About this event

CEO succession is a key risk for any company and very difficult to manage well. Even the most iconic companies get it painfully wrong (including executive transitions at P&G, GE, Ford, Boeing, and more.) Even the best boards and companies think they are better prepared than they actually are—and realize their error too late. In this session, Jason Fiftal (Principal at ghSMART) and Eileen Schloss (board member at CCC Information Services and Alteryx) will share how you can assess your company’s readiness for succession and discuss the most important steps you can take to minimize risk in succession.


Coco Brown CEO

Coco is founder and CEO of Athena Alliance. Prior to her current roles, Coco served as President, COO, and Board Director of Taos, a market leader in IT Services serving hundreds of F1000 companies, including Apple, Cisco, ebay, Facebook, and Silicon Valley Bank. Coco brings rich experience across F1000 companies, start-ups, and nonprofits in the roles of CEO, COO, advisor, and Board member to Athena. She possesses a unique understanding of the breadth of challenges and opportunities of leadership. She empowers leaders to execute successfully, working with them to develop the relationship between a company’s strategy and its organizational design and environment. Coco’s expertise in developing and strengthening these important linkages makes her a powerful C-level advisor and Board member. In addition to serving on the Board of Taos from 2004 to 2014, Coco served as a Board Director for MentorNet during its rebranding, product transformation, and subsequent acquisition by Great Minds in STEM. Coco was on the finance committee supporting the Board of Directors of Samasource and established the Operating Committee for the Silicon Valley arm of Golden Seeds, a New York-based early-stage investment firm. She also currently serves as Chair of the Nominating Committee for the Anita Borg Technology Leadership Award, one of the most prestigious awards honoring women in technology.


Eileen Schloss Executive Advisor

Multidimensional, strategic and transformational human capital expert. Has worked successfully and directly with CEOs and Boards as a global Chief Human Resources Officer and for companies ranging from major global brands in the Fortune 500/1000 to Pre-IPO businesses needing to scale. Growth track record, advising, mentoring and guiding HR strategy and operational elements of acquisitions—from due diligence through full integration—and divestitures. Compensation expert, many years of working directly with Board Comp Committees. Before Medidata, Eileen spent five years with Rovi Corporation, a publicly traded digital media entertainment software and services company, where she managed all workforce and human resources activity for 2,500 employees worldwide. During her time with Rovi she managed 19 acquisitions or divestitures and focused on the cultural integration of each. Her consulting work with GI Partners, Private Equity Firm, rounded out her experience of public company Fortune 500, pre-public VC funded businesses and private equity experience. Eileen has held the top Human Resources position for the past 17 years including her previous roles at Caspian Networks, Inc., Exodus Communications, AppGenesys, Inc., and Apple Computer. In these roles she reported directly to CEO’s and President’s and has served as their trusted advisor and coach, helping them transform their companies to achieve their mission and growth objectives. She also held senior HR leadership roles at Charles Schwab, Inc. and Tandem Computers, Inc. In partnership with the Committee Chairs Eileen has managed the Compensation Committees for Medidata, Rovi, Caspian, Exodus and Apple. Eileen received her MS in Technology Management from Pepperdine University and BS in Organizational Behavior from the University of San Francisco.

Jason Fiftal Former Chief Operating Officer

Jason is a Principal at ghSMART and trusted advisor to clients on their biggest leadership challenges. Drawing on his combined experience as a c-suite leader and as an advisor at the world’s best leadership, strategy, and finance firms, Jason brings unique, pragmatic insights on leadership that drive business performance. Jason supports CEOs, boards, and investors on a range of leadership topics including CEO succession, top talent selection and development, senior team effectiveness, executive coaching, M&A diligence and integration, and capability building. He is the firm’s expert in helping clients incorporate ghSMART methods into their ongoing leadership and talent practices. Previously, Jason was COO of ghSMART, where he led client best practices, product development, marketing, operations, and firm strategy. He has also been COO of Gather Technologies, where he oversaw HR and Customer Experience. Earlier in his career, Jason was a Principal with Bain & Company, where he specialized in designing and implementing transformational and organizational change. Jason began his career as an Associate at JPMorgan. Jason graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wake Forest University with a BA in Psychology and earned his MBA from The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University where he graduated as a Fuqua Scholar. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and four children.

Key Details

Working with the CEO

CEO Succession Planning

Thu, Dec 03 @ 9:00am PT (1 hrs)

Virtual (RSVP for link)


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