Korn Ferry Adds Former Heidrick CHRO

Korn Ferry Heidrick CHRO

February 5, 2018 – Dan Kaplan, former managing partner and head of the global chief HR officers practice at Heidrick & Struggles, has moved over to Korn Ferry’s CHRO practice. He will be based in the firm’s New York office.

Mr. Kaplan brings over 20 years of expertise in leadership and organizational consulting to Korn Ferry. He has advised CEOs, investors, boards and high-profile industry leaders on a wide range of issues affecting the talent landscape. His assignments at Heidrick spanned the U.S., Asia, Europe and Latin America.

Previously, Mr. Kaplan spent a decade with now-defunct CTPartners, where he led its global human resources practice and was integral in developing the firm’s board of directors human capital institute and its private equity and asset management practices. Earlier in his career, he was a director of recruiting at Fannie Mae and a recruiting lead at Sapient.

Over his career, Mr. Kaplan has completed numerous high-profile assignments for CHROs and chief talent officers across the globe. Frequently sought after for his insight into talent issues, he has contributed to several articles for leading PE and human capital magazines and has sat on and moderated some of the industry’s most important conference panels.

“Dan is a globally-recognized expert in organizational consulting and recruitment,” said Doug Charles, Korn Ferry’s president of the Americas. “He is an accomplished leader in the field, known for his trusted relationships with top-tier clients and his ability to develop high-performance teams in a range of practice areas. We are confident that he will make a great impact here.”

Mr. Kaplan served on the board of the Association of Executive Search Consultants for five years and was one of 30 global participants in the World Economic Forum’s Talent Mobility Summit. He has also been named one of BusinessWeek’s “World’s 50 Most Influential Headhunters.”

Related: Why the CEO / CHRO Relationship Is Essential


Gone are the days when people in this role are seen as the keepers of the administrative people functions,” said Alan Guarino, vice chairman in the CEO and board services practice for Korn Ferry. Today’s effective CHROs are clearly part of the executive teams that develop and execute business strategy, he said.

“Increasingly, the CHROs that we work with own the talent solution side of the business, aligning talent workstreams to drive the business toward the organization’s objectives. Companies where the CHRO focuses on this strategic set of responsibilities are positioned to gain the upper hand, because they are likely to better execute their strategies.”

Executive recruiters are in hot pursuit of chief human resources officers and other senior-level HR leaders across the nation, so for Korn Ferry the addition of Mr. Kaplan is seen as a key hire. The best HR chiefs are now seen as integral strategic advisors to the C-suite, and the ones in demand are those who are sounding boards for CEOs.

According to executive recruiters, there is pent-up demand for top-flight HR experts who are seen as more sophisticated, proactive, strategic HR individuals with strong business savvy to drive their people capabilities just as they would a P&L.

Hunt Scanlon Media has tracked a number of CHRO search assignments in recent months. Here’s a sampling taken from the company’s daily newswire archives:

Human Capital Consultants has placed John W. Sigmon as the new CHRO of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation (HJF). President and CEO Milton Hall led the assignment. The Washington, D.C.-based search firm completed the engagement in under two months. Mr. Sigmon joined HJF from AARP.

Chicago-based Hanold Associates recently helped place Lainie Cooney as CHRO for Blue Apron in New York. Jason Hanold, CEO and co-managing partner of the recruitment firm, led the search along with partner Katie Traines. Previously, Ms. Cooney was CHRO for DPI Specialty Foods in Ontario, CA.

WinterWyman Executive Search placed former Nortek executive Liam Weston as CHRO at Hollingsworth & Vose, a global manufacturer of advanced materials for filtration, battery and industrial applications. Senior vice president and partner Beverly Morgan led the search. 

Los Angeles-headquartered executive search firm Shelli Herman and Associates placed Rob Spooner as the CHRO of the internationally acclaimed San Diego Zoo. He will join the organization in June. President Shelli Herman led the search along with her associate, Michele Lyons. 

Pi Executive recruited Marco A. Leal as CHRO of Ajinomoto Windsor, a top manufacturer of Asian / Ethnic foods. The search was conducted by partner and board member Pierre Trippitelli and assisted by director Katherine MacLane. Mr. Leal brings over 20 years of experience developing world class HR organizations within fast growing consumer goods companies. 

Boyden recruited Heather Laychak as CHRO of The Aerospace Corporation. Tim McNamara, managing partner of Boyden’s Washington, D.C. office and a leader in the firm’s aerospace, defense & intelligence and global transportation sectors, led the search. 

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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