Several large Spanish companies are immersed in an infrequent review process of their most responsible position, that of CEO. In just six months, at least eight of the 35 listed on the Ibex have undergone a change of chief executive or are immersed in it; in some cases due to the end of the cycle and in others due to shareholding pressures.
This week the last of these movements took place: the Catalan blood products group Grifols decided to expand the functions of its executive president, Thomas Glanzmann, and appoint him CEO.
Sánchez Prieto signs as CEO of the IVI-RMA fertility clinics after leaving the management of Iberia
It is the most recent case, although it does not reach the depth of those of Cellnex, Indra, Iberia (IAG), Santander and ACS. There have also been changes at Iberdrola and at Endesa’s parent Enel. If they are not looking for a CEO, these companies have just appointed him or could address a change in the coming months. Outside the stock market, Paolo Vasile has been replaced by Alessandro Salem and Massimo Musolino at the head of Mediaset, while at Vodafone Spain, its president, Colman Deegan, has been replaced by Mário Vaz.
IESE professor Guido Stein, who heads the Department of People Management in Organizations, cites several factors apart from “political and power components” to explain this wave of replacements. One of them has to do with the covid: “As the pandemic is left behind, companies take the opportunity to execute pending changes that had been postponed.” There is also an “acceleration” in which “patience with managers is reduced, from whom results are demanded more quickly” and in which, at the same time, “managers themselves look outside and tend to stay less time in their posts.
One of the most relevant departures has been that of the president and CEO of Iberia, Javier Sánchez Prieto, who left office just a week ago and who, as it was learned yesterday, has signed on as CEO of the IVI-RMA fertility clinics , acquired last year by the US giant KKR.
Indra is working on the search for a CEO to replace Ignacio Mataix and already has several candidates on the table. Another big listed technology company, Cellnex, has just elected Marco Patuano as CEO after an activist investor, Chris Hohn, launched a campaign to unblock the search for a replacement for Tobías Martínez.
In January, Héctor Grisi made his debut as CEO of Santander, while Endesa’s main shareholder, Enel, this week appointed Flavio Cattaneo as the new CEO and there is speculation about the possibility of a remodeling in the Spanish electricity company. Iberdrola appointed Armando Martínez as CEO at the end of last year, although Ignacio Sánchez Galán maintains extensive executive functions. At ACS, Juan Santamaría has just made his debut as chief executive before the shareholders.
A recent Harvard report cites increased pressure on CEOs and their removal as one of the global trends in corporate governance in 2023.