Boardroom Insights Speaker Bios
September 8, 2018
John Donovan, CEO – AT&T Communications, is responsible for the bulk of AT&T’s global telecommunications and video services businesses, including AT&T’s Business, Entertainment, and Technology & Operations groups. AT&T Communications is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AT&T Inc.
AT&T is a global leader in telecommunications with 100 million U.S. consumer connections and millions of businesses, from the smallest companies to nearly all of the Fortune 1000. It is the largest pay-TV provider in the U.S., with more than 25 million customers. It is also one of the largest wireless providers, with more than 135 million wireless subscribers and connections. The company provides high-speed internet connections to 60 million U.S. customer locations and ultra-fast fiber connections to more than 5.5 million customer locations in 55 markets. AT&T also provides global IP network services that connect nearly 3.5 million businesses on six continents and delivers connectivity for 34 million connected devices.
Previously, Donovan served as Chief Strategy Officer and Group President – AT&T Technology and Operations. In that role, he led strategic planning for the company overall. Additionally, he led the company’s networks and technologies team, which has driven AT&T’s global leadership in the technological transition to software-defined networking – with a focus on virtualized or cloud-based network controls – as well as the company’s leadership in the move to 5G networks. In that role, he also oversaw the company’s global information, software development, supply chain, network operations, and big data organizations, as well as AT&T’s Intellectual Property group, Labs and Foundries.
Prior to that, Donovan served as AT&T’s Chief Technology Officer, overseeing the company's global technology direction and innovation road map. Since joining the company in 2008, Donovan has expanded AT&T’s innovation program and the company is now recognized as an industry leader in working with application developers and others to make AT&T’s network open to collaboration and innovation.
Donovan previously was executive vice president of product, sales, marketing and operations at VeriSign Inc., an internet infrastructure company. He also was chairman and CEO of inCode Telecom Group Inc., where he helped shape strategy for wireless carriers worldwide. He also was a partner with Deloitte Consulting, where he was the Americas telecom practice director.
Donovan serves on the Board of Directors for Palo Alto Networks. He has authored three books: The Value Enterprise, published in 1998; Value Creating Growth, published in 1999; and Building the Network of the Future: Getting Smarter, Faster, and More Flexible with a Software Centric Approach, published in 2017. Donovan received a B.S.E.E. from the University of Notre Dame and earned an M.B.A. in finance from the University of Minnesota.
September 14, 2018
Tommy is COO for SONIFI Solutions and operations executive for Colony Capital a leading global real estate, technology and entertainment investment firm with over $40B in assets. Tommy helped lead Colony’s acquisition and post-bankruptcy turn-around of SONIFI (formerly LodgeNet) – a leading provider of interactive media and technology products servicing the hospitality and healthcare industries. Prior to Sonifi, Tommy partnered with Colony to acquire the Miramax film studio from Disney and led the company’s worldwide operations, growing the business from 2 to 150+ employees, and ultimately selling the company to beIN Media Group.
Previously Tommy spent 12 years at The Walt Disney Company. As Vice President of Corporate Strategy, he led strategy for growth investments in Hong Kong Disneyland, Disney Vacation Club, and Disney Cruise Line. He then moved to an operational role overseeing $2B in revenue at the Disneyland Resort. Before Disney, Tommy was a Captain in the US Air Force, managing the design, development and implementation of advanced technology programs and global intelligence systems. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS from the US Air Force Academy.
September 21, 2018
DeLaney, 62, served as Sysco Corporation chief executive officer from March 2009 until retiring at the end of 2017. Sysco is an international marketer and distributor of food and related products to foodservice operators. Currently Sysco employees approximately 67 thousand associates, and reported $59 billion in fiscal 2018 sales.
DeLaney embarked on his 30-year Sysco career in 1987 when he joined the company as assistant treasurer. He progressed to roles of increasing responsibility including vice president and treasurer, president and CEO of Sysco Food Services of Charlotte Inc., and Sysco Corporation executive vice president and chief financial officer, among many others.
DeLaney serves on the boards at Express Scripts, Sanmina Corporation and Union Pacific. DeLaney served on the Sysco Corporation board 2009-17.
He earned his undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame, and obtained a Master of Business Administration from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
September 28, 2018
EVP, CFO, Darren Seidel, leads and manages FP&A, Accounting, Tax, Treasury and Process Improvement teams. Seidel is a vital member of EP’s executive team, serving as the lead financial executive in cash management and investment activities, banking and related credit relationships, board of directors, government and employee-owner relations.
He also oversees EP Financial Solutions, the company’s incentive arm. Seidel helped negotiate the acquisition of EP affiliates EP Canada and Canada Film Capital. He was also an integral part of executing EP’s investment with Exactuals, a provider of SaaS platform for complex payments. He currently serves on the Exactuals Board of Directors.
Seidel previously served as Senior Vice President of International Finance at Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group (WBHEG) where he oversaw international finance across Warner Bros. Home Video, Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. In this role, Seidel was responsible for forecasts, budgets, long term strategic plans, acquisition analysis, special projects, greenlights, and ultimates for WBHEG’s international businesses.
Prior to joining Warner Bros. in 2010, Seidel spent eight years with The Walt Disney Company where he held a variety of positions, from helping lead Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment business in Asia Pacific and Latin America to the head of finance for a Disney Consumer Products business unit.
Seidel holds an MBA from the University of Notre Dame, and currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife and three children.
October 5, 2018
Tim is Executive Officer and Board Member of Dentsu Inc., the #1 advertising agency brand in the world, and the 5th largest advertising network in the world, headquartered in Japan. He concurrently serves as Executive Chairman of Dentsu Aegis Network, responsible for all global operations outside of Japan which comprise over 300 offices in 145 countries.
Tim joined Dentsu in 2006 as CEO of Dentsu America. Within two years, it was ranked by Ad Age as the fastest-growing agency in the U.S. Since then, he has risen through the ranks leaving a trail of many “firsts” along the way. In 2008, he was named Dentsu Inc.’s first non-Japanese Executive Officer in its 107-year history. He expanded his responsibilities beyond the U.S. to include Americas, Europe and Australia (2010) and eventually adding all of APAC (2012). This was the first time a non-Japanese executive held the role. Under Tim’s leadership, the company grew both organically and through M&A. It became the fastest growing agency network in North America and was named one of “World’s Most Innovative Companies” by Fast Company.
In another company first, Tim had a critical role in orchestrating Dentsu’s acquisition of Aegis Group in 2013, the largest transaction in the company’s history, worth over $5bn. The two companies were integrated to form Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN), and Tim was named Executive Chairman, while concurrently being promoted to Executive Vice President of Dentsu Inc. He was also appointed as the first non-Japanese Director, Member of the Board.
When Tim joined Dentsu in 2006, global business accounted for less than 5% of the entire Group. Today, the international business has grown to more than 60%. Tim has overseen more than 170 acquisitions in the last 5 years including notable ones such as MKTG and Merkle which are now part of DAN’s global network brands.
Prior to joining Dentsu, Tim spent 13 years at Toyota (6 years in Japan, 7 years in NY) in various roles including international public relations, overseas planning, corporate advertising, media relations, IR and external affairs. Following Toyota, he joined Canon as head of marketing and corporate communications where he was responsible for over $300MM marketing budget. After Canon, Tim held senior marketing positions at the Dilenschneider Group and BASF before landing at the NBA as SVP of Communications where he was responsible for media relations, public affairs, marketing and international communications for the NBA, WNBA, NBDL, NBA Entertainment and NBA TV.
Tim has been named “Agency Innovator” by The Internationalist. He is a frequent speaker at major industry events and universities. He has served as a judge at the Effie Awards and is a co-author of The Dentsu Way.
Tim graduated from the University of Notre Dame (’83) with a major in economics and was drafted by the Chicago Bulls. He continued to devote his early career to basketball by playing in professional leagues in Italy, Spain, Monaco and Japan. He married his college sweetheart Laureen Langan (’84). Three of their six children also attended Notre Dame (Timothy Jr. ’10, Daniel ’17, Bridget ’22).
October 12, 2018
Michelle Gass, chief executive officer, is responsible for Kohl’s long-term growth and profitability, along with strategic direction.
Gass joined Kohl’s in 2013 as chief customer officer and was named chief merchandising and customer officer in 2015. Gass was promoted to CEO-elect in October 2017 and assumed the CEO role in May 2018. Gass was an integral leader of the creation of Kohl’s long-term strategic framework, the Greatness Agenda, in 2014. Gass also led the company’s focus on becoming an active and wellness destination, launched Kohl’s new loyalty program and is responsible for bringing in new categories, partners and brands, including Under Armour and Amazon.
Prior to Kohl’s, Gass spent more than 16 years with Starbucks Corporation holding a variety of leadership roles across marketing, global strategy and merchandising, including president, Starbucks Europe, Middle East and Africa, overseeing and growing the company's 1,900 owned and licensed store operations across the region. Gass has more than 25 years of experience in the retail and consumer goods industries.
November 9, 2018
Stephen Hemsley became executive chairman, UnitedHealth Group, on September 1, 2017. In this position, Hemsley remains actively involved in supporting the senior management team, oversight of planning and performance and helping guide the enterprise. As chairman of the board of directors, he leads the strategic responsibilities of the board. Hemsley was formerly chief executive officer, UnitedHealth Group, from 2006 to 2017. He has been a member of the company's board of directors since 2006. He previously served as president and chief operating officer, UnitedHealth Group. Hemsley joined the company in June 1997.