scorecardresearch Skip to main content

Mahoney wrote the book on being a chief marketing officer. Now he is one again.

New GM at Four Seasons on Dalton Street; Lego deal seen as bellwether; GE Vernova leadership team now complete; Akamai celebrates 25 years.

Peter Mahoney, chief marketing officer at GoTo.Chris Morris

Peter Mahoney co-authored a book entitled “The Next CMO” three years ago. So it made sense GoTo chief executive Paddy Srinivasan would ask Mahoney what to look for in GoTo’s next CMO.

Mahoney hasn’t worked as a chief marketing officer in years. But he obviously thought extensively about the job, in preparation for the book, and with the launch of a software firm for marketers called Plannuh. After he sold that startup last year to Planful, Mahoney seemed intrigued by the idea of returning to the ranks. He told Srinivasan: What about me?

Srinivasan took him up on the offer. And so last week, Mahoney joined Srinivasan’s leadership team at the Boston company formerly known as LogMeIn, which specializes in communications and IT support software. (Mahoney takes over for Jamie Domenici, now the CMO at Klaviyo.) The move followed two other new additions to Srinivasan’s C-suite: Attila Török, the new chief information security officer, and Meredith Hawkins, who was promoted to chief people officer.

“I spent seven years telling CMOs how to do their jobs,” Mahoney said. “I thought it would be fun to figure out if I still knew how to do it myself.”


Mahoney worked at Nuance Communications for much of the past two decades, including as the voice-recognition software firm’s CMO and then general manager of Nuance’s dictation and transcription businesses. He left in 2017, around the time of Nuance’s sale to Microsoft, to launch Plannuh.

Srinivasan took the reins at GoTo soon after the company was rebranded from LogMeIn in early 2022. Under former chief executive Bill Wagner, the company made it clear its leadership would not be centralized in Boston, particularly after the COVID-19 pandemic began — remote work is in its DNA, after all. But Mahoney said keeping a Boston presence remains important to Srinivasan.


“One of the things Paddy was really excited about was having another member of the senior leadership team who could represent here locally,” Mahoney said. “That was one of the big things for me, having spent a number of years at a [Greater Boston] pillar tech company at Nuance, I really wanted to do it again. It’s really important to me and the company to be part of the Boston community.”

A view of One Dalton in Boston on June 26, 2019. Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

Yacout takes over at Four Seasons

There’s a new face behind the desk at the Four Seasons hotel at One Dalton in the Back Bay.

Veteran Four Seasons executive Ahmed Yacout has taken over as general manager of the 215-room luxury hotel, after Reed Kandalaft moved up the ranks to a regional vice president job in California.

“For me, it’s really taking this hotel from being great to being amazing in the coming few years,” Yacout said of the four-year-old hotel, not to be confused with the Back Bay’s other Four Seasons on Boylston Street. “It’s not lost on me that there’s a lot of competition in this market, and there’s more coming in.”

Yacout relocated from Las Vegas and has settled with his family in Brookline. He said he’s been struck by Boston’s architectural charms, its great restaurant scene, its sports fandom — and the fact this big city often feels like a small town.

“It seems like everyone knows everyone,” Yacout added. “I love the fact we can live in such a global city and we can still be such a community.”


Lego announced last week that it will move from Enfield, Conn., to a new tower it will share with CarGurus overlooking the Mass. Pike in the Back Bay.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Zana sees Lego deal as positive sign

Can Lego provide a building block for the urban office market’s revival?

Lisa Zana sure hopes so.

Zana, co-chair of the real estate practice at Connecticut law firm Shipman & Goodwin, helped negotiate a lease for more than 10,000 square feet for the Danish toy company’s new Americas headquarters, on Lego’s behalf. (Her firm has worked with Lego for five decades.) Lego announced the lease last week as it prepares to move from Enfield, Conn., to a new tower it will share with CarGurus overlooking the Mass. Pike in the Back Bay — a building being developed by Samuels & Associates.

Zana said Lego’s decision to relocate to such a big space in Boston should send a positive signal to the commercial office market at a time when it’s struggling to rebound from the pandemic.

“There are people who want to be in downtown Boston, and they want to be there because being together with young people, with diverse and dynamic people, is what downtown cities are all about,” Zana said. “Maybe [the Lego deal] could get some other growing companies to think similarly, ... not just in Boston but in other cities.”

Scott Strazik, CEO of GE Vernova, speaks on the anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Act during an event in the East Room of the White House on Aug. 16.Evan Vucci/Associated Press

C-suite fills up at GE’s new spinoff

The GE Vernova leadership team is now complete.

A new, publicly traded company will spring up in Cambridge early next year, but it won’t happen overnight. General Electric is spinning off its renewable energy, natural gas, and electric grid businesses into this new group, called GE Vernova. It will be the final move by GE chief executive Larry Culp to break apart the once-giant GE empire, with aerospace as the last remaining industrial business in that company. (Culp spun off the healthcare group earlier this year.)


GE Vernova chief Scott Strazik decided to base the new headquarters in Cambridge, near Kendall Square. That office will open later this year, in anticipation of the spinoff.

Last week, GE announced the final top executives to be named to Strazik’s leadership team. Owens Corning chief financial officer Ken Parks announced he would be stepping down; he starts in the CFO job at GE Vernova on Oct. 2. He will be based at the Cambridge headquarters. Meanwhile, veteran GE executive Vic Abate, currently the leader of GE’s onshore wind turbine business, has been promoted to be chief executive of GE Vernova’s Wind division, which will include the offshore wind business as well. Abate, however, will stay put at GE’s Niskayuna, N.Y., facility — where, as GE’s departing CFO Carolina Dybeck Happe pointed out last week, you can still see Thomas Edison’s desk 130 years after he founded the company.

Akamai Technologies CEO Tom Leighton poses for a portrait inside the company’s Cambridge office on Oct. 20, 2021. Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Akamai rings in a quarter-century

Happy birthday, Akamai Technologies.

Twenty-five years after the Cambridge tech company, now worth nearly $16 billion, got its start at MIT, chief executive Tom Leighton took to LinkedIn to expound on how it is “still moving mountains” — the company’s anniversary theme. Leighton recalled how he incorporated Akamai on Aug. 20, 1998, with cofounder Danny Lewin. A team of about a dozen people, mostly MIT undergrads, moved out of Leighton’s MIT office and into a small incubator space in Cambridge. Naysayers, Leighton wrote, told them their plan to use distributed servers to move media over the internet would never work.


Well, the Akamai folks sure proved the critics wrong. The company grew steadily, eventually expanding to offer website optimization, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. It survived the death of a beloved cofounder (Lewin was on one of the planes that were hijacked on 9/11), the dot-com bust, the Great Recession, and activist shareholder agitation. Of the nearly 200 tech companies that went public in 1999, Leighton wrote, Akamai is one of only 20 still public today. “For 25 years, Akamai has been at the vanguard of the internet revolution,” Leighton wrote.

More than 500 employees celebrated the anniversary at the Museum of Science, and Leighton also brought a group of interns and newer employees — many of them younger than Akamai itself — to the Cambridge headquarters to talk about the company’s history.

And chief technology officer Bobby Blumofe joined his boss on LinkedIn, to say teaming up with Leighton and other MIT pals way back when was the second-best decision he ever made, after marrying his wife Cynthia Breazeal, an MIT professor and cofounder of robotics firm Jibo.

“I like to say that the who matters more than the what. Stay close to great people and the what will take care of itself,” Blumofe wrote. “That’s the story of how I decided to join Akamai, and boy did I get that right.”

Jon Chesto can be reached at Follow him @jonchesto.