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Darla Moore School of Business

  • Center for Executive Succession: CEO Succession Roundtable

CEO Succession Roundtable

A dynamic and interactive event to elevate your company’s CEO succession process led by Center for Executive Succession researchers and experienced corporate directors.

Thursday, Sept. 16, and Friday, Sept. 17, 2021

Leverage the science and the art of CEO succession to elevate your company’s CEO succession process. Learn from your peers and share your CEO succession experiences in a dynamic and interactive roundtable led by researchers from the Center for Executive Succession and experienced corporate directors from well-known companies. The CEO Succession Roundtable is an exclusive event open to C-suite executives, members of corporate boards and invited guests. 


The CEO Succession Roundtable is designed to dive deep into the challenges of C-suite succession. Learn from your peers and share your CEO succession experiences in a dynamic and interactive roundtable led by the leaders of the Center for Executive Succession in the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. Panel sessions led by corporate board members, CEOs, Chief HR Officers and other C-suite succession experts. Events include Fireside Chat on Thursday followed by two dynamic panel sessions on Friday.

Time Event
6:30 p.m. Fireside Chat with Larry Kellner and John Cassaday: 
Duality and Succession
Time Event
9:00 a.m. Panel Session 1:
CEO Succession Experiences, Lessons Learned
11:00 a.m. Panel Session 2:
Effectively Leveraging CHROs in CEO Succession



lucien alziar headshot

Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Prudential Financial

Alziari is executive vice president and CHRO of Prudential Financial, a Fortune 50 financial services company located in Newark, N.J.

A U.K. citizen, Alziari has over 30 years of experience in major international companies. From 2012 to the beginning of 2017, he was executive vice president and CHRO of A.P. Moller-Maersk, a global shipping and energy conglomerate located in Copenhagen, Denmark, with operations in over 130 countries and around 90,000 employees worldwide. From 2004 to 2012, he was the CHRO and head of corporate responsibility for Avon Products Inc., based in New York City. Prior to this, he held increasingly responsible roles with Mars Confectionery in the U.K. and PepsiCo Inc. in New York, Vienna and Dubai. From 2016 to 2021, Alziari was a non-executive director of C&J Clarks International, a U.K. -based global footwear company with around $2 billion in revenues. He is also a fellow and director of the National Academy of Human Resources, a founding member of HR50 and recently concluded a three-year term as chair of the Board of Advisors of the Center for Executive Succession at the University of South Carolina.


Maria Avedon headshot

Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources, Marketing and Communications Officer, Trane Technologies (formerly Ingersoll Rand)

Marcia J. Avedon is executive vice president and chief human resources, marketing and communications officer at Trane Technologies plc. In her current role, she is responsible for global human resources strategies that enable the company’s business goals and support the needs of employees around the world. She also provides leadership to the communications, corporate social responsibility, strategic marketing and government affairs functions to enhance and protect the company’s overall brand and reputation. 

Since joining the company in 2007, Marcia has helped establish a distinguished, award-winning company culture. Most recently, Marcia served as senior vice president of human resources, communications and corporate affairs for Ingersoll Rand. Under her leadership, Ingersoll Rand delivered premier performance while maintaining world-class employee engagement and a stellar reputation among employees, customers and shareholders.

Prior to Ingersoll Rand, Marcia was chief human resources officer at Merck & Co., with global responsibility for human resource strategies, programs and policies. Marcia has more than 30 years of experience leading organizational transformation, talent and succession management, culture change, corporate social responsibility and communications.   She has held previous leadership roles at Honeywell, Anheuser-Busch Companies, and Booz Allen Hamilton. 

Marcia serves on the Board of Directors for Generac Power Systems. She previously served on the corporate boards of GCP Applied Technologies, Lincoln Financial, and the Center for Creative Leadership, including chairing several board committees.  In addition, she is active in community and professional associations including serving on the boards of the HR Policy Association, the Center for Executive Compensation and previously on the Cornell University Center for Advanced Human Resources Studies and the Belk School of Business at University of North Carolina Charlotte. She was the inaugural chair of the University of South Carolina’s Center for Executive Succession where she continues to serve on the board.

Marcia holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in industrial and organizational psychology from George Washington University.  She is a Fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources and received several other prestigious awards and recognition for her professional contributions. 

john cassaday headshot

Corporate Director, Retired Founding President and CEO of Corus Entertainment Inc. and Chair of Manulife Financial

Cassaday was the founding president and CEO of Corus Entertainment, Inc., a Canadian leader in radio and cable television, until his retirement in April 2015. Prior to Corus, Cassaday was President of CTV Television Network and Campbell Soup Company in Canada and the U.K.

Cassaday is a highly seasoned governance expert. He is currently the chair of Manulife Financial/John Hancock. He also sits on the Board of Sysco Corporation, Sleep Country Canada and Irving Oil Ltd., a private corporation. Cassaday also served on the Board of Directors of Spin Master, Inc., Corus Entertainment Inc., Masonite International Corporation, J. M. Schneider Corporation, Canadian Airlines and Loblaw Companies Limited. He has also served on the advisory boards of Nestle Canada and IBM Canada. In his corporate board involvement, Cassaday has served at various times as lead director (Sysco and Spin Master), chair of the Audit Committee (Masonite) and chair of the Compensation Committee (Manulife, Irving, Sysco and Spin Master). Cassaday is a member of the Directors Council for the Center for Executive Succession at the University of South Carolina Darla Moore School of Business.

Cassaday served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, was the chair of the Dean’s Advisory Board of the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and was the chair of the 1995 United Way Campaign for Metro Toronto and Chair of the Board of St. Michael’s Hospital from 2004 to 2006. In 2005, Cassaday was the co-chair of the Toronto Area Health Sciences Network (TAHSN). Cassaday also co-chaired successful major fundraising campaigns for the Rotman School of Management and St. Michael’s Hospital.

Cassaday holds an MBA from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and was honored in 1998 as their most distinguished alumni. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Western Ontario. In June 2017, Cassaday was presented with a degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa from the University of Toronto.


mirian graddick-weir headshot

Former Executive Vice President of Human Resources, Merck & Co., Inc.

Graddick-Weir is the former executive vice president of human resources at Merck, where she had responsibility for all aspects of human resources for 68,000 colleagues located in over 90 countries. Graddick-Weir joined Merck in 2006 from AT&T, where she was executive vice president of human resources and employee communications. Prior to that role, she spent 20 years at AT&T holding numerous positions in HR and multiple operational roles.

Graddick-Weir is a member of the Board of Yum! Brands, Inc. and Booking Holdings, Inc. She serves on the Foundation Board of the Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology (SIOP) and is a senior advisor to the Jersey Battered Women’s services (JBWS) organization. Previously, Graddick-Weir served as the chair of the HR Policy Association and the National Academy of Human Resources (NAHR). In 2001, she was elected as a NAHR Fellow and in 2016 was elected as a Distinguished Fellow of the Academy, the highest honor in the HR profession.

Among her many awards, Graddick-Weir was named by Black Enterprise as one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in business and recognized by Human Resources Executive magazine as one of the most influential global HR executives. She was also awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the University of Michigan and received Academy of Management’s Distinguished HR Executive Award.

Graddick-Weir earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Hampton University, a master's degree and a Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology from Pennsylvania State University.

larry kelner headshot

President, Emerald Creek Group

Larry Kellner is president of Emerald Creek Group, a private equity firm based in Austin, Texas. Kellner also serves as the non-executive chairman of the Boeing Company and as a member of the Board and Lead Director of Marriott International, Inc.

From Dec. 2004 through Dec. 2009, Kellner was the chairman and chief executive officer of Continental Airlines. Kellner joined the airline in 1995 as chief financial officer. In May 2001, he was elected president of the airline and to the Board of Directors, and in March 2003, he was named president and chief operating officer.

He also served on the board of directors of Sabre Corporation, a global technology company, from 2013 to 2020, and served as non-executive chairman from Dec. 2017 to Jan. 2020, executive chairman from Dec. 2016 to Dec. 2017, and non-executive chairman from Aug. 2013 to Dec. 2016.

Kellner graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of science in business administration from the University of South Carolina, where he served as student body president. In addition, the University of South Carolina presented him with the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1998.

Michael Lamache headshot

Executive Chair, Trane Technologies Board of Directors

Mike Lamach is executive chair of the Board of Directors of Trane Technologies plc, a global climate innovator focused on sustainable solutions for buildings, homes and transportation. Mike assumed his current role in July 2021 after announcing plans to retire from the company in the first half of 2022.

Mike served as chair and CEO for eleven years. Under his leadership, Trane Technologies transformed from a diversified industrial manufacturing company, formerly Ingersoll Rand, to an industry-leading climate company with consistent top tier financial and environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance. The company’s total shareholder return over his tenure as CEO was more than 700%, nearly twice the total shareholder return of the S&P 500.

Mike led the creation of the company’s purpose-driven sustainability strategy, its proprietary business operating system, and its widely recognized culture of engagement. Mike also led multiple strategic evolutions, including the spin-off of the company’s security technologies business in 2013, and the separation of the company’s industrial businesses in 2020, culminating in the launch of the remaining company as Trane Technologies.

After joining the company in 2004, Mike led the Security Technologies business and the Trane Commercial business before becoming chief operating officer. He was named chief executive officer in February 2010 and elected chair of the Board of Directors in June 2010. Prior to joining the company, Mike served in various leadership roles for Johnson Controls over a 17-year tenure.

In 2019, Mike was named one of Harvard Business Review’s top performing CEOs and listed by Forbes among America’s 100 Most Innovative Leaders. He is a leader in the manufacturing sector and has served as chair of the National Association of Manufacturers since June 2019.

Mike also serves on the Board of Directors of PPG Industries and as a member of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business board of visitors. He holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in business administration from Duke University. Mike and his family live in Charlotte, NC, where he is active in the community

Michael Todman headshot

Former Vice Chairman, Whirlpool Corporation

Michael Todman retired as vice chairman of Whirlpool Corporation in December 2015. He held several senior leadership positions during his tenure including president, Whirlpool International; president, Whirlpool North America; and executive vice president and president, Whirlpool Europe. He also held several finance, sales and marketing positions in the United States and Europe. He was a member of the board of directors of Whirlpool Corporation from January 2006 until his retirement.

Todman is currently involved in several community endeavors, as well as serving on certain public company boards. He serves as a director on the boards of Brown-Forman Corporation, Prudential Financial, Carrier and Mondelez International, Inc. His community involvement includes serving on the board of the Boys and Girls Club of Benton Harbor as its chair, as vice chair on the Board of Cornerstone Alliance and as a member of the boards of Lakeland Hospitals, Spectrum Health and Michigan’s Great Southwest Strategic Leadership Council. He also serves as a trustee of the Whirlpool Foundation.

Todman, a native of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Georgetown University and began his career at Price Waterhouse and Co.

mike white headshot

Former Chairman, President and CEO of DIRECTV

Michael D. White is the retired chairman, president and CEO of DIRECTV, one of the world’s leading providers of digital television entertainment services, which delivers a premium video experience through state-of-the-art technology, unmatched programming, and industry-leading customer service to more than 20 million customers in the U.S. and 18 million customers in Latin America. He led the development of a transformational strategy to merge DIRECTV with AT&T and played a leading role in the regulatory review efforts and in integration planning.

Before joining DIRECTV, White led PepsiCo International as CEO from 2003 to 2009 and was vice chairman of PepsiCo. Prior to that role, he served as president and CEO of Frito-Lay’s Europe, Africa and Middle East division and as CEO of Snack Ventures Europe, PepsiCo’s partnership with General Mills International. From 1998 to 2000, White served as senior vice president and CFO of PepsiCo.

White is a member of the Boards of Directors for Bank of America, Kimberly-Clark and Whirlpool Corporation. He is also vice chair of The Partnership to End Addiction, a national non-profit based in New York City.

White holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston College and a master’s degree in international relations from Johns Hopkins University. He is a member of the JHU SAIS Board of Advisors.


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