board of directors Stories November 7, 2014

Sprint appoints former Google executive Nikesh Arora to its board of directors

Sprint announced on Friday that it has appointed former Google executive Nikesh Arora to the company’s board of directors. Arora worked at Google for a decade, leaving his post as Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer in August to become Vice Chairman and CEO of Internet and Media at SoftBank, the parent company of Sprint.

board of directors Stories July 15, 2014

Google announced on Tuesday that it has appointed Alan Mulally to its Board of Directors. Mulally served as Ford President and CEO between September 2006 and June 2014, retiring from his post on July 1st. Mulally, who was appointed on July 9th, is serving on Google’s Audit Committee. His knowledge and connections in the automotive industry could be valuable towards the company’s self-driving car initiatives. expand full story

board of directors Stories July 9, 2014

Google executive Regina Dugan appointed to Zynga’s Board of Directors

Zynga announced on Wednesday that it has appointed Google’s Vice President of Engineering, Advanced Technology and Projects Regina Dugan to its Board of Directors. Dugan joined Motorola Mobility in March 2012 to oversee the ATAP group, a skunkworks-inspired team tasked with coming up with breakthrough innovations in mobile computing. That team now falls under Google’s Android, Chrome & Apps division.

Don Mattrick, CEO of Zynga, calls Dugan an “incredible addition” to Zynga’s board:

“I have admired Regina’s work and visionary thinking for years and believe she will be an incredible addition to the Zynga Board of Directors and a true catalyst for creative thinking at Zynga,” said Mattrick. “Regina is a dynamic leader who embraces new ideas and inspires teams to reimagine how technology and tools can positively disrupt the world. As we focus on growing and sustaining our leading franchises and creating new hits, Regina’s expertise and counsel will put us in a better position to deliver consumers next generation entertainment experiences that span categories, platforms and devices.”

Dugan on how Zynga makes games that help people connect, share and energize:

“I believe we need to play. Zynga is full of creative thinkers who embrace the power of play. Einstein famously stated that ‘combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought,’ and this spirit is embodied in Zynga’s products, which have brought new technology to games. Games that help people connect, share, rest and energize through play. I look forward to working with Don and the board on the company’s next chapter,” said Dugan.

Dugan will retain her position at Google.

board of directors Stories August 12, 2013

Blackberry bows to the inevitable, seeking ‘strategic alternatives’ (buyout)

Trading in Blackberry shares was briefly suspended in the lead-up to the company’s announcement that it is exploring ‘strategic alternatives’.

The Company’s Board of Directors has formed a Special Committee to explore strategic alternatives to enhance value and increase scale in order to accelerate BlackBerry 10 deployment. These alternatives could include, among others, possible joint ventures, strategic partnerships or alliances, a sale of the Company or other possible transactions.

The company, which once dominated the enterprise market, was extremely late moving into touchscreen phones and found itself increasingly isolated by both Bring Your Own Device policies and aggressive pitching to the corporate market by both Apple and Samsung.

This tweet by Techmeme editor Mahendra Palsule perhaps says it best:

In an interesting development,  the press release notes Prem Watsa CEO Fairfax Financial has resigned from the board:

With the announcement of the Special Committee, Prem Watsa, Chairman and CEO of Fairfax Financial informed the Company that he felt it was appropriate to resign due to potential conflicts that may arise during the process. Fairfax Financial is the largest BlackBerry shareholder. Mr. Watsa said, “I continue to be a strong supporter of the Company, the Board and Management as they move forward during this process, and Fairfax Financial has no current intention of selling its shares.”

Perhaps this indicates that the Blackberry’s largest shareholder is at least considering a buyout.

board of directors Stories May 21, 2012

Ex-Google board member Michael Moritz cuts Sequoia involvement due to ‘incurable disease’

Michael Moritz, a former member of Google’s Board of Directors, announced today that he is stepping down from his managing partner post at venture firm Sequoia Capital due to an incurable disease.

He will now become a chairman at the top-tier firm that has backed many startups-turned-goldmines in the last 20 years, including Google, PayPal, and Yahoo. The title change will curtail daily activity involvement so Moritz can focus on living a full life while beating the odds.

The letter Moritz sent to limited partners this morning is below (via TechCrunch):

  • Dear …,
  • We have always tried to be straightforward with you and, in that spirt, I need to share something. Unfortunately, I have been diagnosed with a rare medical condition which can be managed but is incurable. I’ve been told that in the next five to ten years the quality of my life is quite likely to decline. Right now I feel fitter than ever and I hope that I’ll be one of the lucky ones who can live a full life and defy the statisticians. But there is no way of predicting this with certainty and thus for me, life has assumed a different meaning and I am making some adjustments.
  • I am going to extract myself from the daily management of Sequoia Capital, a task that has consumed a large part of my time for the past sixteen years. I will become Chairman of Sequoia Capital and will be deeply involved with nurturing the fresh investments, ideas and relationships that can be of significant long-term benefit for all of us. I will also work very closely with some of our younger and newer members, will continue my role as Managing Member of existing funds and maintain all my current company responsibilities. I will use twelve to fourteen weeks – sprinkled throughout the course of each year – for various pursuits, diversions and trivial indulgences.
  • Nothing about this should cause much of a change because everything that has been achieved at Sequoia Capital has resulted from the teamwork and contribution of many people. Our overall business is in the best shape it has ever been and we are better positioned than at any time in our forty year history. Doug Leone will assume full responsibility for coordinating the business we have gradually developed over the past couple of decades and almost everything else remains entirely the same.
  • Thanks for your support,
  • Michael Moritz

board of directors Stories April 16, 2012

Earlier today, Walmart published a press release on its corporate website announcing that Google’s Vice President of Local, Maps and Location services Marissa A. Mayer has been nominated for the company’s Board of Directors. In addition to an announcement claiming she’s “very excited” about the nomination on her Google+ page, Mayer made a full statement in the press release:

“I am very excited to be nominated for the Walmart board… I have long been a customer and admirer of the company. Walmart is an amazing story of entrepreneurship and, as one of the world’s most powerful brands, touches millions of lives every day. I look forward to contributing to Walmart’s continued growth, success, and innovation in the years to come.”

Walmart will vote to elect Mayer at its Annual Shareholders’ meeting June 1. The company’s full press release is below: expand full story

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