Skip to main content

Names in the News

New CSOs for UPS, Chanel; Los Angeles names climate crisis director

Clockwise, from top left: Laura Lane, UPS; Darnell Grisby, TransForm; Guy Grainger, JLL, Boma Brown-West, EDF; Miriam Nelson, Newman's Own Foundation; Asheen Phansey, Circular Fashion Group; Clare Shine,  University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership; Janelle Heslop, Amgen. Middle row from left: Claire Bergkamp, Textile Exchange; Steve Quarles, AWEA; Elliott Rodgers, Ulta Beauty; Maribel Bostic, SunPower; Dana Worth, Plenty.

Clockwise, from top left: Laura Lane, UPS; Darnell Grisby, TransForm; Guy Grainger, JLL, Boma Brown-West, EDF; Miriam Nelson, Newman's Own Foundation; Asheen Phansey, Circular Fashion Group; Clare Shine,  University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership; Janelle Heslop, Amgen. Middle row from left: Claire Bergkamp, Textile Exchange; Steve Quarles, AWEA; Elliott Rodgers, Ulta Beauty; Maribel Bostic, SunPower; Dana Worth, Plenty.

You dared to dream that some of the upheaval of 2020 would let up at the New Year's stroke of midnight? The speeds and feeds of 2021 already have left us winded. That means accelerating need for sustainability professionals to step up. Plenty of people in this space have spruced up their LinkedIn pages and changed roles in recent months. There's noted activity in the sustainable apparel space, and boards are getting more intentional about inclusivity.

Who's news

The same week we identified Intel CEO Bob Swan as one of the 20 C-suite champions to watch for 2021 — alongside new-this-month CEOs Linda Rendle of Clorox and Christophe Beck of Ecolab — Intel replaced Swan with VMWare CEO Pat Gelsinger. Just yesterday, it came out that another of our "champions" — Roz Brewer of Starbucks — is leaving to become CEO of Walgreens.

Los Angeles is the first major metropolis to create a Climate Emergency Mobilization Office. At its helm is Director Marta Segura, a city planning commissioner and longtime advocate of environmental equity. She has provided nonprofits with leadership coaching for at least 15 years. The city council voted the office into being in 2019.

Credit Suisse is expanding its team of ESG specialists with five appointments: Michael van der Meer; Angela Saxby; Sina Dorner-Müller; and Timothy Oehmigen, all formerly of Robeco; and Karim Sayyad from Nordea.

Allstate brought on Susan L. Lees as its first CSO. Her former work as chief legal officer and secretary will be assumed by Executive Vice President and General Counsel Rhonda Ferguson.

At UPS, Chief Corporate Affairs and Communications Officer Laura Lane is adding sustainability to her title. The CSO joined the company nearly 10 years ago from Citi as president of global public affairs.

Kate Wylie is poised to join Chanel in upcoming months as global CSO and president of Fondation Chanel, leaving her position as global vice president of sustainability at Mars Inc.

Jennifer Motles is succeeding Huub Savelkouls as CSO at Philip Morris International, as sustainability moves under the CFO’s purview and the Big Tobacco brand pushes a "smoke-free future."

Pentair Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary Karla Robertson is taking on another role as chief social responsibility officer.

Barbara Guerpillon is heading up the Dole Ventures innovation incubator. She’s also a French government trade adviser and former Unilever Foundry director.

Jennifer Gerholdt is leaving We Mean Business, where she was corporate engagement director, to join Native Energy, a public benefit corporation, as director of client strategy. At Green Energy Options in Cambridge, U.K., co-founder and former CEO Patrick Caiger-Smith has become executive chairman, and Steve Cunningham joins as CEO from Landis+Gyr.

Baker McKenzie named Alyssa Auberger, former global chair of its consumer goods and retail industry group, as CSO.

At real estate giant JLL, Guy Grainger has been appointed global head of sustainability services and ESG from CEO for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Former Director of Quantis France Dimitri Caudrelier sits in the CEO chair at Quantis.

Hunter Point Capital named Carlyle Group and EDF veteran Jackie Roberts part-time managing director of ESG. She’s also CSO at AppHarvest.

Faucet brand Kohler's former product and brand manager, Angela Peltzer, began reporting to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor and Human Trafficking as division chief of Asia, Europe, Middle East and North Africa.

Vanessa Lopez moved from COO at Global Brigades to the same title at Nia Impact Capital, where she will focus on democratizing access to impact investing. Adrie Heinsbroek is the new CSO at NN Investment Partners in the Netherlands. 

Louisa Parker-Smith, who joined agriculture machinery company AGCO in 2012, became director of global sustainability. At Smithfield, the former executive vice president of corporate affairs, Keira Lombardo, is rising to chief administrative officer, which includes sustainability responsibilities. In Seattle, the new president and CEO of PCC Community Markets is Suzy Monford, former president of Quality Food Center, owned by Kroger.

Fashioning change

H&M’s Leyla Ertur, who has managed its production and supply chain efforts internationally, has been promoted to head of sustainability.

Under the VMware CTO's office, Nicola Acutt became vice president of ESG. Her previous title was vice president of sustainability strategy.

Beth Thoren has been named Patagonia Europe’s new director of environmental action and initiatives, leaving her role as deputy chief executive at Client Earth.

Sustainable fiber advocate Textile Exchange added Stella McCartney's former sustainability and innovation director, Claire Bergkamp, as COO and promoted co-founder La Rhea Pepper to CEO from managing director.

Asheen Phansey co-founded the Circular Fashion Group, where he's CEO. He brings a deep sustainability background from Dassault Systèmes and Babson College.

On the move

SunPower appointed longtime directors Joanne Endow as head of ESG and Maribelle Bostic as director of diversity, equity and inclusion. Green business entrepreneur Chris Bartle is director of sales marketing for the Americas at "floating solar" company Ciel & Terra.

Rockefeller Capital Management ESG Analyst Mia Overall moved up to become director of shareholder engagement.

Vertical leafy green farming startup Plenty hired senior vice president Dana Worth, previously vice president of sales for Impossible Foods. At Plenty, Megan Gillespie is vice president of farm operations and Daniel Malech is senior vice president of strategy and general counsel.

Jessica Rush Leeker, formerly of Schneider Electric and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, became director of undergraduate education, and Stephen Dunn was named professor of engineering management at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Former GreenBiz writer and Wall Street Journal veteran Cassandra Sweet moved up at Mission Control Communication from director to vice president. Sustainability communications expert Susan McPherson is a founding member of Kindred, "a professional network built to prepare executives for the future of socially responsible business."

Monadnock, the longest-running U.S. paper mill, hired Rajan Iyer as vice president of research and development and technical services. He's departing Georgia-Pacific. 

In Raleigh, North Carolina, Emmit Owens is serving as interim executive director of the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster.


The American Wind Energy Association has brought on Steve Quarles as chief counsel for environment and wildlife. He’s a former U.S. Department of the Interior Deputy Under Secretary and special counsel on the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has a trio of executive announcements: Evelyn Butler, who established PV Recycling Network for SEIA, is vice president of technical services. Vice president of member services is Roderick Lewis, who is supporting the goal of solar to reach 20 percent of U.S. electricity by 2030. Sean Gallagher, vice president of state affairs, also will direct state and regulatory affairs.

Engineer and pioneering product safety expert Boma Brown-West became director of EDF+Business in her seventh year at the organization.

Darnell Grisby is executive director at TransForm, which addresses environmental equity and transportation, ending his nine years at the American Public Transportation Association. Environmental engineering professor Deb Niemeier became co-director of the Maryland Transportation Institute. 

In April, Clare Shine will succeed Dame Polly Courtice as director of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. Shine is wrapping up her work as vice president and chief program officer at Salzburg Global Seminar.

The Newman’s Own Foundation enlisted scholar Miriam Nelson as CEO and president, cementing the acting roles she has held for a year. She’s the former director of sustainability at Hampshire College.

Chris Bartlett is joining ChemFORWARD as a staff toxicologist.

Deborah Gordon brings a background from the Watson Institute and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace to lead the Rocky Mountain Institute's Oil and Gas Solutions Initiative as a senior fellow in the Climate Intelligence Program.

Ensia co-founder Todd Reubold joined Project Drawdown as director of marketing and communications. James Richens, formerly of Trucost and the Economist, became managing editor at Global Canopy. Modern Farmer founder Ann Marie Gardner joined WeatherFlow as a columnist. Former Mercy for Animals VP of Public Engagement Kenny Torrella left to guide coverage of factory farming as Vox deputy editor.

Jackson Buzingo began new roles as an ambassador at both Climate NOW and Sustainable mPact in Tanzania, as well as executive board member at CURE International.

GreenBiz 30 Under 30 honorees

Janelle Heslop has been promoted at Amgen to senior manager of strategic planning and operations from operations manager. Inesh Singh, former CSO of Sula Vineyards, moved up at Anheuser-Busch InBev from sustainability manager to senior manager of agro development. Phil De Luna became a member of the Working Group on AI Ethics and the Sustainable Development Goals at the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. Ricardo Magallon is Illinois Cook County Government’s new Air Inspection Division manager.

On board

Costa Rican diplomat Christina Figueres, a founding partner of the Global Optimism Group, joined the board of Impossible Foods.

The International Living Future Institute welcomed Opal Tometi, Black Lives Matter co-founder, to its board.

MaryAnne Howland, president and founder of Ibis Communications, is board chair of the American Sustainable Business Institute. In addition, the group brought on board members Heather Mason, founder and CEO of the Caspian Agency; Derek Peebles, executive director of the American Independent Business Association; Lauren Singer, CEO of Package Free; Rose Penelope Yee, CEO of Green Retirement; and Anne Reynolds Robertson, founder of Toxic Free Future for Our Children.

Nicola Peill-Moelter, VMWare’s director of sustainability innovation, recently joined the board of Our World Too. 

The board of My Green Lab brought on Sapna Thottathil, associate sustainability director with the University of California's Office of the President, and Jeffrey Whitford, head of sustainability, social business innovation and branding at MilliporeSigma.

Levi Strauss & Co. welcomed Ulta Beauty CIO Elliott Rodgers to its board.

Netflix CSO Emma Stewart came to the board of green building startup Ecomedes. Flooring maker HMTX Industries' director of sustainability Arthur Clarke joined the steering committee of the Mindful Materials design industry initiative.

United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ramiro Cavazos became board chair of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility. The HACR’s vice-chair is Raquel Tamez, president and CEO of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers; and the board secretary is Thomas Savino, president and CEO of Prospanica.

Sustainable seafood effort Sea Pact elected Inland Seafood Corporation Director of Sustainability Mary Smith as its advisory board chair.

The Foundation for Climate Restoration brought Tom Baruch of Baruch Future Ventures onto its board.

Organic babycare brand Aden & Anais welcomed Sharon Fox, an operating partner at Stride Consumer Partners, to its board.

Credicorp of Peru changed the name of its Corporate Governance Committee to Sustainability Committee and named as a member Leslie Pierce, former leader of Vida Peru, Banco de Alimentos del Peru and Crea+.

More on this topic