolation, and feeling overworked. These are continuing, and all have the potential to contribute towards burnout. Healthcare workers, executives, leaders, managers and small business owners will continue to be the top people to suffer from extreme burnout.”

“At the onset of burnout, people commonly enter a phase of denial. So leaders need to be aware of those who are reluctant to take their time off, are compelled to work all hours, or have changes in their behaviour or mood, as these can all be indications of burnout taking hold. Encouraging them to take a burnout self-test provides a starting point to supporting these employees through recovery, as is role modelling healthy sustainable ways of working.Karen suggests.


Encourage professional self-reflection 

Creating an environment that encourages self-reflection is an effective tool for promoting personal development. Journaling may not be something you instantly think of for professional development; however, it is a successful technique for adults to aid mindfulness and productivity. “Journaling is a form of self-expression that can empower you to understand your feelings and ambitions and how to deal with them, therefore promoting positive well-being and a healthy workplace culture,” describes Elisa Nardi, founder of Notebook Mentor


Just 15-20 minutes of journaling a day over the course of four months are enough to lessen the impact of physical stressors on your health,” explains Elisa. “It can also inspire creativity, aid your memory, and help set actionable goals. It is an underused tool that can help employees manage tricky workplace situations such as conflict, illness or new leadership roles.


Manage your stress and resilience too

As a leader or manager, often, your complete focus is on the business or protecting your team, but you cannot pour from an empty cup. Leaders should also have strategies in place to manage their own stress, so they can sustain high levels of positive energy throughout the day. “Fueled by a burning desire for success, I ignored all the warning signs of exhaustion, which eventually took its toll on me - I literally collapsed from stress, and I didn’t even see it coming.” reflects Sascha Heinemann, an expert in Performance Recovery and Stress Resilience.


“When leaders manage their energy, create healthy daily habits, and practice resilience, they are able to perform to their fullest capacity and to provide the best possible support for others.” 


“Taking a break every 90 minutes or so helps you to refuel, recharge, and re-energize and ultimately allows you to get more accomplished, in less time, at a higher level of quality, and more sustainably. This role model contributes dramatically to a healthier, more engaged, sustainable, and productive workplace culture," he adds.


Instil a sense of purpose for your team

The idea that success equals working 12-15 hour days and giving everything of yourself to your workplace continues to prevail in many organisations. This is not healthy, nor is it productive for anyone involved. “The healthiest and happiest workplace cultures are the ones that are organised around purpose.” describes business and life coach Anand Kulkarni. 


“Leaders should be giving meaning to the work they are doing within their business and beyond and sharing this purpose with their staff, rather than focusing on long hours, crippling workloads or someone else’s idea of ‘success’. When people understand why they are doing what they do and how this contributes to something greater, productivity and well-being is increased.” adds Anand. 


Promote well-being from the top down

Leaders need to act as role models if well-being is to become embedded at the very core of the organisation. It’s very unlikely that employees will start acting in a new way that puts their own needs first if the leadership team continues to behave in an entirely different manner.


‘Many organisations have worked hard in recent months to put new policies in place that better support well-being, promote hybrid working and attempt to set clear boundaries, but many leaders seem to assume that they are exempt from it all, that’s when it all falls over’, explains leadership experts Martin Boroson and Carmel Moore, from The One Moment Company. 


A recent ONS report into Homeworking in the UK revealed that people are on average working 6 hours extra per week, and many are working until late in the evening, indicating that the boundaries between work and life are more blurred than ever. 


Despite all of these wonderful opportunities for people to self-organise, if the leadership team continues to work in the office Monday to Friday, or are communicating at all hours, then it’s a clear indicator that hybrid working is simply a ‘bolt-on’ tactic rather than an integral part of the company’s approach to promoting the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance.’

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