Managing director Lauren E. Smith led the assignment.
“Chris has an outstanding track record of leadership, vision and building a strong culture,” said Ms. Smith. “We are excited about the contributions that he will make on the International Paper board.”
Mr. Connor retired as executive chairman of the Sherwin-Williams Co. in December. He joined the company in 1983 and served as its chairman and chief executive officer from 2000 through 2015. Mr. Connor is chairman of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and serves on the board of directors for both Eaton Corp. and Yum! Brands. He will be assigned to the board’s audit and finance committee as well as the management development and compensation committee.
International Paper is a global producer of renewable fiber-based packaging, pulp and paper products with manufacturing operations in North America, Latin America, Europe, North Africa, Asia and Russia. The company has 55,000 employees in more than 24 countries. Its net sales for 2016 were $21 billion.
Ms. Smith, who works from the firm’s Miami office, conducts senior-level executive search assignments for clients ranging from high-growth early-stage organizations to multinational corporations, specializing in companies that are growing and/or transforming into new markets and businesses. She has placed executives and/or board members for clients such as Apple, Citrix, Comfort Systems, DHL, Kaplan Inc., Novell, Office Depot, Polyconcept, Ryder, Sheridan Healthcare, Tupperware and Winn-Dixie. She recently co-led board searches for a number of Fortune 500 boards, including Jacobs Engineering Corp., Fifth Third Bank and Navient Corp.
In addition, Ms. Smith has been interviewed about executive and board recruiting by a wide range of publications, including NACD Directorship, Entrepreneur magazine, American Way magazine, the Miami Herald and South Florida CEO Magazine.
Director recruiting has grown markedly more challenging, report recruiters who conduct searches in that area. According to Egon Zehnder, heightened expectations now placed on boards have elevated both the professional standards and personal commitment required of all directors.
At the same time, many boards find that the supply of independent-minded “board experienced” directors – especially those who can add vital forms of specialized skills and expertise – is limited. Such candidates are widely sought after yet sometimes hesitant to take on the intensive responsibilities now required of board service.
As a result, companies continue to turn to executive search firms to help them lure new board members. Most in demand are women, senior leaders with global experience, ethnically diverse professionals and Millennials.
Here’s a brief look at a small selection of search firms and their recent board work taken from the Hunt Scanlon Media newswire archives:
Korn Ferry assisted Mutual of America Life Insurance Company in adding Dr. Ellen Ochoa to its board of directors. Alan Guarino, vice chairman in the firm’s CEO and board services practice, led the search along with senior client partner Maureen Ryan. Dr. Ochoa is the director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
Spencer Stuart assisted Fred’s Inc. (Fred’s Pharmacy) in adding Christopher W. Bodine, Peter J. Bocian, and Michael K. Bloom to its board of directors. The directorship placements are part of an ongoing reconstitution process at Fred’s in which the board has been actively engaged, with the assistance of Spencer Stuart.
Epsen Fuller Group placed Anita Allen as a member of the board of directors at Tingley Rubber Corporation. The company sought a director that would bring diversity of thought and a strong financial background. Ms. Allen, founder and CEO of Allen Advisory Group, a boutique management consultancy, formerly was a consulting partner at KPMG.
The Onstott Group assisted A.I.M. Mutual Insurance Companies in the recruitment of Leslie E. Greis to serve on the company’s board of directors. Joe Onstott, managing director, led the assignment. Ms. Greis is the founder and managing member of investment firm, Perennial Capital Advisors, LLC.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media