CEO Wardell Named Chair of Witt/Kieffer Board of Directors
OAK BROOK, IL, July 14, 2016 — Executive search firm Witt/Kieffer has announced the appointment of current CEO Charles W.B. Wardell, III to the position of Chair and CEO. Anna Wharton Phillips, who joined the firm in 1988 and has served as Chair for the past seven years, will remain with the company as an advisor to the Board.
“I’m honored to take the reins as Chair during this time of strong and sustained growth for Witt/Kieffer,” said Wardell. “Our firm is meeting the needs of our clients and communities better and in more ways than we ever have. I look forward to helping Witt/Kieffer continue to grow and, from a governance capacity, keeping it focused on its strategic goals and mission of serving organizations committed to improving the quality of life.”
He added: “I also want to thank Anna for her tremendous stewardship and many contributions to the Board and to Witt/Kieffer during her tenure. Her leadership has helped us get to where we are today as one of the best firms in the executive search industry.”
Wardell joined Witt/Kieffer in June 2011. Since that time the firm has experienced record revenues and profitability, and has grown from 148 to 230 employees. The firm saw outstanding growth over the past several years in its traditional lines of business, including healthcare, higher education, academic medicine, and information technology. In addition, under Wardell’s oversight, the firm launched and built five new practices, including Life Sciences, Sports Leadership, Board Services, Leadership Solutions and WK Advisors, the firm’s mid-level executive search practice. Further, it has established an international joint venture, Witt/Kieffer Ccentric, headquartered in London and in association with Australia-based Ccentric Group.
Prior to joining Witt/Kieffer, Wardell’s search career included 10 years at a major global search firm serving as chairman of emerging markets and senior advisor to the chief executive officer. BusinessWeek named Wardell one of the world’s most influential search executives in 2008. He has received the prestigious Gardner W. Heidrick Award for contributions to the search industry, and has served as global chairman for the Association of Executive Search Consultants.
Wardell is a decorated combat veteran, having served with distinction in Vietnam. He began his civilian life in the White House — as deputy special assistant to Presidents Nixon and Ford and as deputy assistant secretary of state appointed by President Ford.
Wardell is also a former board member of BritishAmerican Business, Cowen and Company, Turning Point, L.L.C., General Employment Enterprises, Inc., and Fedcap Rehabilitation Services, and a former senior advisor to Coller Capital, L.L.C.
Witt/Kieffer is among the nation’s top ten executive search firms and the single largest specializing in healthcare, education and not-for-profit organizations. Witt/Kieffer’s mission is to identify outstanding leadership solutions for organizations committed to improving the quality of life. The firm serves hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers and other health-related organizations; life sciences companies including pharmaceutical, biotech, diagnostics and medical device corporations; colleges and universities and not-for-profit community service organizations and foundations.
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