February 7, 2018 – Moving ahead with the restructuring plans that it revealed last month, Heidrick & Struggles has announced a series of changes to its leadership team.
The moves are keeping in step with president and CEO Krishnan Rajagopalan’s past remarks and his statement in January that the firm was “in the process of examining every aspect of our organizational and cost structure to support investments toward our vision of becoming the world’s most trusted advisory firm as well as to improve the firm’s profitability.”
Among the changes, Mark R. Harris, joins Heidrick as CFO, succeeding Richard W. Pehlke who retires in March. Mr. Harris had been CFO at Hercules Capital, a publicly traded business development company, with responsibility for the finance, accounting, operations, treasury, legal and investor relations. Under his leadership, Hercules saw a significant increase in earnings per share and total shareholder return. Before that, Mr. Harris was the senior managing director/head of Asia, CFO and head of asset management of Avenue Capital Group’s Asia funds. He also formerly served as corporate financial controller at Hutchison Telecom, a NYSE-listed telecommunications company based in Hong Kong.
“Rich has provided strong financial leadership, earning the respect of our investors and colleagues throughout the firm,” said Mr. Rajagopalan. “I want to wish Rich the best in his upcoming retirement and thank him for his nearly seven years of service to the firm. Rich and Mark will partner together to ensure a smooth transition.”
COO Position Established
Michael Cullen has been named to the newly created role of chief operating officer with responsibility across the enterprise for IT, marketing, practice operations and the knowledge management center, as well as for the leadership of executive search across the firm’s three global regions: Europe and Africa, Asia Pacific and the Middle East, and the Americas. Previously, he had been global practice managing partner for the firm’s global technology & services practice where he will continue to be a strategic talent adviser for a select group of companies.
“Mike will drive growth and operating efficiency, while more closely aligning support functions with our executive search and Heidrick Consulting businesses,” said Mr. Rajagopalan. “A consistently high performing consultant who understands clients’ changing needs in a data-driven world, Mike will strengthen the commitment to excellence in our operating management.”
New Practice Leaders
Heidrick also appointed Amy Goldfinger and Mike Theilmann as co-leaders of its global human resources officers (CHRO) practice, based in New York City and Dallas. This follows the departure of Dan Kaplan who left the firm to lead Korn Ferry’s CHRO practice.
Ms. Goldfinger has been with the firm for 11 years advising clients in HR transformation, accelerated leadership, talent management strategy and execution, leadership assessment and development, and onboarding. She leads senior-level HR searches including CHRO, heads of talent management, heads of organizational development, chief learning officers, heads of rewards and heads of recruiting for companies in every industry.
Mr. Theilmann joined the firm last June with more than 25 years of global experience across retail, hospitality, consumer goods, and venture capital. He had served as CHRO of J.C. Penney where he partnered with the CEO to accelerate growth through talent and a customer-centric focus.
In addition, Ron Lumbra becomes managing partner for the firm’s centers of excellence, responsible for the functional practices and the private equity practice within executive search, the firm’s strategic accounts, and H Labs, the enterprise-wide product development function delivering validated diagnostics for the firm’s client teams. Previously, Mr. Lumbra had been regional leader, Americas.
“Ron brings proven leadership to a new role responsible for several units that transcend practice and geography,” Mr. Rajagopalan said. “We look for him to enhance our functional practices and to further develop the high-growth potential of our private equity and strategic accounts teams. He will also be responsible for the scaling of our analytics capabilities providing our clients with data-driven and actionable insights.”
Rebecca Foreman Janjic has been appointed global managing partner for the firm’s global technology & services practice, succeeding Mr. Cullen. Based in the San Francisco office, she also co-leads Heidrick’s big data & analytics specialty practice. Her own executive search work focuses on recruitment of C-suite and VP-level executives within software, internet, and technology services companies.
“Rebecca has deep experience throughout the technology industry and a passion for helping clients succeed in fast-changing environments,” Mr. Rajagopalan said. “She also has a strong record for innovation within the firm and will help drive our continued growth in an increasingly vibrant sector.”
As previously reported, Randy Thorne has left Heidrick as its chief marketing officer. Mr. Thorne departed the firm last month. A replacement has yet to be named and the position itself might be eliminated. Mr. Thorne had served with the Chicago-based leadership advisory firm since 2013. His duties included setting the firm’s marketing agenda, growing its brand, and developing client-centric marketing strategies.
Also gone from Heidrick is Stephen Beard, the firm’s executive vice president/general counsel, and chief administrative officer – a position that has also been fully eliminated. Kamau A. Coar, a vice president and associate general counsel at Heidrick, has been promoted to Mr. Beard’s role as general counsel, where he will be responsible for legal and regulatory matters globally. Mr. Thorne reported to Mr. Beard.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media