March 26, 2021 – With the coronavirus crisis disrupting the world economy, chief people officers are stepping up at businesses across the country, playing a vital role in helping organizations navigate what is looking to be an even greater challenge than the Great Recession. As a recent article in The Economist put it, chief people officers “keep employees healthy; maintain their morale; and oversee a vast remote-working experiment.” As companies retrench, these leaders are also considering whether, when and how to lay workers off. Executive recruiters across the business landscape report that searches for these C-suite executives will only continue to rise.
Mercedes Chatfield-Taylor, managing partner of the private equity and venture capital practice at Caldwell, recently placed Kelli Koschmann as chief people officer of global revenue enablement technology provider Showpad. Ms. Koschmann brings over 20 years of people leadership experience with businesses including Aon-Hewitt, SRAM and Sittercity. She is passionate about unlocking the potential of organizational talent and empowering others to be their best. Most recently, she led people function at Sittercity, ensuring the organization had the right talent on the team to achieve its mission of making childcare finally work.
As Showpad’s chief people officer, Ms. Koschmann is focused on building an inclusive, diverse culture and delivering the best employee experience. “I’m excited to join Showpad and be part of an organization that’s empowering individuals to be at their best, especially now when so many of us had to adapt during these challenging times,” she said. “As we continue to grow, I’m looking forward to using my experience to invest in our culture and help our employees thrive in an inclusive, growth-oriented environment.”
Showpad drives rapid deployment and adoption with best-in-class technology and practices based on its use of more than 1,200 customers in over 50 countries. GE Healthcare, Bridgestone, Honeywell and Merck, among others, rely on Showpad’s sales enablement platform. Founded in 2011, Showpad has experienced explosive growth in recent years and has now raised a total of $185 million in funding. It’s team of 450 people work from the company’s headquarters in Ghent and Chicago and regional offices in London, Munich, San Francisco and Wroclaw, Poland.
Proven Search Consultant
Ms. Chatfield-Taylor runs Caldwell’s global venture capital and private equity practice. She focuses on executive-level search for high-growth technology companies, with deep expertise in B2B SaaS, DevOps, E-commerce, consumer, and other transformative technologies. She has completed more than 50 CEO searches as well as other C-level assignments for her clients, with a deep passion and expertise in helping to diversify VC and PE-backed company boards and their leadership teams. Ms. Chatfield-Taylor recently placed Derrick Ware as CTO of Newsela, Sun Lee as CMO of Sisu, Heidi O’Neill as a board member at Spotify (IPO), and Prashanth Chandrasekaran as CEO for Stack Overflow.
“Mercedes is the foremost search professional in the high-growth technology venture capital sector today,” said John Wallace, chief executive officer of Caldwell. “Her reputation for her relentless drive, client commitment and impeccable execution precedes her.”
“For years, Mercedes has served in an advisory capacity to a roster of top-tier venture capital and private-equity firms, assisting her clients and their portfolio companies in recruiting leaders focused on value creation,” he said. “She is comfortable serving as a behind-the-scenes executive coach to early-stage founders and as a trusted advisor to public company boards of directors.”
Chief People Officer Recruiting
Executive search firms have been stepping up their efforts to assist companies across the nation to find new chief people officers. Here are a look at few recent searches from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:
HR executive search and management consulting firm accelHRate placed former Washington Nationals HR executive Alexa Herndon as the first chief people officer of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Kimberly Shanahan, founding president and chief executive officer of the search firm, led the assignment along with managing partner and co-founder Kelly McPherson.
This prestigious non-profit organization regards the role as a linchpin for delivering on its mission of inspiring and empowering people to become agents of change. The position provides an ideal opportunity for a sophisticated, business-savvy, innovative, forward-thinking leader to help advance the organization to the next stage of its development, says the recruitment firm. Let’s take a closer look at this important search just getting underway.
Chicago-based Hanold Associates HR & Diversity Executive Search has placed Michele Meyer-Shipp as chief people and culture officer for Major League Baseball. Jason Hanold, CEO and co-managing partner of the search firm, led the assignment along with partner Keri Gavin. “Michele is an exceptional leader and an inspirational person,” said Mr. Hanold. “She will have an incredibly positive impact on Major League Baseball in this newly created role within the commissioner’s office.”
Executive search firm Furst Group, which serves the healthcare and insurance industries, placed Jackie Tischler as the new chief people officer for BJC Healthcare in St. Louis. Vice president Jessica Homann led the assignment. Ms. Tischler succeeds John Beatty, who last year announced he would be retiring. The search included healthcare professionals as well as leadership from other complex, change-oriented, and consumer-centric industries such as retail, technology, and hospitality/services, according to the recruiting firm. This resulted in 73 percent of candidates having multi-industry backgrounds, said Ms. Homann.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media