Former Korn Ferry Diversity Chief Joins Executive Leadership Council as CEO

February 17, 2021 – Black advancement organization the Executive Leadership Council has named Michael Hyter, the former chief diversity officer of Korn Ferry, as its new president and CEO. He succeeds Crystal Ashby, who served as interim president and CEO for the last 14 months. Mr. Hyter had won attention last June by being named Korn Ferry’s first-ever chief diversity officer, a tangible sign that Korn Ferry and the executive search industry were committed to fostering diversity in its ranks. “I really do see this role as an extension of my professional ministry,” he said at the time, “and I see it as something I’ve been preparing for unknowingly my entire life.”

Lloyd Brown, board chair of the Executive Leadership Council and corporate community reinvestment act officer for Citigroup, welcomed Mr. Hyter to his organization. “On behalf of our more than 800 members around the world, I am very pleased to welcome Michael Hyter as president and CEO,” he said. “Mike’s demonstrated track record of advocating for black excellence in corporate America and innovating measurable diversity and inclusion strategies to improve corporate governance and performance is inspiring.”

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Building a Balanced and Diverse Workforce

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Mr. Hyter brings more than 25 years of consulting and executive experience in diversity and inclusion and leadership development. After joining Korn Ferry in 2012, he played a key role in building Korn Ferry’s D&I practice. Mr. Hyter also previously led Korn Ferry’s Washington, D.C. office, overseeing a $60 million operation with 120 team members.

Prior to that, he spent 11 years at D&I consultancy Global Novations (acquired by Korn Ferry), where he served as president, managing partner and board director. Mr. Hyter was responsible for global operations and a $40 million business with 250 staff. He also oversaw mergers and acquisitions, performance management, budgeting, and competitor analysis. Before that, Mr. Hyter was a managing partner at J. Howard & Associates, a professional training and coaching firm. He holds a bachelor’s degree in human resources management from Michigan State University.

Related: New Ways to Move the Needle on Diversity Hiring

A successful author, Mr. Hyter’s most recent publication is The Power of Choice: Embracing Efficacy to Drive Your Career. He is also co-author of The Power of Inclusion: Unlock the Potential and Productivity of Your Workforce. He has published extensive articles in publications including the Handbook of Business Strategy, Director’s Monthly, Profiles in Diversity Journal, and Inc. Mr. Hyter was recognized by Savoy Magazine in 2016 and 2018 as one of the most influential blacks in corporate America.

Positive Impact On Black Executives

“As an advisor to corporations, boards, and CEOs, I have seen firsthand the Executive Leadership Council’s positive impact on black executives, the black talent pipeline, and the communities we serve,” said Mr. Hyter. “It is an honor to begin my leadership tenure as the Executive Leadership Council turns 35, at a time when our purpose and impact have never been more relevant and urgent.”

Founded in 1986, the Executive Leadership Council is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit dedicated to increasing the number of global Black executives in C-suites, boards, and enterprises. The organization’s membership is composed of 800 current and former black CEOs, executives, board directors, and entrepreneurs.

Related: Workplace Diversity Through Recruitment

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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