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5 Things You Need To Know About Christine Leahy, CDW’s Next CEO

With the retirement of CDW CEO Thomas Richards Jan. 1, 16-year CDW veteran Leahy will take the top spot at the solution provider.

CDW -- No. 5 on the 2018 CRN Solution Provider 500 -- said Tuesday that CEO Thomas Richards is retiring effective Jan. 1 and named Christine Leahy, who is currently the company’s chief revenue officer, to the top role.

The 53-year-old Leahy has been with Lincolnshire, Ill.-based CDW for 16 years following a stint at one of the most prestigious law firms in the country. The Ivy League-educated executive also donates her time to a children’s hospital and to ensuring the advancement of women executives inside CDW.

In her role as chief revenue officer, Leahy was accountable for all customer-facing units of the company, including its corporate, public, small business, international, and strategic solutions and services organizations. She was responsible for ensuring continued strong revenue growth and that CDW’s go-to-market models remained highly relevant to its customers, according to the company’s website.

Before She Was Chief Revenue Officer

Leahy was senior vice president, international, where she led the development of the company’s international strategy including the acquisition of Kelway, now CDW UK, and was responsible for performance of its international business.

Legal Eagle

Leahy also acted as chief legal officer, having joined CDW in 2002 as the company’s first general counsel. Leahy was a corporate partner in the Chicago office of powerhouse law firm Sidley Austin prior to that.

Ivy League Education

Leahy earned her bachelor’s degree from Brown University in Rhode Island, and J.D. from Boston College Law School. She completed the CEO Perspective Program at Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, as well as the Women’s Director Development Program at Kellogg, according to CDW.

Giving Back

Leahy is chair of the board of trustees of Children’s Home and Aid. She is also a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and The Chicago Network. In addition, Leahy is a founder and current sponsor of CDW’s Women’s Opportunity Network, a business resource group that actively and strategically supports the advancement of women leaders at CDW, the company said.

Salary And Compensation

Leahy took home $2.02 million last year in combined salary, bonus and stock options, according to corporate filings.

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