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SHRM Appoints Mark C. Thompson as CEO of CEO Academy; Marillyn Hewson Appointed as Board Chair

CEO Academy also adds Bill McNabb and Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., to its 2024 Advisory Board

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — CEO Academy, a SHRM company, announced the appointment of Mark C. Thompson as its new chief executive officer and advisory board member. Thompson currently serves as chairman of the Chief Executive Alliance, a CEO community for C-level peer coaching and leadership development. CEO Academy, in collaboration with the Aresty Institute of Executive Education at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, is an exclusive, intensive learning and networking experience for CEOs and board leaders, focusing on key issues that drive great growth companies and high-performance teams.

“We are thrilled to welcome Mark as the new chief executive officer of CEO Academy,” said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, president and CEO of SHRM. “His extensive experience in executive coaching and scaling companies globally makes him the ideal leader to guide SHRM’s CEO Academy as the best in class in thought leadership and on the critical issues affecting our global community of influential Fortune 500 leaders today.”

An expert in C-suite leadership, Thompson has more than three decades of experience leading teams and coaching executives in world-class organizations—from Pinterest cofounder Evan Sharp and World Bank CEO Dr. Jim Yong Kim to Richard Branson, Charles Schwab and Steve Jobs. Thompson previously served as Schwab’s chief of staff, chief customer experience officer and executive producer of In addition, he was a co-founding board member of Esurance, acquired by Allstate, and of Interwoven, acquired by Hewlett Packard; chairman of Integration Semiconductor, acquired by SiliconLabs, and of Rioport; and a co-founding advisor to the Stanford Realtime Venture Design Lab, where he served as a visiting scholar at his alma mater, Stanford University. Thompson has also served as adjunct faculty at the World Economic Forum, World Business Forum and John F. Kennedy University, and has co-chaired the Institute of Coaching at Harvard. He has edited 20 books and co-authored the business classic Success Built to Last: Creating a Life That Matters; and the New York Times bestseller Admired. Long ranked the world’s No. 1 CEO coach, he was inducted into the Thinkers50 Coaching Legends in 2023.

“I’m honored to lead the CEO Academy,” said Thompson. “For 24 years, CEO Academy has amplified the impact of current CEOs, accelerated the leadership development of aspiring new CEOs and enriched the opportunities for board members to build great companies and better workplaces. I’m excited to partner with Academy founder Dennis Carey, vice chairman of Korn Ferry; visionary SHRM CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr.; legendary management scientist Ram Charan; and an extraordinary Academy Advisory Board.”

In addition to its new CEO, CEO Academy welcomes three new additions to its Advisory Board: Marillyn Hewson of Lockheed Martin as board chair, Bill McNabb of Vanguard Group, and SHRM’s Johnny C. Taylor, Jr.

“Stepping into the role of board chair at CEO Academy is an honor,” said Hewson. “Under Mark’s guidance, CEO Academy will continue to serve as a beacon of inspiration for aspiring leaders, equipping them with the tools and insights needed to navigate today's complex business landscape with confidence.”

Marillyn Hewson is the former chairman, president, and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corporation. During her career, she held leadership positions across the corporation, including president and CEO; executive vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Electronic Systems business area; president of Lockheed Martin Systems Integration; and executive vice president of Global Sustainment for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. Ms. Hewson currently serves on the board of directors of Johnson & Johnson, Chevron and Nexii Building Solutions Inc. Hewson will serve as CEO Academy’s new board chair.

Bill McNabb is the former chairman and CEO of The Vanguard Group Inc., the world’s largest mutual fund manager. He served as CEO for nine years, retiring in 2017, and continued as chairman until 2018. Bill is also a board member of IBM, UnitedHealth Group and Axiom.

Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., is president and CEO of SHRM. Recently named by Washingtonian magazine as one of the “Most Influential People Shaping Public Policy” in our nation’s capital, Mr. Taylor’s career spans more than 20 years as a lawyer and an executive, serving at IAC, Paramount Pictures, Blockbuster Entertainment Group and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, among other organizations. He is a vice-chair of the board of trustees at his alma mater, the University of Miami; a member of the United Way Worldwide Board of Trustees; independent director of the Flores & Associates corporate board; and a member of the corporate boards of Guild Education and XPO Logistics.

Continuing board members include: 

  • Maggie Wilderotter, Chairwoman, DocuSign
  • Alan Mulally, Former Chairman & CEO, The Ford Motor Company

About CEO Academy

Established in 1999 and acquired by SHRM in October 2022, CEO Academy is an intensive learning and networking experience for current and aspiring CEOs and board leaders. This program, created in collaboration with the Aresty Institute of Executive Education at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, offers an exclusive experience for influential leaders to discuss challenges facing businesses, the workplace and workers, today. Learn more at

About SHRM

SHRM creates better workplaces where employers and employees thrive together. As the voice of all things work, workers and the workplace, SHRM is the foremost expert, convener and thought leader on issues impacting today’s evolving workplaces. With nearly 325,000 members in 165 countries, SHRM impacts the lives of more than 235 million workers and families globally. Learn more at  


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