NYSE’s Stacey Cunningham stepping down as leadership shake-up hits the Big Board

December 6, 2021, 2:40 PM UTC

Stacey Cunningham, the head of the New York Stock Exchange, is stepping down.

In a series of C-suite moves at Wall Street’s most famous stock exchange, Cunningham will step back from the daily business of all things NYSE to join the exchange’s board, Intercontinental Exchange chairman and CEO Jeff Sprecher wrote in a letter Monday.

Lynn Martin, a veteran executive of the company who has led ICE’s fixed income and data business for the past year, will succeed Cunningham, effective Jan. 3.

The change comes three and a half years after Cunningham, who started her career on the NYSE trading floor as an intern, was named as the exchange’s president—marking the first time that a woman was picked to lead the NYSE. (Catherine Kinney was copresident of the NYSE in the early 2000s, though the exchange did have a CEO at the time as well.) It also represented the only time in history when both the NYSE and Nasdaq were led by women, as Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman was named as the exchange’s top executive in 2017.

Under Cunningham, NYSE has undergone a series of changes that have helped bring about a new era in the capital markets. It completed a long-awaited technology upgrade to its systems, helped pioneer and grow alternative routes to the public markets like SPAC mergers and direct listings, and, of course, navigated through the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, which shuttered NYSE’s trading floor and brought about the unprecedented challenge of the exchange having to migrate trading to an exclusively electronic environment.

“Nine years ago this month, ICE announced its $8.2 billion acquisition of NYSE Euronext, a move that put our relatively obscure company on the map. One week before that news broke, Stacey Cunningham joined the NYSE,” Sprecher wrote. “She was new to our team, but not new to the building, having spent the early years of her career on the NYSE trading floor. Stacey embraced the challenge as ICE set out to reinvent a global icon.”

With Martin, Sprecher is tapping yet another longtime NYSE and ICE veteran to lead the Big Board. The 48-year-old began her career at IBM, but, according to a profile published by NYSE, Martin soon found her interests lay in the financial market’s plumbing. Martin has been a part of NYSE and ICE for the past 20 years.

The NYSE president role is not the only one undergoing changes as outlined in Sprecher’s letter. The exchange has also named Hope Jarkowski, currently NYSE’s head of equities, as general counsel. Amanda Hindlian, a Goldman Sachs veteran who joined the exchange in February as global head of capital markets, will succeed Martin in leading ICE fixed income and data services as president.

And at ICE, COO Mark Wassersug will become chief information officer, with Stuart Williams, president of ICE Futures Europe, succeeding Wassersug as COO.

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