Re: "Act normally! Ginni and the team are here to see what Austin is really like."
"Frankly if you cannot approach execs then there is a major problem."
In my experience the execs and HoDs that are any good are not only approachable, but will make active efforts to be so.
It's all the middle manglement that are desperate to cut of the information flow either way, since they don't have the ability to do either the top job or work at the coal face.
Email is nice for that. While not every suggestion I've made to a CEO has been taken up, they do seem to take the valid concerns on board and try and address them.