Greifeld signals arrival at Nasdaq with top-level shake-up

Greifeld signals arrival at Nasdaq with top-level shake-up

Nasdaq new broom Robert Greifeld has marked his first day as chief executive officer of the US stockmarket by presiding over the departure of Dean Furbush as executive vice president of transaction services and William Harts, EVP of corporate strategy.

The top-level shake-up of the exeuctive team at Nasdaq is seen as the precursor to further job cuts, as Greifeld seeks to stamp his authority on the ailing exchange. The Nasdaq stock market reported a 90% slump in first quarter earnings as listings hit a 20-year low and liquidity continued to drift to alternative electronic communications networks.

Greifeld has been recruited from SunGard to replace outgoing CEO Wick Simmons with a brief to stem the decline and turn the company around. He has brought in Glen Wolyner, a former chief executive of FlexTrade and ten-year Bloomberg veteran to take over from Furbush as head of transaction services.

Furbush, who has been with Nasdaq since 1995, oversaw the $100 million launch of the new SuperMontage trading platform, which was intended to win back market share lost to alternative trading systems. SuperMontage has yet to deliver the promised payback, however, with transaction revenues at the Exchange dropping 35% in the first quarter.

No replacement has been named for William Harts, a former managing director of strategic business development for the global equity division at Salomon Smith Barney, who was drafted into Nasdaq in February last year as EVP of corporate strategy at the insistence of venture capitalists Hellman and Friedman. Hart's business plan for the Exchange never got off the ground as regulatory wrangles took centre stage.

Harts and Furbush follow Richard Ketchum, Nasdaq president and deputy chairman out of the revolving door at One Liberty Plaza. A one-time aspirant for the top job at Nasdaq, Ketchum announced on Thursday that he was quitting the Exchange to join Citigroup's Global Corporate and Investment Bank.

Staff at the Exchange are bracing for further job cuts, with sources indicating that Greifeld is drawing up plans to axe up to 100 jobs from the permanent staff of 1200.

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