Odgers Berndtson Expands Technology Practice

November 15, 2016 – Executive search firm Odgers Berndtson has expanded its technology practice in the U.S. with the addition of two new executive search specialists, Kathryn Ullrich and Rod Keller.

“A new breed of corporate leader is emerging as disruptive technologies transform industries literally overnight,” said Odgers U.S. managing partner Steve Potter. The firm recently conducted a survey of global executives with Forrester Research that revealed 84 percent of companies do not have the necessary skills and talent to execute a digital transformation. “Our newest partners will support our technology practice to meet our clients’ high demand for proven leaders who have the ability to innovate and build truly competitive organizations,” he added.

The Recruiters

Based in Silicon Valley, Ms. Ullrich focuses on senior executive searches for major corporations and venture-capital-backed companies in software, systems and services. She has specific expertise in disruptive technologies, including autonomous vehicles, cloud, cybersecurity, data analytics, Internet, IoT, and SaaS.

With nearly 20 years of executive search consulting experience, Ms. Ullrich previously served as a principal with Heidrick & Struggles, where she led C-suite and VP level searches for technology, software and consulting companies. Last year, 50 percent of the executive roles she filled were comprised of diverse candidates. She formerly founded management consulting company Kathryn Ullrich Associates and earlier in her career was an executive director with Russell Reynolds Associates.

“With research showing that companies with higher percentages of women in management get increasingly higher returns, companies are seeking top caliber women and other minority executives to add diversity to their leadership teams,” said Ms. Ullrich. “Ultimately, organizations are on the hunt for leaders who can create a culture of innovation and significantly increase business performance.”

An accomplished C-level executive, Mr. Keller has more than 30 years of leadership experience in multinational corporations – including Siemens, Dell, Cisco and Toshiba. He was most recently a partner at Allen Austin. Prior to that, he was president of Segway Inc. until leading its sale in 2015.

Based in Austin, Mr. Keller helps companies improve overall performance through organizational and cultural transformation. He recruits professionals for private equity and venture capital firms in addition to recruiting senior level executives and directors for their portfolio companies.

“A company’s failure to innovate and ‘protect their flank’ is an invitation to other companies to enter their market, prove success and leverage a more efficient operating model to take marketshare in the more lucrative commercial markets,” said Mr. Keller. “Without strong leadership, usually by the time a company realizes this, it is too late and they either merge or sell, or go out of business.”

Helping Transforming Industries Find Talent 

Ms. Ullrich and Mr. Keller join Odgers Berndtson partners Jay Hussey (Boston), Sally Drexler (Los Angeles) and Ora Smith (Washington) in the firm’s technology practice. Odgers Berndtson U.S. has added 17 new sector specialists to its roster in the last two years, with revenues doubling in size.

The firm recently ranked No. 22 among Hunt Scanlon Media‘s Top 50 executive search firms in the Americas. It is expected to rise in rank next spring when the 2017 list is published. Globally, Odgers now has more than 210 partners managing client engagements from offices in 51 cities across 29 countries.

Just last month, Odgers launched a higher education practice in the U.S. and strengthened its life sciences and healthcare practices. In the process, the firm added four executive search industry specialists — Nick Brill, Allen Reed, Jennifer McDonough and Ora Smith. “Clients entrust us to recruit top talent eager to tackle business challenges unique to their transforming industries,” said Mr. Potter. “Our newest search specialists are authorities in their industries who are ready to help clients in pursuit of executives with a proven track record of success.”

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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