July 17, 2019 – Executive recruitment firms have made a number of top leadership appointments in the past year, many focused on strategy, growth, branding efforts and operations. The latest: Dubai-headquartered executive search firm Pedersen & Partners named Gary Williams as its new CEO replacing founder Poul Pedersen who will assume the role of executive chairman.
As CEO, Mr. Williams will have full P&L responsibility and lead the firm. As executive chairman, Mr. Pedersen will continue working full-time for Pedersen & Partners. He will lead the shareholders’ agenda and be responsible for opening new countries. Additionally, he will focus on an interim basis on relevant existing offices that require significant change.
Mr. Williams has over 17 years of executive search consulting experience. He joined Pedersen & Partners in 2014 as the head of South East Asia. He was later promoted to the head of Asia, and in 2017 to deputy managing partner. For the past two years, he has shadowed Mr. Pedersen as part of a carefully mapped succession plan, gradually taking on responsibilities for different regions and teams. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Williams was managing director of Southeast Asia for DHR International.
“Since the inception of the firm in 2001 it has been an exciting journey and a privilege to lead Pedersen & Partners,” said Mr. Pedersen. “My partners and I are confident that our new CEO, Gary Williams, will lead the firm in accordance with our values of trust, relationship and professionalism, and I have every belief in Gary’s ability to take over and drive Pedersen & Partners to our next phase of development.”
“I am honored to assume the CEO role and appreciate the confidence the shareholders have entrusted in me,” said Mr. Williams. “I am motivated and excited to continue working with Pedersen & Partners’ clients, extraordinary leaders and our global team. This firm is a values-driven organization committed to providing an exceptional level of service worldwide and I look forward to further advancing our strategic goals. I also wish to extend my personal appreciation to Poul for his guidance and sharing his knowledge over the past years,” he said.
Pedersen & Partners operates 57 wholly-owned offices in 53 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Americas. Mr. Pedersen, who has been conducting executive search assignments since 1995, has completed over 700 searches.
Leadership Appointments Rising at Search Firms
Top leadership appointments have been gaining traction at executive search firms over the past year. Here’s a look at several examples taken from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:
Global recruiting organization Amrop has appointed Federico Cuneo as CEO and chairman of its executive board. He replaced José I. Leyún as CEO. As an executive board member of the Amrop Partnership, and a partner and director of Amrop Peru, Panama, Costa Rica and Ecuador since 2005, Mr. Cuneo brings organizational experience, entrepreneurial energy and a global perspective to the role.
The RSA Group, which is based in London and focuses on the life sciences sector, has appointed executive chairman Nick Stephens as its CEO. Alex Bennett recently stepped down from the top post. Mr. Stephens has been with RSA since 1986 and leads the firm’s board services practice, handling about five or six C-level assignments each year.
U.K.-headquartered executive search firm VMAGROUP has appointed Andrew Harvey as CEO. He succeeds Julia Meighan, who moves into the role of chair. Mr. Harvey came to the firm in 2013, and for the last two years has been U.K. executive director, responsible for the growth and development of all aspects of the U.K. business.
Waltham, MA-based WinterWyman appointed Scott Ragusa as president, succeeding Bob Boudreau, who had been CEO since 2002. Mr. Ragusa was previously president of WinterWyman’s contract staffing and contingency search businesses. He will now be the executive in charge of companywide operations as the firm shifts away from retained recruiting to contingency and interim work.
Egon Zehnder appointed Edilson Camara as its new CEO. He took over from Rajeev Vasudeva, who stepped down in October after holding the position since 2014. Based in Toronto, Mr. Camara assumed the role immediately, becoming the sixth CEO in the firm’s 55-year history.
Perth, Australia-based executive search firm Gerard Daniels appointed Alison Gaines as the company’s global CEO. Following a 12-year tenure as the head of its board consulting practice and recently as managing partner of Gerard Daniels’ Asia Pacific practice, Ms. Gaines will now lead the firm to continue to drive growth across all regions and offices.
Spencer Stuart appointed Ben Williams as its new CEO, succeeding Kevin Connelly, who served two three-year terms as the firm’s leader after previously serving six years as its chairman. Mr. Williams previously led Spencer Stuart’s North American business and, before that, led its financial services practice in the region.
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