November 8, 2023 – Recruiting for boards of directors, considered the backbones of organizations, has grown markedly more challenging, say recruiters who conduct searches in that area. As a result, companies continue to turn to executive search firms to help find new board members. Greenwich Harbor Partners recently assisted in the recruitment of Jean DeSombre, Floyd Fernandes, George Maddaloni, Jared Miller, and Jotham Nyamari as new members of the board of directors at PowerMyLearning.
Ms. DeSombre is founder and CEO of Paragon Global Ventures. She is a healthcare executive experienced in managing multi-billion dollar, global vertically integrated healthcare products, and services businesses. Ms. DeSombre was most recently the chief operating officer, care delivery international at Fresenius Medical Care before founding Paragon Global Ventures as a way to invest in the next generation of industry disruptors in sectors underrepresented by women and minority leadership.
Mr. Fernandes is a chief information security officer with a lengthy international track record providing leadership and strategic direction in information security, software security, fraud, governance, privacy, risk and compliance management. He is currently the chief information security officer for Whatnot, the largest livestream shopping platform in the U.S. Previously, Mr. Fernandes was CISO at Credit Karma, leading all elements of their global security program.
Mr. Maddaloni is EVP, chief technology officer, operations at Mastercard, responsible for the performance and the modernization of their technology and platform services. Prior to that, he served as global CTO at AIG. He has a track record of defining and guiding IT vision, strategy, and execution for major organizations that have also included UBS, AT&T, GM and Merrill Lynch.
Mr. Miller is EVP and chief information officer at Sphere Entertainment and Madison Square Garden Entertainment. In this role, he is responsible for all technology across the enterprise, including the development of new immersive technologies being deployed at the Sphere in Las Vegas. Mr. Miller has spent his career at the forefront of driving large transformational change with groundbreaking technologies in the multiple industries, from airlines to sports and entertainment.
Ms. Nyamari is currently a partner with Tata Consultancy Services in New York where he is leading a global practice helping financial services clients mitigate cybersecurity, technology, and privacy risks. Previously, he was with PwC, Deloitte, and EY as a risk management, audit, and information security professional.
Greenwich Harbor Partners’ principals, Carrie and Ted Pryor, have worked in industry as general managers and investors and have direct professional experience with the types of issues that face their clients. The firm’s client roster includes IBM Cloud Services, Media General, Marlin Equity Partners, DIRECTV, SpinMedia, ReelzChannel TV, and Keurig Green Mountain, among others.
Ms. Pryor has over 20 years of senior executive search experience. She has recruited board directors, CEOs and their direct reports, as well as partners for private equity firms. In addition to holding a board seat with the New York Pops, she serves as an advisory board member for Constellation Ventures. A veteran of the internet space since the early ’90s, she has deep experience in digital media, entertainment, and private equity.
Breaking the Boardroom Glass Ceiling
For far too long, leadership positions have been less accessible for women than their male peers. This has resulted in frustrating gender imbalances across organizations’ top ranks globally—seven percent of the world’s largest companies still have all-male boards, and only 10 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are women. But despite longstanding barriers, female leadership is on the rise, according Egon Zehnder’s Global Board Diversity Tracker 2022-2023 (GBDT). At the board level, there has been steady investment in diversity, equity, and inclusion, with one in three new hires being women and 27 percent of board seats being held by female directors globally. This is the fastest pace of progress the search firm has seen since tracking these stats.
Mr. Pryor focuses on senior-level assignments for general management, sales, marketing, and digital transformation. He specializes in recruiting executives using his four years as CFO and CEO of a venture-backed start-up, 10 years at General Electric Capital, and 20 years in international finance and investment banking. Mr. Pryor has served on public, private, and non-profit boards, and chaired the audit committee for the NBA’s Boston Celtics. In executive recruiting, he has focused on business services, digital marketing, E-commerce, ad sales, place-based advertising, communications, and customer service for growth companies and large national brands.
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 but can be hesitant to take on the intensive responsibilities now required of board service.
Most in demand are women, senior leaders with global experience, ethnically diverse professionals, and millennials.
Related: U.S. Boards Seen as Slowly Evolving
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media