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It's Official: Vanguard Passes the Baton To McNabb

Posted by: Lauren Young on August 1, 2008

It’s official: Vanguard has named William McNabb as its next leader.

Today Vanguard’s board of directors elected McNabb as CEO. He will handle day-to-day operations at the mutual fund giant, effective August 31. Vanguard announced the transition plan back in February for McNabb to succeed John Brennan—the folks at Vanguard call him “Jack”—who has served as Vanguard CEO since 1996. Brennan remains chairman.

Dan Wiener, editor of the Independent Advisor for Vanguard Investors, doesn’t expect big changes. He told the Nightly Business Report: “I think that McNabb is going to continue on the path that Brennan set. Brennan more than quadrupled assets under management, and he was behind the big move into exchange-traded funds which has been very successful.”

Back in 2005, right after I joined BusinessWeek, I wrote a profile of Vanguard. The piece focused on Vanguard’s ability to steer clear of the mutual fund trading scandals. It also highlighted some of the key differences between Brennan and Vanguard founder Jack Bogle.

How much do you think has Vanguard changed since Bogle handed the day-to-day operations to Brennan in 1996? Is the company headed on the right path?

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Bloomberg Businessweek’s Ben Steverman focuses on the latest moves in financial markets and emerging trends in stocks, bonds, and funds, always with an eye toward giving readers a better understanding of the sometimes confusing and often chaotic world of money. Standard & Poor’s senior index analyst Howard Silverblatt will also provide his take on companies’ finances and the markets. Voted one of the “Top 100 Finance Blogs” in 2007.

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