Egon Zehnder Names Edilson Camara CEO

The third largest global executive search firm has a new chief: Edilson Camara gets the nod to lead Egon Zehnder, becoming its sixth CEO. Let’s go inside the latest developments.

November 28, 2018 – Egon Zehnder has appointed Edilson Camara as its new chief executive officer, taking over from Rajeev Vasudeva, who stepped down last month after holding the position since 2014.

Based in Toronto, Mr. Camara assumes the role immediately, becoming the sixth CEO in the firm’s 55-year history.

Mr. Camara will work with chairwoman Jill Ader to accelerate the firm’s efforts in serving as a leadership advisor for boards, CEOs and executive leaders across its suite of leadership services.

Mr. Vasudeva will remain a senior partner. This will enable the firm to “continue to benefit from his wisdom, experience and global client relationships,” Ms. Ader said in a company memo. “He has been instrumental in shaping our growth strategy, including the broadening of our identity as leadership advisers. Most importantly, our global team and market positioning have never been stronger. It is a testament to his leadership that 2018 is likely to be the best year in the firm’s history, both in terms of revenues and profits.” Egon Zehnder closed out its fiscal year just a few weeks ago.

Company Veteran

Mr. Camara, who is Brazilian, began his career in Egon Zehnder’s Sao Paulo office 20 years ago working with industrial clients. In 2001, he moved to Rio de Janeiro to open the firm’s first office there, ultimately becoming leader of the firm’s Brazilian practice while growing the business into its most profitable globally. In 2009, he was appointed to Egon Zehnder’s executive committee, where he has driven firm-wide topics in technology, people, and performance. He also sits on the firm’s finance committee. Mr. Camara moved to Canada four years ago to lead the practice north of the American border across three offices, doubling the firm’s size across Canada and tripling its profits.

Edilson Camara

Before becoming an Egon Zehnder consultant, Mr. Camara was a strategic planning manager, treasurer and assistant to the CEO at Holcim, a global building-materials group.

In those roles he led corporate functions across Latin America, including strategic planning, finance and marketing, while being based in Brazil and Switzerland.

Related: Spencer Stuart Names Ben Williams CEO

“I am very much looking forward to working closely with Ed as our new CEO,” said Ms. Ader. “We bring complementary skills and styles deeply rooted in a shared view of the future and our unique firm values. He is already a very accomplished leader in the firm and advises clients at the board and C-suite level internationally.”

Related: Heidrick & Struggles Names President and CEO

Mr. Camara sees great potential for the future of Egon Zehnder. “Our firm is truly unique in its ability to respond to client needs in light of the convergence observed in various aspects of leadership advisory and executive search,” he said. “For almost six decades, Egon Zehnder has been a disruptor, innovating the way we advise clients. This will continue, as we further bring to the market the unmatched strength of our equal, truly global partnership.”

Egon Zehnder Partners with Leadership Development Firm Mobius
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The process to appoint the CEO was overseen by Ms. Ader and a nominations committee. The process included input from the entire partnership.

First Female Chair

In July, Ms. Ader became the first female chair within a global top five executive search firm. She is the first person to hold this role within Egon Zehnder without having previously served as CEO. Based in London, Ms. Ader is a senior partner and director of Egon Zehnder’s board. Since joining the firm in 1996, she has held a number of leadership roles including as London office leader and as a member of both the executive committee and the board.

In addition, Ms. Ader founded the firm’s CEO succession practice, and was instrumental in creating Egon Zehnder’s executive breakthrough leadership development program. Before joining the firm, her career was in retail, strategy consulting and venture capital.

Related: 10 Traits of Transformational CEOs

“Jill is exceptionally well suited to guide our continued global growth and service innovation while retaining our ‘One Firm’ focus on our clients,” said Mr. O’Brien. “She embodies the generosity of spirit that has underpinned the success of Egon Zehnder combined with the deep trust of our clients to support their leadership journeys.”

Top Global Search

Egon Zehnder retained its status as the No. 3 ranked global search firm according to Hunt Scanlon Media this past spring – edging out Heidrick & Struggles and Russell Reynolds Associates. Since 1964, the firm has been at the forefront of defining top leadership in the face of changing economic conditions as well as major transitions in the executive search field.

With more than 400 consultants in 69 offices and 41 countries around the globe, Egon Zehnder works with public and private corporations, family-owned enterprises and non-profit and government agencies to provide board advisory services, CEO and leadership succession planning, executive search and assessment, and leadership development solutions.

Related: Are Leaders Really Prepared to Take on the Job of CEO?

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

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