June 28, 2019 – Although boards of directors are considered the backbones of organizations, director recruiting has grown markedly more challenging, say recruiters who conduct searches in that area. 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 but can be 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 find new board members. Most in demand are women, senior leaders with global experience, ethnically diverse professionals and Millennials.
Just recently, executive search firm Diversified Search recruited Georgette D. Kiser and Barbara Loughran as new members of the board of directors of NYSE-traded Jacobs in Dallas. Managing director Lauren Smith led the assignment along with president and CEO Dale Jones.
In their role as directors, Ms. Kiser has been appointed to serve on the human resource & compensation committee of the board, and Ms. Loughran will serve on the audit committee.
Ms. Kiser served as chief information officer and managing director at The Carlyle Group where she developed and drove the IT strategy across the global enterprise, including application development, data, digital, cybersecurity and infrastructure. Prior to Carlyle, she was with T. Rowe Price Associates for 19 years, most recently as VP and director of enterprise solutions and capabilities, leading transformational change through innovation. Ms. Kiser also led their emerging solutions and technologies innovation team focused on assessment and implementation of current, relevant technologies.
Ms. Loughran was a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) and brings more than 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies as they navigated strategic, transformational and operational issues. She has served in a number of leadership roles, including PwC’s Industrial products business unit leader for NY Metro and partner in PwC’s national office working with the Securities and Exchange Commission and clients as they accessed the capital markets and responded to regulatory requirements. Ms. Loughran has lived and worked globally, in addition to leading teams in Europe, Asia, South America, Russia, Turkey and South Africa. Her broad industry experience includes professional services, pharmaceuticals, technology and consumer products.
With these placements by Diversified Search, Jacobs’ board is now comprised of 11 members from diverse geographic, industry, technical and business backgrounds, providing a robust governance structure that aligns with the company’s strong emphasis on inclusion; 45 percent of Jacobs’ board is female or ethnically diverse.
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“We are excited to welcome both Georgette and Barb to the board, both of whom bring strong business leadership, deep understanding of technology, and first-hand experience driving organizational transformation,” said Steve Demetriou, CEO and chairman of the board at Jacobs. “They are joining the board at an exciting time for Jacobs, and I expect their impact to be immediate and positive as we deliver on our profitable growth strategy.”
Jacobs leads the global professional services sector delivering solutions for a more connected, sustainable world. With approximately $12 billion in revenue and a talent force of more than 50,000, Jacobs provides a full spectrum of services including scientific, technical, professional and construction- and program-management for business, industrial, commercial, government and infrastructure sectors.
Headquartered in Philadelphia, Diversified Search is the largest U.S. female owned and founded firm in the executive recruitment industry. It has offices in Atlanta, Boston. Chicago, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Southern California, and Washington, D.C. Diversified is the U.S. partner of AltoPartners, an international alliance of 58 independent executive search firms that spans 35 countries across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.
Dale E. Jones serves as president and CEO of Diversified Search. His responsibilities include oversight and management of the firm and its global CEO advisory services. Before joining in 2013, Mr. Jones served as vice chairman of Heidrick & Struggles. His philosophy on great leadership is simple: “It is important that leaders have the ability to inspire and motivate people and to lead by example. I think the best leaders have been through some testing in their journey, so that they can really empathize, not only with the people that they lead, but with their customers.”
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 working with companies that are growing and/or transforming into new markets and businesses.
She has placed executives and/or board members at clients such as Apple, Citrix, Comfort Systems, DHL, Kaplan Inc., Novell, Office Depot, Polyconcept, Ryder, Sheridan Healthcare, Tupperware and Winn-Dixie. In addition, Ms. Smith recently co-led board searches for a number of Fortune 500 boards, including Jacobs Engineering Corp. Fifth Third Bank, and Navient Corp.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media