Egon Zehnder Recruits CEO for Entrepreneurs’ Organization

June 6, 2024 – Leadership advisory firm Egon Zehnder has placed serial entrepreneur and board member Dave Parker as the new CEO of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) in Alexandria, VA. His appointment follows a global, months-long search beginning last July with the selection of Egon Zehnder and led by a committee tasked by EO’s global board of directors. EO global board chair and EO Cincinnati member Lynn Anstett introduced Mr. Parker to members assembled at its annual global leadership conference in Singapore last month, where 1,800 members gathered for chapter officer training, inspiration, and connection.

“In Dave, we feel we have found an ideal blend of voice and vision to propel us forward toward 2030,” said Ms. Anstett. “His clear passion for entrepreneurship, coupled with his extensive experience and thought leadership around the founder’s journey, align well with our commitment to a clear strategic direction and operational excellence for the EO member community.”

“Dave’s diverse range of experiences on corporate boards particularly attracted us to him, given the annual shift that take place in EO’s all-member volunteer board,” said EO’s incoming global chair, Jamie Pujara, an EO member from Kenya preparing to serve his third and final year as a director of that body. “I am confident that all EO member leaders stepping up to serve this organization through global board membership will greatly benefit from his vast board experience and continuity in the role.”

Mr. Parker brings more than three decades of experience as both founder and board director for startups and learning organizations worldwide. As a five-time technology founder himself, he has sold three of his startups and closed two others in an entrepreneurial career spanning more than three decades. Among the enterprises he founded are Trajectory Media, OneAccord Partners, and License Online. Mr. Parker has also worked with under-represented founders as a venture capitalist with Fearless Fund, where he invested in Women of Color Founders across the U.S. He has previously served as a board member on dozens of corporate and non-profit boards since 2000, guiding organizations such as the Washington Technology Industry Association, Guidant Financial Group, Find Ventures, AudiencePoint, and Code Fellows.

As CEO, Mr. Parker will lead EO’s fully remote team of more than 160 full-time professional staff from 20 countries to serve the membership network’s nearly 19,000 members worldwide. He will oversee how the not-for-profit organization executes on its newly board-approved 2030 Strategic Direction, applying members’ dues to strengthen their connection, learning, and continued development as influencers and leaders.

Related: Egon Zehnder Assists BP with CEO Search

“Working with EO feels like an extension of what I have been doing for the last 15 years—building startup communities—just on a much bigger stage,” said Mr. Parker. “I believe entrepreneurs have the power to change the world. We’re the crazy ones, or we wouldn’t take on the challenges required to start a new business and leave a legacy. It’s a great chance to work with an amazing community.”

The Entrepreneurs’ Organization is the world’s largest membership network exclusively by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs everywhere. Since 1987, EO has been supporting the world’s leading builders of business to realize more of their potential by fostering connection, applying leadership skills, and creating belonging across industries and borders.

Top 5 Search Firm

Egon Zehnder currently ranks as a Top 5 global executive search firm, according to Hunt Scanlon Media. With more than 500 consultants in 68 offices and 40 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. 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.

Egon Zehnder recently appointed Francesco Buquicchio as its new CEO, effective November 1. He succeeds Edilson Camara, following a strategic leadership transition and succession planning process. Mr. Buquicchio will be the seventh person to serve as CEO in Egon Zehnder’s 60-year history. The process to appoint a new CEO was headed by chair Michael Ensser with the support of the board and an advisory committee. It also included input from the entire partnership. “We thank Ed for his leadership over these past six years—he laid a strong foundation that enabled the firm to accelerate its growth. We are pleased to share that he will continue with the firm, returning to client work,” said Mr. Ensser. “As we begin our seventh decade, Francesco will leverage our expertise in discovering leaders, developing leadership, unlocking transformations, shaping successions and advancing governance to craft more distinct client and candidate experiences, prioritizing innovation, sustainability and long-term value creation.”

Related: Egon Zehnder Retained by Bandhan Bank for CEO Search

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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