The Sacramento region saw an unusually high turnover rate in top jobs in 2015. New leaders took over in some of the biggest companies and industry groups. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most high-profile changes.
The region’s No. 1 public company had a roller-coaster year, with C-suite changes being part of the excitement. CEO Scott Seymour abruptly resigned on June 1 and was replaced by the company’s then-new COO, Eileen Drake. She came from United Technologies Corp., where she served as president of Pratt & Whitney AeroPower’s auxiliary power unit and small turbojet propulsion business.
The Sacramento-based health system’s longtime CEO, Pat Fry, announced in May he would step down at the end of the year. He will be replaced by chief operating officer Sarah Krevens. The nonprofit hospital company had recently completed a reorganization and Fry said the timing was good for a change of the guard. Krevens joined Sutter 16 years earlier and went on to become regional executive for the Sacramento area.
Also in May, veteran VSP Global CEO Rob Lynch made a similar announcement. He stepped down on Oct. 1 as head of the Rancho Cordova-based nonprofit eye-care and vision plan company. His replacement was Jim McGrann, president of the company’s insurance division and a driver of the company’s innovation efforts.
SAFE Credit Union
Henry Wirz, CEO of SAFE Credit Union for more than 30 years, announced in August that he will retire in March 2016. He led the credit union as it grew from four branches to 22 branches in 12 counties. His successor will be company president Dave Roughton, who had been CFO since 1999.
Sacramento Metro Chamber
Appointed late in 2014, new chamber CEO Peter Tateishi took charge in January, succeeding well-known civic leader and former lawmaker Roger Niello. In the busy year that followed, he has led the chamber in strengthening business advocacy, streamlining operations, wrestling with labor over a city minimum-wage law and other efforts.
Greater Sacramento Area Economic Council
Another appointment late in 2014 took effect this year with the arrival of Barry Broome, first CEO of the Greater Sacramento Area Economic Council. Broome has led the startup’s effort to reinvent business recruitment and retention efforts for the region. The group already has some success stories to tell.
Sacramento Central Labor Council
A new executive director took the helm this year at the region’s largest labor-union umbrella group. Longtime leader Bill Camp, who had clashed with some of the group’s board members, announced his retirement last year. He was replaced by Fabrizio Sasso, who — like Tateishi — spent a good amount of the year working on the city’s minimum-wage law.
National Federation of Independent Business
Another familiar figure in Sacramento’s business world, John Kabateck, announced in May he was stepping down as California executive director of the National Federation of Independent Business to form his own public affairs firm. He was replaced by Tom Scott, who previously headed a group seeking to curb lawsuit abuses.
California State University Sacramento
A new campus president and a new business dean both took office this summer at Sacramento State. Robert Nelsen, replacing veteran president Alexander Gonzalez, said he hopes to help students move more quickly through their coursework, among other goals. And Pierre Balthazard, new dean of the College of Business Administration, said he hopes to strengthen interaction between the school and the business community.
UC Davis Graduate School of Management
Another of the region’s academic leaders stepped down in 2015. Steve Currall, dean of the Graduate School of Management at the University of California Davis, in June said he would leave the post to help develop plans for a third campus. In November Currall was appointed provost and vice president of academic affairs at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. No successor has yet been named at the business school in Davis.