CEO Live

Breaking business news and updates in and around Columbus

  • Love & Money: Financial talks every couple should have

    Posted on Jan 29, 2014

    Money. It’s one of the most important things couples should talk about. But it’s often the most difficult topic to breach before you tie the knot.


  • Honda's response to the IIHS Fit crash test results

    Posted on Jan 23, 2014

    The automaker responds to negative crash test rating by looking to the future


  • Posted on Jan 21, 2014

  • Registration deadline for Columbus Chamber's annual meeting approaching

    Posted on Jan 21, 2014

    The deadline to register for the Columbus Chamber's Annual Meeting, to be held on Feb. 5, is approaching. This year's event will feature keynote speaker Jack Hanna. To read about Hanna and the zoo's future expansion plans, check out the February cover story in Columbus CEO magazine.

    During the event, the Columbus Chamber will bestow the 2014 Columbus Award for business and community leadership on Tanny Crane, president and CEO of the Crane Group, at the event. Crane's father won the same recognition in 1977. She will be the 51st recipient of the Chamber award. 

    The 2014 Columbus Chamber Annual Meeting will be held 7-9:15 a.m. on Feb. 5 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center’s Battelle Grand ballroom. Tickets to the event are available for $100 each or $1,000 for a table of 10. Full details are available online at

  • Guest blog: The importance of succession planning

    Posted on Jan 20, 2014

    How to pass along the best, most valuable business you can to the next generation


  • Columbus-based Red Roof Inn names new chief marketing officer

    Posted on Jan 20, 2014

    From Red Roof's announcement: 

    Red Roof Inn, a leader in the economy lodging sector, has promoted Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Marina MacDonald to Chief Marketing Officer, effective immediately. MacDonald has been with Red Roof for over six years and has served the hospitality industry for over twenty years.

    “As Chief Marketing Officer, Marina will be taking the brand to the next level, leveraging successes to date and playing an integral role as we launch the new Red Roof PLUS+ brand extension,” says Andrew Alexander, President, Red Roof. “Marina has played a key role in helping Red Roof achieve its annual goals and objectives by leading and directing innovative multi-channel marketing and sales programs. This well-deserved promotion signals the company's commitment to the ever more important marketing function and to rewarding top talent.”

    Prior to joining Red Roof, MacDonald served as Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Remington Hotels.  In this post, she was responsible for leading all aspects of sales and marketing for hotel management operations. MacDonald led revenue increases of 11% for a portfolio of 45 hotels representing 13 different lodging brands such as Marriott, Hilton, Starwood, IHG and Independent properties.

    Before joining Remington, MacDonald was Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Wyndham International where she played a key role in the successful growth of 40 luxury, upper-upscale, limited service and extended stay hotels and resorts in the United States, Caribbean and Mexico.

    MacDonald serves on the Executive Committee of Hospitality Sales & Marketing International (HSMAI) and awarded 2012 Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Sales & Marketing.  She of has an executive MBA in  Business Innovation from The Aji Network in San Jose, CA and a Business Administration degree from Bradford Business in Philadelphia, PA.   

  • Wanted: Nominations for our HR Excellence Awards

    Posted on Jan 17, 2014

    We want to find Central Ohio’s best and brightest HR professionals


  • Tanny Crane wins Columbus Award

    Posted on Jan 16, 2014

    The Columbus Chamber will bestow the 2014 Columbus Award for business and community leadership on Tanny Crane, president and CEO of the Crane Group, at the Chamber's annual meeting to be held on Feb. 5. Jack Hanna will deliver the event's keynote address. 

    Crane's father won the same recognition in 1977. She will be the 51st recipient of the Chamber award. 

    In announcing the award, Melissa Ingwersen, Columbus Chamber chairman and president of the KeyBank Central Ohio District, praised Crane's work. "We’d like to thank Tanny Crane for her extensive contributions as a passionate advocate for the education and well-being of the community, in particular, the youth of our city....Through her sustained, informed leadership, she makes an impact on areas that range from education to economic development.”

    The 2014 Columbus Chamber Annual Meeting will be held 7-9:15 a.m. on Feb. 5 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center’s Battelle Grand ballroom. Tickets to the event are available for $100 each or $1,000 for a table of 10. Register at

  • CCAD incubator lands $75k Franklin County grant

    Posted on Jan 15, 2014

    An exciting announcement yesterday on a new partnership between Franklin County and the Columbus College of Art & Design: 

    Appreciating and investing in art reaps the benefit of jobs, economic growth, and a better quality
    of life for all of Franklin County. We are fortunate to have the Columbus College of Art & Design
    (CCAD) – whose mission it is to prepare tomorrow’s creative leaders for professional careers –
    located in our community.

    A high percentage of CCAD graduates start their own businesses. To promote the success of
    these entrepreneurial efforts, this morning, Commissioners approved $75,000 for a new
    collaboration with CCAD to support the MindMarket Business Incubator Project, which mentors
    art and design businesses by providing start-up work space, coaching by business
    professionals and industry leaders, entrepreneurial training, business plan assistance and
    networking opportunities with capital funders.

    The 2013 Benchmarking Central Ohio report compiled by Community Research Partners, the
    Columbus Partnership and The Columbus Foundation evaluated the number of entrepreneurs in
    Central Ohio as well as the number of small business start-ups and compared those findings
    with communities across the United States. Central Ohio ranked near or at the bottom, behind
    the cities of Portland (OR), Nashville (TN), Raleigh (NC) and others.

    “Franklin County is funding innovating and exciting projects like the MindMarket because we
    want to spark and support the entrepreneurial spirit in our community. Franklin County’s direct
    involvement seeks to reverse the trend of ranking low for both entrepreneurship and start-up
    businesses in Central Ohio by investing in a creative class, and jobs for existing residents,” said
    Board President Marilyn Brown.

  • PUCO chairman stepping down

    Posted on Jan 14, 2014

    From this morning's announcement:

    Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) Chairman Todd A. Snitchler announced that he will not seek reappointment. “I am grateful to Governor Kasich for this opportunity and for putting his trust in me. It has been a privilege to serve the citizens of Ohio in the capacity of chairman of the PUCO,” Chairman Snitchler stated.

    “The work of the Commission affects every Ohioan and I am proud of the work to which I was able to contribute to. I have invested more than five years in public service, three of which were at the helm of the Commission, but I believe now is the time to move ahead into my next role. With that said, I am very proud of the hard working, dedicated staff of the PUCO and I have been honored to have worked with such a great team.”  

    As chairman of the PUCO, Snitchler leads the 320-person agency that works to oversee the regulation of electric, natural gas, telecommunications, water and commercial transportation in the state of Ohio. He also serves as the chairman of the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) that reviews, evaluates and approves the siting of electric generation plants and electric and natural gas transmission lines. Chairman Snitchler’s work has focused on encouraging the development of competitive markets; advancements in gas pipeline safety; leading the charge on gas and electric industry coordination; ensuring Ohio is involved in cybersecurity discussions; boosting savings and benefits to ratepayers through the Securitization Act of House Bill 364; reducing regulatory lag through House Bill 95; as well as streamlining and improving the efficiency of PUCO processes including efforts to accelerate automatic approvals of RECs, OPSB process improvements and implementing internal performance management goals.

    Throughout Chairman Snitchler’s tenure empowering consumers to control their electric and natural gas choices has been a priority.  In July 2012 he created the Office of Retail Competition charging it with the task of visiting all areas of Ohio to educate consumers on electric and natural gas choice. Additionally, he commissioned a team to develop a new website focused on consumer education regarding electric and natural gas choice, which is scheduled to be released in the coming weeks. Chairman Snitchler is co-vice chair of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Committee on Gas, he serves on the NARUC Board of Directors and serves as second vice-president of the Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utilities Commissioners. Chairman Snitchler was appointed to the PUCO by Gov. John R. Kasich in 2011. His term expires on April 10, 2014.    

  • McGraw-Hill Education appoints new president & CEO

    Posted on Jan 13, 2014

    David Levin will begin his tenure as president and CEO of McGraw-Hill Education effective April, 2014. From today's announcement:

    McGraw-Hill Education today announced the appointment of David Levin as the company’s president and chief executive officer. Mr. Levin, 51, is currently the chief executive of UBM, a multinational media company headquartered in London, and brings a wealth of experience in leading public and private companies in the fields of media and technology. He will be based in New York City and succeed Lloyd G. “Buzz” Waterhouse, who joined McGraw-Hill Education as its president and CEO in June 2012 and who recently announced his retirement.  Mr. Waterhouse will remain with the company until Mr. Levin begins his tenure in April 2014 and will remain on the company’s board of directors after he steps down as CEO.

    The appointment of Mr. Levin as CEO comes as McGraw-Hill Education continues its transformation as a leader in digital learning and growth as a standalone, global company. In March 2013, funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management, LLC (NYSE: APO) purchased McGraw-Hill Education from The McGraw-Hill Companies (now McGraw Hill Financial).

    “David Levin stood out from the exceptional group of executives identified in our search because of his unique combination of extensive international experience, demonstrated track record leading a digital transformation at UBM, stellar leadership skills, financial acumen and passion for education. It gives me great pleasure to announce his appointment as CEO,” said Larry Berg, senior partner at Apollo Global Management. “We are confident that David will lead the entire McGraw-Hill Education team in accomplishing its shared objective of making the company the leading provider of powerful and innovative digital learning solutions on a global scale.”

    Mr. Berg added: “I also want to acknowledge the accomplishments of Buzz Waterhouse, who built a solid foundation of operational excellence as he led the company through a complicated corporate carve-out, strengthened management with distinguished hires and helped set the strategic direction for the business.”

    “David is an exceptional choice to lead McGraw-Hill Education into its next chapter of digital transformation and global growth,” said Mr. Waterhouse. “His strong record of leadership, combined with his experience in managing large international technology companies, makes him the ideal candidate to further McGraw-Hill Education’s growth domestically and abroad.”

    Over his nearly nine years leading UBM, Mr. Levin reoriented the company’s business mix toward emerging markets while growing its U.S. revenues. Mr. Levin also shifted UBM’s business models away from print and toward live events and online communities and renewed the company’s culture, fostering an open, collaborative and social environment. Under his leadership, UBM realigned its portfolio through more than 100 acquisitions.

    “I’m really excited to be joining McGraw-Hill Education at such a pivotal point for both the company and the education industry,” said Mr. Levin. “There is no doubt that the revolution in technology is accelerating and driving companies and business models to evolve. In just a few short years, McGraw-Hill Education has made great strides in its transformation from a textbook publisher to a digital learning solutions company. McGraw Hill Education’s mission – to reimagine learning to create a better smarter world - is compelling and the opportunity to make a positive impact on teaching and learning through a clever blending of content, instructional design and technology is huge. This is a unique opportunity to develop a company with a remarkable legacy and to personalize and improve educational outcomes for millions of students all over the world.”

    The appointment of Mr. Levin as CEO comes as McGraw-Hill Education continues its transformation as a leader in digital learning and growth as a standalone, global company. In the last year, McGraw-Hill Education has invested significantly in digital research and development to strengthen its offerings and improve teaching and learning, and opened an R&D center in Boston’s innovation district. Through the company’s most recent acquisition of ALEKS Corporation, purchase of an equity stake in Danish adaptive learning company Area9, as well as a partnership with Israel-based Time to Know, the company is continuing to build its capabilities in adaptive and personalized learning.

    Prior to his tenure at UBM, Mr. Levin was chief executive of Symbian Software, a U.K based software group that built the operating system to power the first generation of smartphones. He has also served as chief executive of Psion PLC, a London-based consumer and business technology company, and as chief operating officer and finance director of Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, one of Europe’s largest business and financial magazine publishers. Mr. Levin also served for seven years as a non-executive on the Finance Committee of the Oxford University Press.

    Mr. Levin received his bachelor’s degree in politics, philosophy and economics from Oxford University and his M.B.A. from Stanford University.


  • Appointments, promotions & new hires

    Posted on Jan 8, 2014

    Columbus CEO is taking submissions now for the Appointments section of the March issue. If you have been hired into a professional, corporate or nonprofit/government position, joined a board or received a promotion, please send the details of your appointment to 

    Please include a high-resolution headshot for publication consideration. 

  • Dublin-based Pacer International to be sold for $335 million

    Posted on Jan 6, 2014

    From this morning's announcement: 

    XPO Logistics, Inc. (“XPO Logistics” or “XPO”) (NYSE: XPO) and Pacer International, Inc. (“Pacer”) (NASDAQ: PACR) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement for XPO Logistics to acquire Pacer, the third largest provider of intermodal transportation services in North America.

    The combined company will continue to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol XPO. Under the terms of the proposed transaction, shareholders of Pacer will receive $6.00 in cash and $3.00 of XPO Logistics common stock for each share of Pacer common stock, subject to a price collar, for a total market value of $335 million and a total enterprise value of $296 million.

    The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014, subject to regulatory clearance, Pacer shareholder approval and other customary conditions. Pacer’s board of directors unanimously approved the transaction.

    Pacer, founded in 1997, facilitates approximately 10 percent of all domestic intermodal freight movements, and is the largest provider of intermodal services between the U.S. and Mexico. For the trailing 12 months ended November 30, 2013, Pacer generated total revenue of $1.0 billion, with 30 locations and approximately 950 employees.

    About XPO Logistics, Inc.

    XPO Logistics, Inc. (NYSE: XPO) is one of the fastest growing providers of transportation logistics services in North America: the fourth largest freight brokerage firm, the largest provider of heavy goods, last-mile logistics, and the largest manager of expedited shipments, with growing positions in managed transportation, global freight forwarding, less-than-truckload brokerage and intermodal. The company facilitates more than 20,000 deliveries a day throughout the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

    XPO Logistics currently has 94 locations and over 2,200 employees operating in the United States and Canada. Its three business segments – freight brokerage, expedited transportation and freight forwarding – use relationships with ground, sea and air carriers to serve over 9,500 customers in the manufacturing, industrial, retail, commercial, life sciences and government sectors. The company has approximately 400 trucks under exclusive contract and over 24,000 additional relationships with carriers that provide capacity.

    The company is led by Bradley Jacobs, chairman and chief executive officer. Mr. Jacobs founded and built four highly successful companies prior to investing in XPO Logistics, including two multi-billion dollar, publicly traded companies: United Rentals, Inc. (NYSE: URI) and United Waste Systems, Inc. For more information:

    About Pacer International, Inc.

    Pacer International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PACR), a leading North American freight transportation and logistics services provider, offers a broad array of services to facilitate the movement of freight through its intermodal and logistics operating segments. Pacer’s intermodal segment utilizes its container capacity, integrated local transportation services, and door-to-door intermodal management services to facilitate over 500,000 shipments per year. Its logistics segment provides truck brokerage, warehousing and distribution, global freight forwarding services and supply-chain management services.

    Pacer’s contractual arrangements with rail carriers provide access to more than 60,000 miles of network rail routes. To support these operations, Pacer manages one of the largest domestic intermodal fleets in North America, with more than 16,000 Pacer-controlled containers and access to an additional 100,000+ big and small boxes. For more information: