First100 Blog


15th Jul 2016

Boris Johnson: First 100 Days as British Foreign Secretary

Like him or loathe him, Boris Johnson has now been tasked with one of the most important jobs in the new UK government. International trade and relations are among his many priorities and there will be pressure on him to deliver results quickly. Like many in the new Cabinet, Johnson has had very little time to prepare for his new role, purely as a result of the speed at which Theresa May won the race to become Prime Minister and subsequently appointed her front bench. Johnson’s high profile role in the Brexit campaign, as well as his short lived battle to become Prime Minister, mean his supporters and critics alike will be champing at the bit to analyse his first 100 days as Foreign Secretary. Given the challenges and stress that come hand in hand with a new leadership role, how can he – or any leader for that matter - keep focussed on the important things and ensure that he is as effective as possible?


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24th Mar 2016

Ten tips for impressing your boss (and getting on-track for promotion)

Getting a promotion requires much more than simply doing your job. Promotions are given to those who are able to differentiate themselves from their colleagues for one (positive!) reason or another. We’ve compiled our top ten tips ...


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28th Jan 2016

So you’ve had a successful First 100 Days. Why stop there?

In our experience, there are typically two key moments of judgement for a newly appointed leader. These are 1) the end of the First 100 Days and, 2) the end of the first twelve months. We’ve written extensively about the importance of the First 100 Days – but how should you approach your role once you’ve successfully closed out the first 100 days? It’s time to freshen up your approach and renew, resurge and plan for the future.


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23rd Sep 2015

New leadership role? 15 questions that will help you write your first 100 days plan

Whether you’re a first-time manager or a newly appointed Chief Technology Officer, every new leadership role comes with new challenges and a steep learning curve. Back to back meetings, managing stakeholders, getting to know your team and firefighting can be overwhelming and make it tough to deliver results. The best approach is to be on the front foot from the very beginning by creating a first 100 days plan and working it through to completion.


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03rd Jul 2015

Starting a new job soon? Prepare for your first 100 days...

Late August and early September have always been very busy months for us at First100. There is an upturn in the recruitment cycle during these months, and a lot of companies have new senior hires starting new roles following the vacation season. Starting a new role is a stressful and high pressure time, so now is the perfect time for candidates to prepare for a new role. Preparing well in advance allows candidates to have a bigger impact in the first 100 days – thus laying the ground work for successful role tenure. 


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20th Feb 2015

Carlsberg's new CEO – probably the biggest challenge in the world

Following the announcement that Cees 't Hart will take the CEO seat at Carlsberg this June, we take a look at the candidate, the role, and four important things can be done to get ready for the First 100 Days.


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16th Oct 2014

The First 100 Days of Balfour Beatty’s next CEO, Leo Quinn

The announcement yesterday that Leo Quinn is to take the hot seat in Balfour Beatty from January 1st has been well received on the two platforms that seem to matter the most these days: the London Stock Exchange and Twitter! Quinn, who started his career at the company as a civil engineer in 1979, has had successful stints as CEO at a number of companies in the interim including De La Rue, and most recently, British defence, aerospace and security company Qinetiq. Balfour Beatty has struggled in recent times, and has issued a number of profit warnings this year. Quinn is, on paper at least, the ideal candidate for...

 

 


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19th Sep 2014

How to survive the first 100 days of a graduate scheme

This week, PwC topped the table for the eleventh consecutive year in The Times’ Top 100 Graduate Employers list. The company reportedly received 24,000 applications for 1,450 graduate places, reminding us all of how competitive corporate graduate programmes are. So how can a graduate shine in such a competitive environment and take full advantage of their graduate scheme in order to land that dream job? ...


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02nd Sep 2014

The first 100 days of Tesco’s new CEO David Lewis

David Lewis, Tesco’s new CEO who officially took on his new role yesterday, will be well aware of the importance of his first 100 days. For any new leader, the end of the first 100 days is a critical moment: it is the moment of judgement where the leader is perceived as a success or a failure. Lewis’s start date for the CEO hot seat was moved forward by a month from October 1st following a drop in the company’s share prices last week. This can only add to the pressure for the new CEO. However, Lewis’s career to date means he is no stranger to transition and like all experienced leaders he will have a plan in place to ensure he has an impactful first 100 days. Clearly those at the top in Tesco have every faith in Lewis abilities as they have...


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10th Apr 2014

Creative control for Burberry’s new chief exec

As Angela Ahrendts prepares to exchange the Burberry trench for a Mac later this year, Christopher Bailey shapes up to take on the CEO role at Burberry while retaining his current role of Chief Creative Officer. In doing so, Bailey will join an elite group of leaders who have creative control and the top seat at the leadership table. Bailey will be keen to make an impact in his first 100 days and central to doing so will be his ability to lead his team. 


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03rd Mar 2014

So far so good for Microsoft’s new CEO, but the pressure is still on in his first 100 days.

The appointment of Satya Nadella as Steve Ballmer’s successor has been the biggest news on the leadership appointment front in recent years. And that’s saying a lot with recent appointments including Marissa Mayer at Yahoo and Mary Barra at GM! The world will be watching eagerly to see if Nadella has a successful time at the helm with Microsoft and whether he can maintain their current market share, if not improve it. Nadella’s style and demeanour is markedly different to that of his predecessor and it is unlikely we’ll see him jumping out of a cake at a company event any time soon, as Ballmer did back in 2000. Some commentators have questioned if Nadella is the right person for the role while others have claimed he has the right balance between technical knowledge and business savviness. Regardless, he will need to make an accelerated start in his first 100 days in order to keep the wolves at bay, and to set himself, and Microsoft, up for success in the long term.


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23rd Jan 2014

A challenging first 100 days ahead for the new interim CEO at Dow Jones

Dow Jones has handed the interim CEO role to William Lewis, the former Editor-in-Chief of Telegraph Media Group in the UK,  following the announcement on Tuesday that Lex Fenwick will be stepping down immediately as CEO. The company, whose flagship publication is the Wall Street Journal and is owned by News Corp, will embark on a period of “institutional strategy review” over the coming months. Lewis is tasked with ...


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09th Jan 2014

General Motors is soon to welcome its first female CEO

With Mary Barra officially taking on her new role on January 15th General Motors is soont to welcome its ever first female CEO. In fact, a female at the helm, will be a first for the entire automotive industry when Barra takes over from Dan Akerson as CEO, who leaves the role in order to spend time with his wife who is being treated for cancer. Barra is a well-respected executive and her rise to CEO won’t come as a surprise to many. Having carried out her time in a career with GM that spans over 30 years, Barra has learned the ropes from the bottom up – having started as an intern at a GM plant before getting her degree in electrical engineering. A self-professed car enthusiast, Barra has held a number of different roles including Human Resources Director and her current role of Executive VP of Global Product Development. 


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05th Dec 2013

What learnings can today’s business leaders take from Machiavelli?

Machiavelli’s The Prince has been top of mind for many throughout 2013. This year is believed to be the 500th anniversary of its publication, or at the very least, the anniversary of the first time that the book was distributed in one form or another. This week, the BBC dedicated an episode of the documentary series Imagine… to the book which aired on Tuesday. The broadcast explored, among other things, the book’s relevance in today’s society and whether or not it is applicable to today’s political and business leaders. 


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28th Nov 2013

Walmart names insider Doug McMillon CEO

Following a tough period involving labour disputes and sluggish sales, Wal-Mart Stores Inc has revealed that come February it will welcome a new CEO. After five years as chief of the world's largest retailer, on 31 January 2014 Mike Duke (63) will retire, and Doug McMillon (47) – who is head of Walmart’s international division - will replace him. The announcement, which came on Monday, coincides with the start of the holiday shopping season - tomorrow is Black Friday.


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21st Nov 2013

Can Chen do for Blackberry what he did for Sybase?

In a confident but rather vague open letter last week, new interim chief executive of Blackberry, John Chen said “I know that it’s going to take time, discipline and tough decisions to reclaim BlackBerry’s success and we are ready for that challenge.” The statement is at odds with what industry commentators are saying about the ailing smartphone maker, but it is presumably an attempt at reassuring anxious employees, customers and investors.

 


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08th Nov 2013

Trading Harrods for Saks..

In July the $2.4 billion acquisition of up-market US retailer Saks Inc by Canadian retailer Hudson Bay Co was announced; the deal is expected to close by years end. The change in ownership will be followed by a change in leadership as Brit Marigay McKee - chief merchant at luxury London retailer Harrods – is due to take on the much sought-after role of president of Saks Fifth Avenue. McKee will replace Ronald Frasch, who after 15 years, will leave when the buyout goes through.


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07th Nov 2013

New Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon takes the helm in uncertain times

Recently released figures from the Central Statistics Agency show that the unemployment rate in Ireland decreased this October, dipping below 400,000 for the first time in four years. While certainly good news, at over 13 percent the current unemployment rate is still "unacceptably high". The rate is of course linked to the large number of eligible workers emigrating the country. In 2012, more than 50,000 people left Ireland to seek employment over seas.


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30th Oct 2013

Success in the First 100 Days

Tomorrow, former Pfizer executive Olivier Brandicourt will take the helm at Bayer Healthcare. Brandicourt (57) replaces Wolfgang Plischke, who has been interim chief since Jorg Reinhardt’s departure in February. Brandicourt’s experience is formidable; he has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 25 years, he has been on the executive team at Pfizer, New York, for the past three years, and his international experience includes responsibilities in the US, the UK, Canada and France. Brandicourt also holds both a medical degree and a master's degree in biology, while most recently, he was president and general manager of Pfizer’s emerging markets and established products units.


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24th Oct 2013

What can Angela Ahrendts bring to Apple?

Angela Ahrendts is due to exchange the Burberry trench for a Mac. In the Spring, Ahrendts will leave Bond Street for Cupertino California to take over Apple’s retail operations. Ahrendts is not the first fashion powerhouse to be poached by the tech giant – Paul Deneve, former Saint Laurent CEO started reporting to Apple CEO Tim Cook in September. This leadership diversity comes as Apple strives to position itself as a lifestyle brand, and shake-off its technology tag.


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17th Oct 2013

The re-organisation of Vodafone

Telecommunications giant Vodafone has been hitting the headlines recently; the company launched its 4G network in the UK last month and in Ireland this week, to much anticipation. Vodafone has also revealed a number of leadership changes. In November, current Vodafone UK CEO Guy Laurence will leave the company he has been with for a decade, and Dutchman Jeroen Hoencamp will replace him as CEO UK.


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10th Oct 2013

Yellen: the first female Fed chief?

Yesterday President Barack Obama nominated Janet Yellen to replace Ben Bernanke as head of the Federal Reserve. If endorsed by the Senate Yellen will be the first woman ever to lead the US Federal Bank, and the first woman to hold arguably the most important job in world finance. Yellen - currently vice chairwoman of the central bank - became a favourite for the position after Larry Summers’s very public withdrawal from consideration in September.

 


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03rd Oct 2013

Warner Music undergoes a leadership transition

Warner Music Group (WMG), one of the so-called ‘big three’ recording companies along with Universal Music Group and Sony, operates some of the most successful recording labels in the world, including Atlantic Records. This week WMG announced a leadership re-shuffle – Max Lousada will succeed Christian Tattersfield as CEO of Warner Music UK when Tattersfield steps down in February 2014. In the interim, Tattersfield and Lousada (chairman of Atlantic Records UK) will work together as co-CEOs in order to facilitate a smooth transition. Both will report directly to Stephen Cooper, CEO of WMG.

 


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26th Sep 2013

Insider Andrew Wilson appointed CEO of EA

Electric Arts Inc (EA) – a pioneer of the early home computer games industry which was founded in 1982 - went on to become a global developer, publisher, marketer and distributor of video games. But like many, the videogame industry has been struggling to adjust to the mobile era. With consumers opting for free or cheap online games as opposed to the more expensive console titles, retail sales are falling - EA has been under pressure to maintain profitability.


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19th Sep 2013

The First 100 Days at US Steel

US Steel recently implemented a leadership shake-up in the wake of years of continued losses - since 2008 the company’s stock price has dropped by about 90%. As of September 1st the 112 year old steelmaker has a new CEO – Mario Longhi, and a new CFO – David Burritt. The company is no doubt hopeful that fresh talent can revitalise its struggling fortunes. With high operating costs, a sluggish demand for steel and competition from imports, steelmakers have been fighting to remain profitable in recent times; there are challenges ahead for these new leaders. 


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12th Sep 2013

The rise and fall of Nokia

Though the honour of inventing the mobile phone goes to Motorola, Nokia for many years had a reputation as the king of mobiles - at its highest point accounting for 40% of the market share in mobile phone sales. In 2003 the company launched the Nokia 110 – with a record 250 million sales this is the most popular mobile phone of all time. I think its fair to presume that we all had a Nokia at some stage.


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05th Sep 2013

Barra is on board as Xiaomi plans for global expansion

Since it was set up three years ago, smartphone maker Xiaomi has positioned itself as China's answer to Apple - at affordable prices. The company’s marketing strategy is remarkably similar to Apple’s, and CEO Lei Jun’s sartorial choices even mimic those of the late Steve Jobs; Xiaomi has earned the moniker ‘China’s Apple’. At the moment Xiaomi only sells in China and Taiwan, however, last week it was announced that Hugo Barra - currently Google’s VP for Android product management - has been hired by Xiaomi to help “find growth opportunities”. This is big news for Google and a major coup for Xiaomi.


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29th Aug 2013

What's next for Microsoft?

“There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time” Steve Ballmer said on Friday by way of announcing his plan to retire as CEO of Microsoft Corp within the next 12 months. The news came as a shock to many, as it was just a month ago that long time CEO Ballmer revealed plans for a vast reorganisation of the entire corporation. Now it looks like he will not be around to see this through, though Microsoft are assuring anxious employees that this organisational transformation – which is centred around devices and services – will go ahead despite Ballmer’s impending departure.


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21st Aug 2013

As profits fall Applied Materials names new CEO

The Silicon Valley based semiconductor equipment vendor Applied Materials last week announced a leadership change. Michael Splinter (62), who has been CEO for the last decade, is stepping aside while Gary Dickerson (56) will take on the chief executive role, effective September 1. Splinter will remain on as executive chairman. Applied Materials manufactures semiconductor, solar panel and LCD display products. The semiconductor equipment industry has suffered in recent years, and during Splinter’s tenure at Applied Materials the company both lost and regained its coveted No. 1 spot.


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15th Aug 2013

The Controversial Groupon Story

In 2001 entrepreneur Eric Lefkofsky set up InnerWorkings, and by 2006 a young developer called Andrew Mason was employed at the company. When Mason needed seed money for an entrepreneurial venture of his own, The Point – which eventually turned into Groupon - Lefkofsky saw its potential and provided the funding. Initial hopes and expectations for the deal-of-the-day website were incredibly high. Groupon, which was founded by Mason in November 2008, had started small in Chicago, but by October 2010 the site had 35 million users worldwide and Wall Street was taking notice. However, as Groupon went public in a much anticipated IPO in 2011 things quickly started to sour.


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08th Aug 2013

Why has Bezos bought the Washington Post?

In a totally unanticipated move, on Monday Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon agreed to personally buy the Washington Post for $250 million. The deal, which also includes the purchase of a number of affiliate publications, brings to an end the Graham family’s 80 year stewardship of the newspaper. Over the last six years the Washington Post Company’s newspaper division has suffered a 44% decline in operating revenues. We all know that the print newspaper industry is struggling. So, why has Bezos bought the Washington Post?

 


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31st Jul 2013

How can Robert Marcus prepare for his First 100 Days?

Time Warner Cable (TWC) - the second largest cable company in the US behind only Comcast - last week announced that current CEO and chairman Glenn Britt will step down at the end of the year, with current COO and president Robert Marcus replacing him in January 2014. The announcement does not come as a surprise – there have been succession discussions going on for years, and Marcus has reportedly been in line for the top job since 2010.


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25th Jul 2013

Is Flybe headed for a crash landing?

In the wake of the economic downturn, the Exeter-based airline Flybe has been struggling to stay in the air. With passenger numbers falling and fuel costs rising the airline has been flailing. As part of a major restructure initiated at the start of the year, in May the company announced that it will quit Gatwick Airport effective March 2014. At that time chief executive Jim French acknowledged "No business can swallow cost increases of more than 100% over five years and Flybe simply cannot bear such punitive rises." Of course one man’s loss is another man’s gain, and rival budget airline easyJet was on hand to snap up those arrival and departure slots for a reported £20 million.


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16th Jul 2013

Making the move from CTO to CEO

In late 2011 former Yahoo! Cloud VP and entrepreneur Todd Papaioannou, and former Facebook engineer and entrepreneur Jonathan Gray founded Continuuity, a cloud based Big Data application for programmers based in Palo Alto California. In January 2012 the start-up received $2.5 million in seed funding from investors, and in November the company raised a $10 million Series A round. Papaioannou was CEO until he left the some weeks ago for personal reasons. While he is to stay on as an advisor, Gray makes the move from CTO to CEO in what is his first leadership role.


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10th Jul 2013

From Paris to Silicon Valley..

The rumours were put to rest last week when Apple officially announced that former Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve has been hired to work on “special projects”. He is employed in a VP capacity and will report to CEO Tim Cook. The announcement comes following reports that the tech giant is planning a new focus on “wearable technology”. At a conference in May Cook mentioned that he finds wearable computing "profoundly interesting", and with Apple recently trademarking iWatch, a "smart watch" is expected in the near future. With this new focus it seems fitting that the style-conscious purveyors of the finest lines in computer technology should enlist the expertise of one of the top men in french fashion.  


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04th Jul 2013

Mark Carney starts the "toughest job"

On Monday, one of the most eagerly anticipated leadership changes in the UK took place when Canadian, Mark Carney, started his new job running England’s central bank. As governor of the Bank of England Carney is taking on “one of the toughest central banking jobs in the world.” The former Bank of Canada governor and ex-Goldman Sachs banker is the first foreigner to ever hold the position. Though Carney initially turned down the role, the chancellor George Osborne reportedly convinced Carney with the offer of a heartier pay packet -  and now the hopes of a nation are on him.


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27th Jun 2013

Can Michel Combes rise to the challenge at Alcatel-Lucent?

In April Michel Combes took over as CEO of Alcatel-Lucent. In anticipation of his plans for a much-needed overhaul, stocks jumped 34%. Hopes are high - yet the company’s financial position still remains weak.

Alcatel-Lucent is a mobile phone manufacturer and telecommunications equipment company with operations in over 130 countries worldwide. The company has a research and development organisation, Bell Labs, which holds over 29,000 patents, and the employees of which have been awarded 7 Nobel Prizes. Yet, Alcatel-Lucent has been losing money since Alcatel’s merger with Lucent Technologies in 2006.


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20th Jun 2013

Can the new CEO of Diebold lead the turnaround?

Profits dropped a whopping 46% in 2012, while for the first quarter of 2013 the company reported a loss of $13.4. Diebold, the Ohio-based financial self-services, security and services corporation is struggling. The decline in profits is due to lower sales and a major drop in gross margins. In an effort to stabilise their financial positioning the company has been restructuring by cutting jobs, curbing spending, and shaking up at management level. In January George S. Mayes Jr was promoted to COO, and last week Andy Mattes was made president and CEO.


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13th Jun 2013

Ex Times editor prepares for First 100 Days at the BBC

James Harding began his career in 1994 at the Financial Times – he opened the paper’s bureau in Shanghai and later became bureau chief in Washington. Harding then joined the Times as business editor, and in 2007 he became the youngest ever editor of the broadsheet at the age of 38. In December 2012, Harding unexpectedly retired from the position. Speculation suggested that his retirement was prompted by Rupert Murdoch’s objections to the Times’ coverage of the News International phone-hacking scandal.


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06th Jun 2013

David Campisi's First 100 Days

Last month David Campisi replaced Steve Fishman as CEO of Big Lots. The closeout retailer - which currently operates over 1500 stores across the US - appointed Campisi for his “broad base of successful merchandising experience and his collaborative leadership skills”. This week Campisi has been in the role for 30 days. This is an important milestone and a valuable opportunity for a review of progress.


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30th May 2013

Leadership Change at Chesapeake Energy

Chesapeake Energy has had a tumultuous 12 months. After an inquiry raised concerns about CEO Aubrey McClendon’s personal financial deals and their effect on the company, in May 2012 McClendon was ousted from his position as chairman of the Chesapeake Energy board. Then, amid increasing investor pressure, on 1 April this year the man once named “America’s Most Reckless Billionaire” (Forbes 2011) retired as CEO of the company he co-founded.


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23rd May 2013

The First 100 Days of Ashley Almanza

We all remember the security gaffe which left last year’s London Olympics embarrassingly short-staffed. G4S, the company tasked with providing security for the event failed to supply enough security guards for the athletes and the general public. As military personnel were brought in to fill the gaps Nick Buckles, CEO, admitted that it was a “humiliating shambles”. This week, after 8 years in the role, Buckles has announced he will step down as CEO at the end of the month.


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16th May 2013

Big Changes at Virgin Media: A takeover and a new CEO

Last month the £16 billion takeover of the second largest pay-TV operator in Britain, Virgin Media Inc, by US cable giant Liberty Global Inc was announced. This week Liberty Global revealed that former News Corp exec Tom Mockridge will be the new CEO of Virgin Media. While Rupert Murdoch’s Sky is currently the largest pay-TV operator in Britain, the company will now be defending its lead position as rival John Malone’s Liberty Global vies for the top spot.


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09th May 2013

Top Tips for Intel's Krzanich

Just a few weeks shy of the annual meeting, Intel has announced that current COO Brian Krzanich will replace Paul Otellini as chief executive on May 16th. The leadership shake-up comes at a crucial time, as the company’s profitability continues to drop in the wake of the mobile computing revolution, which it is lagging behind. Skeptics are questioning the shrewdness of the board’s decision however, feeling that an external appointee would have indicated a real and necessary commitment to big changes – which is what Intel desperately needs right now. Promoting the COO to CEO is not a bold move, but a move the struggling chipmaker has made a number of times previously, with varying degrees of success.


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02nd May 2013

Shazam: What Riley can expect in his First 100 Days

Once upon a time, the word Shazam brought to mind DC Comics’s superhero Captain Marvel. Now we understand Shazam as the app that conveniently identifies that song you can’t remember the name of. To “shazam it” has become as much a part of our popular lexicon as to “google it”.


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30th Apr 2013

Who will replace Otellini?

The clock is ticking for the world’s largest chip maker. Last August Paul Otellini announced that he would step down as CEO of Intel in May 2013 and his successor has still not been found. That deadline is looming – Intel holds its annual meeting on 16th May which will also be Otellini’s last day. It is unexpected that a company of this size does not have a clear succession plan, an issue which will no doubt be playing on investor’s minds.


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30th Apr 2013

Out with the new and in with the old at JCPenney

17 months ago, amid much fanfare, former Apple exec Ron Johnson joined JCPenney as CEO. This month amid festering panic he has been replaced.


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11th Apr 2013

Preparation is vital: so what should Alex Beard be focusing on?

Tony Hall’s move to the BBC left the top job at the Royal Opera House vacant. Alex Beard was recently announced as Hall’s successor. The 49 year old will join the ROH from the Tate, where he has been Deputy Director since 2002. During his tenure at the Tate Beard worked closely with its Director Nicholas Serota: he was responsible for Tate’s business activities, including the development of Tate Modern, and the launch of The Tanks in summer 2012.


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04th Apr 2013

How will the BBC's new Director General fare?

In his first internal memo to BBC staff, new director general Tony Hall stressed the need to rebuild trust following recent difficulties. He also spoke of lessons learned and his confidence in the future of the BBC. This week Hall took over from acting DG Tim Davie, who replaced George Entwhistle, the shortest serving DG the BBC has ever had.


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27th Mar 2013

Treble the Trouble?

It has been a busy few weeks at Samsung. The electronics giant has launched the Galaxy S4, is fending off criticism from rival Blackberry about security, and has just appointed two new CEOs. Samsung is now run by three joint CEOs.


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21st Mar 2013

How should we read Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In?

Should we laud it or savage it? Is it a feminist call to arms, or does it perpetuate the stereotypes women have been trying for years to overcome? The recent release of Sheryl Sandberg’s first book Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead has been causing a media furore for weeks, and the response has been wildly varying. With Lean In, Sandberg is essentially trying to answer the question: why are there less women than men in positions of economic and political power?


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14th Mar 2013

Former General Motors exec takes the wheel at Navistar

Last week Navistar International Corp promoted its president and chief operating officer, Troy Clarke, to CEO. As a result Navistar shares surged, climbing 23% in the afternoon of the announcement. Clarke’s appointment comes following a difficult year for the truck maker. It suffered a $3 billion loss last year as its revenue dropped 7%.


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08th Mar 2013

Nooyi, Mayer and Sandberg: Celebrating Female Leaders on International Women’s Day

Last year we saw a century-long record broken when IBM named Virginia Rometty CEO; she is the first woman to head the company since it was founded in 1911. We also counted 20 female CEOs at the biggest US corporations – a new record. To mark International Women’s Day, we will take a look at some of the worlds great female leaders.


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28th Feb 2013

Virgin Vs BA: The rivalry continues..

Two years ago American Airlines and British Airways formed an alliance which saw them garner 60% of the transatlantic market. Late last year Delta Air Lines bought a 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic for $360 million. Since it was founded in 1984, Virgin has been locked in a rivalry with BA. Before Virgin came on the scene BA was the only UK airline serving long haul routes in North America. The rivalry shows no signs of waning with ex-American Airlines exec Craig Kreeger – who worked on the controversial partnership with BA – taking over as CEO of Virgin Atlantic.


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23rd Feb 2013

New CEO takes over at Legg Mason

Legg Mason Inc is one of the largest global asset management companies in the world. Joseph Sullivan has worked on and off for the company for some 19 years. Since Mark Fetting stepped down in October 2012, Sullivan has been interim chief executive. With over 30 years experience in the financial services industry, Sullivan was seen as the inside favourite for the job, and after an exhaustive search, last Wednesday he was named CEO, effective immediately.


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14th Feb 2013

A Big Switch at Bord Gáis

After 5 years as CEO, the man behind the hugely successful Big Switch campaign stepped down in December 2012. During his time at Bord Gáis Eireann John Mullins increased the value of the firm’s assets from €3.2bn when he started, to €4.5bn when he left. Mullins has stated that is was always his intention to stay five years, no longer, and now that the company is changing focus – with the establishment of Irish Water – it is the opportune time for him to make a natural break.


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01st Feb 2013

Guggenheim Partners forms Guggenheim Digital Media

Private equity firm Guggenheim Partners recently launched Guggenheim Digital Media (GDM). The firm, which operates media properties such as The Hollywood Reporter, Adweek and Billboard Magazine has enlisted Ross Levinsohn to spearhead the new venture.

Levinsohn has a strong background in digital media including a stint with News Corp, where he was president of Fox Interactive Media from 2000 to 2006. He was also of course, interim CEO of Yahoo! in 2012.


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25th Jan 2013

A fresh start: the First 100 Days of Obama's second term

When President Barack Obama won the election back in November, I wrote that there were a number of things we should expect from him by the end of his first 100 days. That he would have;


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11th Jan 2013

Lampert makes the move from chairman to CEO at Sears Holdings

Edward Lampert is a lawyer’s son with a degree from Yale. He cut his teeth in Goldman Sachs, and in 1988 he flew solo, founding ESL Investments Inc. He has been chairman and CEO since. ESL is Sears Holdings Corp’s largest shareholder. Lampert has an estimated net worth of $3 billion.


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04th Jan 2013

Charles Scharf takes over at Visa

In November 2012 an executive reshuffle was announced at Visa Inc. Charles Scharf (47) took over as CEO as Joseph Saunders stepped down after five years in the role. Scharf came to the company from One Equity Partners, the private equity unit of JPMorgan Chase.


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20th Dec 2012

Philip Mezey's First 100 Days at Itron

Itron is a publicly traded global technology company with over 9,000 employees worldwide. It provides metering services that measure and manage natural gas, water and electricity. Last year Itron generated sales of $2.4 billion. On 20 November it was announced that in January 2013, Philip Mezey (52) will take over as president and CEO of Itron Inc.


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14th Dec 2012

The Dublin Book Launch

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On 4th December, friends, family and colleagues gathered at the Gravity Bar in the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. We met to celebrate the launch of the latest book in the FT Series on First 100 Days by author Niamh O’Keeffe. With stunning, panoramic views of the city we toasted to Niamh’s success.


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09th Nov 2012

President Obama's First 100 Days in the White House, again: an opportunity for a new start

The first 100 days of a president’s term in office have been a focal point of American politics since Franklin D. Roosevelt's legendary first 100 days in office at the height of the Great Depression in 1933. For President Obama, the first 100 days of his second term in the White House provide an opportunity for him to show his leadership skills and to rally America in what are truly challenging times.


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19th Oct 2012

The First 100 Days of new Manchester City FC CEO

As of this week, Ferran Soriano, the newly appointed CEO of Manchester City FC is midway through his first 100 days having started in the role on September 1st of this year. During this crucial 100 day period, Soriano needs to be focusing on the core areas of leadership, strategy and people in order to make an accelerated start in the role and set himself up for long term success in what is traditionally a very unforgiving industry.


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29th Jun 2012

Raymond Conner flying high at Boeing Commercial Airlines

The US multinational aerospace and defense company Boeing has announced Raymond Conner as the new CEO of its Commercial Airplanes division, the largest of its five business units with over 70,000 employees. Boeing itself is the largest exporter by value in the US, and its stock is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. In terms of revenue and production the company is one of the largest aircraft manufacturers in the world.


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26th Jun 2012

Rambus announces new CEO

Rambus Inc yesterday named Ronald Black the new president, chief executive officer and director. Black will succeed Harold Hughes who was head of the technology licensing company since 2005. While Hughes is retiring, he will remain on the board of directors.


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22nd Jun 2012

New CEO at Thomas Cook

Harriet Green is due to take the helm next month at troubled tour operator Thomas Cook. Green comes to the travel business as an industry outsider, having had a successful career in electronics, most recently as CEO of electrical components company Premier Farnell.


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15th Jun 2012

Leader takes pay cut to run Fannie Mae

Three days from now Timothy Mayopoulos will take the helm at Fannie Mae, the US mortgage giant that four years ago had the dubious distinction of getting the biggest bailout of any company after the biggest financial disaster in generations. Mayopoulos will take over from Michael J Williams, as CEO of what is now in effect a state-run company with a very uncertain future. So far Fannie Mae’s rescue has cost US taxpayers an eye-watering $170 billion, but the firm reported a $2.7 billion profit during the first quarter of this year, and for the first time since it was seized by the government in 2008, said it wouldn’t need need additional taxpayer money.


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12th Jun 2012

John Browett - 60 days as VP of Retail for Apple

In April John Browett took up the position of Vice President of Retail for Apple, moving from Hertfordshire to California. This week, he will be 60 days in the role.


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08th Jun 2012

Cavan Redmond's First 100 Days at WebMD

WebMD Health Corp is a US firm that specialises in providing health information, primarily through their WebMD website, which is used as a resource both by doctors and the public at large, attracting 25 million unique visitors per month. The site enables its users to answer healthcare and wellness-related queries, find out about symptoms and ailments and read up on the latest available drugs and treatments. It’s the number two health info provider in the country with a current market cap of $1.28 billion.


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05th Jun 2012

The internal hire: pros and cons

Last week Susan Adams published an article, New CEO Study Underlines Merits of Promoting From Within, in Forbes. Adams highlights some compelling evidence to support the notion that promoting internally is highly advantageous for any company. The internally appointed CEO is likely to stay in the position a year longer that the external hire, while the internal appointee is also better for their companies’s share price.


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01st Jun 2012

Mitt Romney: on the campaign trail

Now that Rick Santorum has left the race, Mitt Romney is all but guaranteed the Republican nomination. This must be a relief for the former governor of Massachusetts, because it leaves him free to focus all his energy – and campaign money – on his face-off against Barack Obama for the presidency. Romney will spend the coming months on the road, campaigning against Obama in key battleground states. For both candidates, but particularly for the challenger, the lead-up to the election in November is the most gruelling six months in US politics.


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29th May 2012

Top job at the BBC up for grabs..

Mark Thompson has been Director General of the BBC since 2004, and he recently announced that this autumn he will leave. Having headed the corporation for nearly eight years, he has seen the BBC through embarrassing scandals (think Jonathon Ross/Russell Brand) and awesome triumphs (think Frozen Planet). As Director General Thompson is responsible for the BBC’s services across television, radio and online.


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25th May 2012

Dennis Woodside and Motorola Mobility

From Apple to Facebook, the world’s biggest technology companies are racing to find a way to make internet ads work on handheld devices. And Google has just entered the race, with the announcement on Tuesday that its purchase of mobile phone company Motorola Mobility (MMi) has been finalized after a long delay.


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22nd May 2012

Another new CEO for Yahoo!

After only five months in the top job at Yahoo! Scott Thompson is no longer CEO. This position at the troubled web company has fallen, temporarily at least, to Ross Levinsohn – a former executive at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. – with two years already under his belt at Yahoo!. Levinsohn’s chance to run Yahoo! can be seen as something like an audition, giving the board of directors time to evaluate other candidates and evaluate Levinsohn’s performance before offering anyone the job on a permanent basis.


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11th May 2012

New President of the World Bank

On April 16 Jim Yong Kim, an American medical doctor and president of the Ivy League University Dartmouth College, was chosen to be the next president of the World Bank. Kim was nominated by Barack Obama to take over from Robert Zoellick, who stepped down after a five-year term. The BBC reports that Kim will oversee a staff of 9000 economists and development experts, and administer a loan portfolio that hit $258 billion last year.


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08th May 2012

Leadership change at Smythson of Bond Street..

Iconic British luxury brand Smythson, manufacturers of fine leather and stationary goods since 1887, announced a leadership change this week. Andy Janowski is taking over as CEO – replacing Smythson’s owner and chairman Jacques Bahbout.


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04th May 2012

Nigel Heap and Hays Group

Englishman Nigel Heap, who’s worked for Hays plc for 25 years, has been unofficially crowned ‘Australia’s recruitment profit king.’ But now he’s come full circle and returned to his roots to take on a new challenge, one  that’s proved to be beyond the abilities of a succession of Hays executives in recent years: the Group’s faltering operations in the UK and Ireland.


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01st May 2012

John Browett @ 30 Days

Last month John Browett moved from Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire to sunny California and one of the most exciting technology companies in the world. He has taken up the role of Vice President of Retail for Apple, and has been in the position for 30 days now.


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27th Apr 2012

The First 100 Days of Alex Gorsky

After 10 years as chief of healthcare giant Johnson and Johnson, Bill Weldon officially handed over the running of the company to incoming CEO Alex Gorsky at its Annual Meeting of Shareholders yesterday. Weldon saw J&J double its sales and post strong profits during his tenure, before the company tripped over a recent string of high-profile scandals and production problems. He will be staying on as Chairman.


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20th Apr 2012

The end of the First 100 Days!

This week Jacob Lew reaches the end of his first 100 days as President Obama’s Chief of Staff. When our clients come to the end of their 100 days we recommend the following:


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17th Apr 2012

Leadership change at IBM

On 1 January of this year, Virginia Rometty was appointed CEO of US computer giant IBM. Rometty drew a lot of positive media attention because she’s the first female Chief the company’s had in its 100-year history. Outgoing CEO Sam Palmisano was stating the obvious when he said “Ginni got it because she deserved it… It’s got zero to do with progressive social policies.”


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13th Apr 2012

Avon Calling

Iconic cosmetics company Avon Products Inc has named Sherilyn McCoy as its new CEO after a four-month search for an outside hire to help turn the company around. Avon has lately seen major sales losses in its crucial overseas markets of Brazil and Russia, shrinkage and demoralisation of its US direct-sales force, and a scandal involving accusations of international bribery culminating in an ongoing federal probe. On top of that, Avon’s board last week rejected an unsolicited $10 billion buyout bid from Coty, the fragrance company behind scents for Beyoncé, Adidas and Lady Gaga. This all comes in a year when Avon’s share price fell by 30%.


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05th Apr 2012

Scott Thompson @ 90 Days

At the ninety-day mark it’s good to take time out for an in-depth review of progress so far. It’s an opportunity to cast a cold eye over the entirety of the 100 Days Plan and compare it point-for-point with the realities of what you’ve acheived, and what’s still achievable.


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30th Mar 2012

Don Thompson to take over as CEO of McDonald's..

On July 1, Don Thompson is set to become CEO of the world’s biggest burger chain. Current McDonald’s CEO Jim Skinner will retire on June 30 after 41 years with the company. Thompson is himself a long-term employee with 22 years in, starting in 1990 as an electrical engineer and rising to his current position as President with responsibility for global strategy and operations.


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20th Mar 2012

What should Jacob Lew be asking himself at 60 days?

Jacob Lew has been President Obama’s Chief of Staff for 60 days now – it’s time for a review of progress. This milestone is an opportunity for Lew to get back to basics and assess what has been achieved so far, and what must  be achieved in the next 30 days. A harsh critical eye is key.


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16th Mar 2012

Yishan Wong and the rise of Reddit

The social news startup Reddit was getting 21 million page views per month when it was bought by publishing giant Conde Nast in 2006. By the end of 2011 the website was getting over 2 billion page views per month and catering to 35 million unique visitors, an astonishing growth spurt that lifted it into the rank of the biggest web-based media communities in the world


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13th Mar 2012

Philippa Roe elected as Leader of Westminster City Council

After a particularly tough leadership race, last week Philippa Roe was announced as the new Leader of Westminster City Council. Previously a director at Citigroup she is the Council’s eleventh leader, and second female leader.


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09th Mar 2012

Who will head the World Bank?

By the end of this month, countries are expected to have nominated their candidates for the top job at the World Bank. And due to certain developments on the international political scene, competition for the job might turn out be a little bit stiffer than it has been in the past.


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06th Mar 2012

Issues for Scott Thompson to address @ 60 days..

First100 encourages reviews of progress during the first 100 days of a new leadership role, taking place at 30 days, at 60 days and at 90-100 days. This week Scott Thompson reaches his 60 day marker as CEO of Yahoo! – by now he has two months experience under his belt.


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02nd Mar 2012

Good Karma for Tom LaSorda

Fisker Automotive is the Californian carmaker responsible for building one of the world’s first  plug-in hybrid electric cars. The Fisker Karma is a sleek, low-slung luxury vehicle that looks something like a Maserati Quattroporte. Retailing for between $103000 and $116000, depending on the extras, the Karma is aimed squarely at the upper end of the market (Justin Bieber just got one for his eighteenth birthday).


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28th Feb 2012

At 30 days: what should Jacob Lew be focused on?

Jacob Lew has been acting Chief of Staff for President Obama for a month now. For any new leader there is a lot to juggle in the early days of a new role appointment. It can be tempting to “get stuck in” and forge blindly ahead, but at First100 we recommend taking time to critically assess your performance. It is vital to lift your head up at regular intervals – think more deeply about your progress so far and where you are headed in the future.

 


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24th Feb 2012

John Browett - Apple's new VP of Retail

Last year Apple beat the oil giant Exxon Mobil to become the most valuable company in the world, and as of yesterday its market capitalisation reached $479.42 billion. The next step for the electronics giant is rapid retail expansion in Europe and China, with plans to open 30 new stores outside the US.


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21st Feb 2012

Thorsten Heins: Review of Progress @ 30 Days

The First100 approach is structured to help the newly appointed executive tackle key milestones during their first 100 days – we believe in reviewing progress against desired outcomes at 30 days, at 60 days and at 90-100 days.


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17th Feb 2012

Jacob Lew: Obama's new Chief of Staff

US President Barack Obama announced last month that Jacob Lew would replace William M. Daley as White House Chief of Staff. Lew is a Harvard graduate from New York who has extensive experience running large institutions in banking, government and academia.


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10th Feb 2012

Who will be the next leader of Westminster City Council?

In January the leader of Westminster City Council, Colin Barrow – who had been at the centre of the West End parking charges row – resigned. His proposal to introduce weekend and night parking charges was universally unpopular, and faced steep opposition from local business, residents and workers – including restauranteurs, actors and clergymen.


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07th Feb 2012

Leadership change at Sony

Last week Sony Corp warned investors it’s expecting a net loss of $2.9 billion for the year to March. Amazingly, the electronics giant posted a $2.1 billion dollar net loss for October-December, usually a big quarter because of holiday sales.


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03rd Feb 2012

The Importance of Building a Strong Team

Having a healthy, high performing team is crucial to leadership success. In the first 100 days of a new role, building a fully functioning, robust team should be a top priority for the new appointee. This can be challenging – many new executives are making a step up in terms of the emotional intelligence required to build a high performing team.


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31st Jan 2012

Another new CEO for Yahoo!

A few weeks ago Yahoo! hired Scott Thompson as its new CEO. Under Thompson’s predecessor Yahoo! had invested millions in media, on the premise that users wanted the company to bring them original content such as journalism and entertainment. But hiring Thompson, who comes from a solid background in information technology, signals the board’s intention to shift the company’s focus from media to tech and data.


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27th Jan 2012

The First 100 Days of Thorsten Heins..

The company behind the Blackberry, RIM, announced an executive reshuffle on Sunday. Longtime co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, who oversaw the company’s rise (it was worth over $70 billion not long ago), as well as its more recent fall from grace, have stepped down. They have been replaced by new CEO Thorsten Heins, an internal appointee who has four years with the company.


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20th Jan 2012

Watch out, 2012!

Many of us started the year by making resolutions, and some of us, its safe to say, will find our resolve faltering around the February mark (some won’t even make it that far). There’s nothing terrible in this – its just Nature taking its course.


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06th Jan 2012

Making an Impact

2012 has arrived, and we find ourselves in a rapidly changing world in which the political and economic outlook for the next twelve months is more uncertain than it has been at any time since 2008. In this newly unstable commercial and corporate world, uncertainty about the future feeds a growing sense of urgency in the here and now.


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03rd Jan 2012

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare!

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”

Alexander Graham Bell

Alexander Graham Bell, a great leader? Who knows. But certainly a great inventor.


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20th Dec 2011

Face the music, and dance!

If managed right, the intense short-term time-period right after promotion – the first 100 days – becomes an excellent framework that both provides opportunities and focuses efforts to achieve performance acceleration.


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06th Dec 2011

Case Study: The Internal Appointee

The Present

Recently we started working with Martha, the newly promoted director of a financial services company. As an internal appointee her case is interesting – and her challenges unique to those of an external hire.


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02nd Dec 2011

The Track to Success

For an executive, the first one hundred days after a major promotion can feel like taking a hairpin turn in a racing car. It’s a moment when the stakes are raised, the tension is severe, and failure, though a scary possibility, is simply not an option.


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29th Nov 2011

Be Fruitful and Multiply

Wikipedia is a massive global phenomenon. It is an extraordinarily impressive enterprise, which could never have been predicted. Wikipedia functions as a result of the shared belief of thousands of people. It is not for profit – it is fueled by inspiration not money. A unique idea was born, was shared, was copied and became espoused by many. And these thousands of people all started to work in the service of this idea, for free.


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25th Nov 2011

But Seriously, Folks...

If one considers that for some hundred thousand years man was an animal susceptible to fright in the highest degree, and that anything sudden or unexpected meant that he was ready to do battle, perhaps to die…then one cannot be surprised that at every sudden, unexpected word or deed, if it comes without danger or harm, man is released and experiences instead the opposite of fright. The cringing creature, trembling in fear, springs up, expands wide: man laughs.                             Friedrich Nietszche


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15th Nov 2011

EQ: On Avoiding Social Stumbles in the Workplace

While innovation, vision and confidence are highly regarded traits in any leader, emotional intelligence is equally important. Increasingly, EQ analysis is becoming a regular factor in the recruitment process for any organisation. Leadership success demands control, awareness, and management of one’s own emotions, as well as those of others. Consequently, keen emotional intelligence is a highly desirable attribute in any leader.


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11th Nov 2011

Leadership in Crisis

Political leaders throughout the west are facing a crisis of confidence. Approval ratings for Angela Merkel (40%), Nickolas Sarkozy (20%) and David Cameron (33%) have plummeted in recent months. Papandreou has resigned. Berlusconi will probably be next. Obama’s current approval rating is one of the lowest since Nixon’s after the Watergate scandal.


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08th Nov 2011

Integrity: A fail-safe for successful leadership?

“The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.”

                                               Dwight D. Eisenhower


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04th Nov 2011

The London Book Launch

Although I live in London, until last week I had not seen the city’s vast skyline in its entirety. The opportunity to enjoy a panorama of London, spanning from St Paul’s to the Eye, comes rarely. On Wednesday, Your First 100 Days: How to Make Maximum Impact in Your New Leadership Role, the latest book by Niamh O’Keeffe, founder of First100™ was launched. The venue was FT Pearson, on the Strand; situated on the 10th floor and boasting a balcony overlooking the whole city.


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25th Oct 2011

Your First 100 Days Plan

In the current global economy, performance acceleration early on in a new role is more important than ever. A couple of decades ago, for example, a newly appointed director was allowed the luxury of a three-month ‘settling in’ period – those days are gone. Judgements are made much more quickly now – a leader’s achievements in the first 100 days are routinely taken as an indication of his or her leadership potential in the future.


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21st Oct 2011

You're Fired!

Like all reality TV shows, The Apprentice is remarkable for its air of poised and polished unreality. Each episode is tightly structured around a major challenge to be met, with some minor conflicts flaring up around it and a few character-arcs deftly sketched in along the way. All of it leads inexorably to the tense denouement, that enjoyably contrived boardroom showdown in which one of the would-be apprentices gets handed their marching orders.


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18th Oct 2011

The Unique Challenges of Relocation Abroad

Your driving licence has expired and you need to get passport photographs. After 15 minutes online locating the closest photo shop, an eight minute walk to the underground, a 10 minute journey, a quick march (initially down the wrong street), you eventually arrive at the shop. To find it closed. Closed! At 3:15pm on a Wednesday afternoon?


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14th Oct 2011

The Story

The idea of storytelling as a leadership skill has been a popular topic in recent years. Politicians and policy-wonks talk endlessly about “finding the narrative.” Hollywood screenwriters offer seminars for CEOs and executives who want to up their game in the storytelling stakes. Fables For Board Tables (FT.com) was one of many articles in the press and across the blogosphere about how leaders use storytelling as a tool to inspire investors, galvanise employees and connect with their target market.


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11th Oct 2011

The Foundations of Great Leadership

Steve Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple in August 2011. Since his death on Thursday he has been much lauded, as a visionary, an innovator, an artist and an entrepreneur. Even his unique sartorial style was frequently noted as a reflection of his innovative intellect (well, what other CEO of such standing habitually sported jeans and a turtle neck?).


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07th Oct 2011

Oh, Mother

In a recent article in Bloomberg, Helena Morrissey, who as CEO of Newton Investment Management oversees 47.2 billion pounds and almost 400 employees, recalled her worst moment as a woman in the City. It happened almost 20 years ago, when she was the only female on a team of sixteen male bond fund traders at Schroders Investment Management. She’d just returned from her first maternity leave and her boss passed her over for promotion.


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04th Oct 2011

The Graduate Profile

Sophie is 23 years old. She has travelled the world from Mexico to Kuala Lumpar, with jaunts in Helsinki and San Francisco for good measure. She has felt the warmth, anticipation, and intense fear of love at first sight – James from her Microeconomics course – and the anguish of the unrequited. A facebook profile packed with glossy photographs is a virtual record of her life thus far.


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30th Sep 2011

The Shock of the New

“Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown..”

William Shakespeare (Henry IV, Part II)  

The person with great responsibilities faces constant challenges. This is true even for a leader of long standing who is well-established in the role, with habit, convention and familiarity all working in his/her favour. How much more so for a new a newly appointed senior executive, who faces challenges he/she may not have faced before?


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27th Sep 2011

A Series of Minor Incidents

In Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell writes that “Plane crashes are much more likely to be the results of minor difficulties and seemingly trivial malfunctions”. He lists a litany of factors such as bad weather, the plane running late, pilot fatigue, and pilots who have never flown together so are not comfortable with one another. On top of this he adds “The typical accident involves seven human errors”.


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21st Sep 2011

Respect? Some jobs are thankless..

On a recent assignment we engaged with Joan, the new Marketing Director at a mid-sized software company. Joan found the initial weeks extremely tough as it became apparent that the marketing department had a low pro?le and poor reputation within the business.


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21st Sep 2011

Your First 100 Days: How to Make Maximum Impact in Your New Leadership Role

Please read the press release to get an overview of niamh O'Keeffe's latest book.


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05th Sep 2011

Group Functioning - how does it work?

Organisations are built by people, and sustained by people. These people usually work in groups. Acknowledging the importance of group functioning, and having an awareness of the group phenomenon is vital to the success of a business.


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02nd Sep 2011

New Leadership Needed

As the world economy teeters between double dip recession and recovery, it seems appropriate to reflect on what we need from the new business leaders that need to emerge in our society.


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31st Aug 2011

New job, new company, new industry – a tall order in 100 days?

We are currently working with the HR director of a financial services company. Henry was one month in to his new position when we began working with him. He faced the extra challenge of adjusting to the banking industry after 20 years in FMCG. At this time he was struggling to cope; he was failing to build relationships with his team and was having difficulty asserting his leadership. While the team he had inherited was competent, the legacy of his predecessor was a point of constraint; his team were wary of his mandate for change.


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11th Feb 2011

The First100 Days of the new Irish Government

There has already been talk, from some of the main political leaders, about what they are going to do in their First 100 days in power. This is encouraging, and is a great sound bite, but do they actually know what they are talking about?


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31st Jan 2011

First100 Coaching Schools™ Launch in London and New York

January and February can be bleak at the best of times, but the start of 2011 has brought grim tidings for many with their eye on the global economy. Business leaders realise that the recovery from recession is not set in stone, with growth slowing in the UK, continuing jitters in the Eurozone and a US budget deficit hovering around the 10% mark. Leaders across all sectors of the economy are aware that the period of settling in for new senior personnel is a luxury they can no longer afford.


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17th Jan 2011

AIB has a new CEO - how will he fare?

In November of 2011 AIB, one of Irelands dominant “big four” commercial banks, appointed Mr David Duffy as CEO after a yearlong effort to find a suitable candidate for the role. AIB, which was effectively nationalized in late 2010, began its search for a CEO when the Irish government overhauled the bank’s senior management. Since that time, Mr David Hodgkinson has filled the role of executive chairman on a temporary basis.


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02nd Nov 2010

Safety is Not the Issue at BP

Bob, you need to realise that it is neither safety nor public relations that are your most pressing leadership issues. Instead, it is a systemic lack of leadership and lack of humility at BP that has brought your company to such a difficult place.


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02nd Oct 2010

Adam Crozier's First 100 Days...

Lights, camera, action…

Adam Crozier, former joint Chief Executive of Saatchi & Saatchi, former Chief Executive of the Football Association and current Royal Mail CEO, is leaving his position to take up an even more high-profile role at troubled media giant ITV. As some media commentators have described it, “it looks like a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire”.


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22nd Sep 2010

Bob Diamond: The Acceptable Face of Barclays?

As expected, Massachusetts banker Bob Diamond has been confirmed as the new CEO of Barclays. Yet I sense that Diamond, who will take a pay cut as he assumes formal control, has essentially been in charge at the bank for a number of years now.

An aggressive internal player, Diamond may not view his official appointment as his first 100 days in charge, yet this would be a miscalculation on his part. Now is the time for Bob to engage in first 100 days strategic thinking and renew his leadership skills and plans.


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23rd Aug 2010

Cameron's First 100 Days in Office

On Leading the Coalition:

Yes, did a good job in setting this up and leading it forward. He took the media and political pundits by surprise early on and gave himself an advantage by making a virtue of the situation rather than it appearing to be a half-hearted compromise. Survived the unexpected and unfortunate departure from office of David Laws 18 days in.


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28th Jun 2010

Now the real work begins…but will anyone notice?

This week’s emergency budget took few by surprise, but it represents an enormous challenge for the Liberal-Democrats. Selling an austerity budget to core tory supporters was never going to be difficult, but Nick Clegg and Vince Cable are sure to come under pressure from the left wing of their party.


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01st Jun 2010

Cam-Cleg: A 100-Day honeymoon?

Just watched the live Press Conference showcasing the love-in of Britain’s new Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. Clearly both men are in the throes of early love and promise of a new relationship, but will it last? Or to put it more constructively, what should these guys do to ensure that the first 100 days of coalition sets them up for real success to secure the aspiration of 5 years in government.


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29th Mar 2010

The 'New' Government Team

Like so many organisations over the last 2 years, the Irish government has re-organised itself, in the belief that doing so will lead to accelerated performance.


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26th Mar 2010

Shifting HR Thinking: Less on Head Hunters Fees More Investment in the New Hire

It is time for the HR community to start thinking differently and to understand that just because something is the accepted norm, it doesn’t make it right.


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24th Mar 2010

Dear Gordon…

Dear Gordon,

‘Staying the course’

I watched your Piers Morgan interview and concluded you now have a realistic chance of winning the election. 

You came across as a committed, capable and authentic leader; perhaps just the kind of person we want in charge during these troubled times. You also showed a deeply human side to your character when you told us your relationship with Sarah was ‘a great love story‘… changing the nation’s perception of you at a stroke.


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