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Alumni News - Week Ending February 5, 2017
February 10, 2017

In this week's 52 news headlines, Sylvia Mathews Burwell is named President of American University; Peter Jackson leaves Banco Santander and joins payments expert Worldpay as CEO, UK; Marc Vollenweider, founder of Evalueserve, hands over the role of CEO to Ravi Mehrotra; GoPro appoints CJ Prober as COO; Damian Scokin takes over as CEO at Latin America's largest travel agency,; Softchoice announces Vince De Palma as new President and CEO; and Leah Weckert is promoted to Head of People and Culture at Australian supermarket chain Coles.


Ian Ackerley (AUS, LON 92-96) has been appointed new Chief Executive of the UK governmental savings organization NS&I (National Savings and Investments) (read more)

Luis Andrade (BOG, CAR, NYO, SAO 86-11), head of Colombia's national infrastructure agency ANI, works on the future of 4G networks for his country (read more – in Spanish)

Thomas Areskoug (STO 04-07) named President of Sweden-based consultancy United Minds (read more – in Swedish)

Rodolphe Belmer
(PAR 98-01), CEO of satellite provider Eutelsat, named chairman of the French artist support fund Auteurs Solidares (read more – in French)

Global investment firm KKR Capstone hires long-time McKinsey Senior Partner Claus Benkert (MUE, MUN, MUT, SEO 93-17) to lead European operations (read more)

Sylvia Mathews Burwell (NYO 90-93), most recently U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, named President of American University, a private research university in Washington, D.C., effective June 1 (read more)

Muhammad Chbib (COL, DBI 04-07, 09-11), founder and CEO of online travel organization “tajawal,” on creating a startup-friendly environment in the Gulf region (read more)

Chinezi Chijioke (JOH 06-13), founder and CEO at South Africa- and Kenya-based private schools Pioneer Academies: "We see ourselves as partners to public education" (read more here and here)

Steffen Christ (BER, COL 05-11) joins German online perfume reseller Flaconi as COO (read more)

Pete Costa
(ATL, STA 98-98, 99-02) joins Baltimore-based specialty engineering consultancy JENSEN HUGHES as President, Global Operations (read more)

Toronto-based IT solutions and managed services wholesaler Softchoice announces Vince De Palma (DAL, NYO, STA 84-96) as new President and CEO (read more)

Eurasian Resources Group
, a leading mining and smelting group, appoints Roman Deniskin (BOS, MOS 95-02) as Deputy Chairman of the Board for Production (read more – in Russian)

Anke Domscheit-Berg
(BER 06-08) strives to bring high-speed internet to Germany's rural villages with ViaEuropa to foster entrepreneurship (read more – in German / subscription required)

Stephen Donnelly (DUB, LOK, LON, LOX 01-03, 06-11), member of the Irish parliament, named Brexit spokesman of the conservative Fianna Fáil party (read more)

U.S. movie and video-game renting company Redbox names Ash Eldifrawi (CHI 00-04) Chief Marketing and Customer Experience Officer (read more)

Torbjørn Furuseth (OSL 08-13) named CEO of Lytix Biopharma, a Norway-based company developing cancer immunotherapy drugs (read more)

Radhika Gupta
(NJE 05-06) appointed CEO of Edelweiss Asset Management, a subsidiary of Indian financial services conglomerate Edelweiss Group (read more)

Mohsin Hamid’s (NYO, LON 97-03) new novel, “Exit West,” to be released March 7; focuses on refugees fleeing a city under attack (read more here and here)

Dido Harding (LON 88-95) to step down as CEO of British telecom company TalkTalk in May 2017 (read more)

In Harvard Business Review article "True Leaders Believe Dissent Is an Obligation," Victor Ho (NYO 08-10), co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at FiveStars, praises McKinsey's value of "obligation to dissent," says he shares concept with all new hires (read more)

Wellist, a Boston-based patient experience solutions provider, adds Bill Huyett (BOS, DCO, ZRH 87-15) to its Board of Advisors (read more)

Micro Focus International and HPE Software to merge: Chris Hsu (MIN, ZRH 01-07), currently COO of HPE and EVP of HPE Software, will become CEO of the enlarged group following completion of merger (read more)

Peter Jackson (LON, LOX 99-02) leaves Banco Santander, joins payments expert Worldpay as CEO, UK (read more)

Global Gene Corporation, founded and chaired by Sumit Jamuar (DEL 99-01), launches ggcINDIA, the first-ever "beacon for Indian genomics data" (read more)

Jhonny Jha (DBI 12-15), founder and CEO of Indian on-demand maid service Didi, acquires home services startup TimeMyTask (read more)

Sumit Jamuar
(DEL 99-01), founder and Chairman of Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotech Global Gene Corporation, gets "several-million-dollar" investment from consortium led by Ambarish Mitra, raising company's value to about $37 million (read more)

German lawyer Chan-jo Jun (FRA 99-00) battles against "fake news" on Facebook (read more – in German)

Seattle-based, clinical-stage life science company Nativis Inc. adds Sean Kell (LAN, LON, LOX, PNW 95-95, 96-02) to its Board of Directors (read more)

Mark Klimmek
(FRA, MUN 01-01, 02-08) joins 7Commerce GmbH, investment wing of German media house ProSiebenSat.1, as managing director (read more – in German) 

For the 7th time, the European Institute of Purchasing Peter Kraljic Awards, dedicated to long-time former Senior Partner Peter Kraljic (DUS, PAR 70-02), recognizes the excellence of purchasing organizations that act as role models (read more)

Interview with Samuel Martins (LIS 05-07, 10-13), Deputy Director at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (read more – in Portuguese)

Tony Miller (LAN, LON 91-91, 92-03) becomes the new Chairman of the Board of Directors at private education provider Apollo Education Group (read more)

Kathryn Minshew (NYO 08-10), co-founder and CEO of online career source "The Muse", discusses with American trade magazine Publishers Weekly about the young workforce and how companies can make themselves into the kinds of places the smartest millennials will want to work (read more)

Kari Olrud Moen (OSL 99-01), Group Executive Vice President of projects at Norway's financial services group DNB, is appointed as next chairperson of the board at NHH Norwegian School of Economics, one of Europe’s leading business schools (read more)

Julianna Muir
(BOS 10-10, 11-15) promoted to SVP, Head of Strategy and Innovation at insurer Hamilton USA (read more)

Lee Equity Partners, a New York-based private equity firm, promotes Rahul Nand (NYO 04-07) to partner (read more)

U.S. action camera company GoPro appoints CJ Prober (SVO 04-06) as COO (read more)

Alexandre Prot (PAR 06-11), co-founder and CEO of Paris-based fintech company Qonto, will launch a bank for startups and entrepreneurs this month; plans to compete by focusing on simplicity and cheap rates (read more)

Theresa Reno-Weber
(BRU, DCG, DCO 07-07, 08-12) on her new role as CEO of Kentucky's social services organization Metro United Way (read more)

Zdeněk Románek
(NYB, PGB, PRG 01-07), management board member of commercial bank Slovenská sporiteľňa, noted as one of the key Czechs leading Slovak companies by publication 24 hodin (read more – in Slovak)

Becca Roux
(SFO 13-17) named Interim Executive Director at U.S. women soccer players' association (read more)

Henrik Forsberg Schoultz (STH 10-13), Karin Josefsson (GTH, STH 08-08, 09-12), Peder Osterkamp (HAO, STH 10-15), and Jacob Stedman (STH, STO 06-06, 07-13) named to list of 101 “supertalented” businesspeople ("Sveriges 101 Supertalanger 2017") by Swedish business magazine Veckans Affärer (read more – in Swedish)

Professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal appoints Malay Shah (GGN 00-02) as Senior Director to expand its Indian Corporate Solutions Practice (read more)

Christoph Samwer (FRA, MUN 08-08, 09-13) leads Berlin-based insurance startup "Friday," owned by Swiss Baloise Group, as CEO (read more)

Damian Scokin (BAI, BOS, SAN 94-94, 95-05) takes over as CEO at Latin America's largest travel agency, (read more)

Richard Setterwall (STO 06-08), founder and CEO of myDogBuddy, has found success in several European countries with his "Airbnb for dogs" – now he's setting his sights on Norway (read more – in Norwegian)

Sylvia Tara, Ph.D. (NYO 99-01), a Director of Oncology at Amgen, publishes book on weight loss, "The Secret Life of Fat" (read more)

Petr Vitasek (MUN, ZRH 02-02, 03-10) appointed CEO of financial services and investment consultant Swiss Life Select Czech Republic (read more – in Czech)

Marc Vollenweider (DEL, ZRH 90-91, 92-00), founder of professional services provider Evalueserve, hands over the role of CEO to Ravi Mehrotra (DAL 99-02), but continues to serve as Chief Strategist (read more)

Patrick Walsh
(MIN 91-96) joins HR advisory firm Korn Ferry in its Global Industrial Practice based in Minneapolis (read more)

Leah Weckert (MEL, SYD 02-11) promoted as new Head of People and Culture at $25B Australian supermarket chain Coles (read more – subscription required)


Kenneth Axelson
(CHI 50-52), a former Deputy Mayor of New York City, dies at age 93 (read more)


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