Nasdaq Inc said on Monday that its long-time chief executive Robert Greifeld would retire and that Adena Friedman, president and chief operating officer, would become CEO as of Jan. 1.
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Greifeld, who has headed the No. 2 U.S. stock market since 2003 and who wrote his graduate thesis on the operation of the exchange, will become chairman of Nasdaq's board, the company said. Current chairman Borje Ekholm will remain on the board.
Friedman has said she grew up at Nasdaq, where she worked for 18 years before leaving the company in 2011 to join private equity firm Carlyle Group LP as chief financial officer. Friedman returned to Nasdaq in 2014 with an understanding she would succeed Greifeld, sources told Reuters at the time. (http://reut.rs/1P60sFU)
"I've had the opportunity to watch Adena grow and develop over the last 14 years, and can confidently say she is the right person for this role and is unquestionably as passionate about the company's future as I am," Greifeld said in a statement.
Under Greifeld, Nasdaq grew through a string of acquisitions, including OMX Group, INET, the Philadelphia and Boston Exchanges.
Many of the deals diversified Nasdaq away from transaction businesses and toward businesses that have more stable sources of income, such as providing technology, data, and corporate services to companies. In March, however, Nasdaq agreed to acquire U.S. options exchange operator International Securities Exchange for $1.1 billion.