By November 3, 2019

New Leadership: Anthem Does the C-Suite Shuffle

Neal Shearer at the 2016 opening of Opportunity Way Park, one of several new amenities ACC operates.

By Robert Roy Britt — The number of C-suite executives in Anthem has shrunk from three to one, and that sole top-level leader is leaving next year. Community Executive Officer Neal Shearer announced earlier this month he’ll retire in mid-2020. 

Shearer was promoted from community operations officer (COO) to the CEO spot in February 2018 when then-CEO Jenna Kohl left for another job. At that time, Doug Greenstein, who had been community financial officer (CFO) took on a dual role of CFO and COO, a change the Anthem Community Council (ACC) made in part to save money.

Council has since reversed its thinking, ACC President Terry Mullarkey said at an Oct. 15 budget meeting, determining that the amount of oversight required in the community had become too much for a two-person C-suite—especially given new facilities like the pickleball courts and the dog park, problems with landscaping in recent years, as well as external issues like battling EPCOR water rate increases

When ACC learned that both Greenstein and Shearer had their eyes on retirement in coming years, an orderly succession plan took shape, with Greenstein retiring after Shearer, Mullarkey explained. Then in July, Greenstein unexpectedly retired early, Mullarkey said.

As of Oct. 15, Shearer had “a stack of resumes” for the CFO position, Mullarkey said, adding that council plans to look internally for a COO. The search for a new CEO will begin in January, with a goal of hiring someone soon enough to provide a two-month overlap prior to Shearer’s departure.

The additional costs have been factored into ACC’s 2020 budget.

This article was first published on North Phoenix News.

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