April 15, 2022 – Spencer Stuart has named Tony Byers as chief inclusion and diversity officer. For more than a year, he has served as a member of the firm’s group of external diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) advisors. “Tony brings a wealth of expertise to our firm, having spent nearly three decades championing diversity, equity, and inclusion across various industries and companies,” said Ben Williams, CEO. “We have benefited greatly from his wisdom and dedication to this work over the past year, and I am confident his leadership will not only strengthen our firm, but help us deepen our impact with clients, candidates, and society more broadly.”
Dr. Byers has more than 30 years of experience in DEI. Over the past five years, he has served as a DEI thought leader, public speaker, and strategic advisor to clients through the management consulting firm he founded. In addition, he served as senior faculty and director of the Modern Chief Diversity Officer Program (MCDO) at Cornell University’s ILR School, Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies (CAHRS), collaborating with senior executives to develop and lead impactful D&I strategies. Prior to this, he led and helped to revitalize D&I efforts in several global organizations. He led DEI globally at Starbucks during a period of high growth and international expansion. He was also the global D&I leader at H.J. Heinz Co. and spent three years at Cargill focusing on D&I in the North America and western Europe.
In addition, Dr. Byers spent 10 years as an organizational change and diversity consultant and was an adjunct faculty member at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, MN, for eight years. In 2018, he authored the book The Multiplier Effect of Inclusion: How Diversity & Inclusion Advances Innovation and Drives Growth. Dr. Byers received his doctorate in human and organizational systems and his master’s degree in organizational systems from Fielding Graduate University.
In his new role, Dr. Byers will help advance Spencer Stuart’s strategic DEI agenda globally and deepen the firm’s impact in the market, expanding on work well under way to nurture greater representation across the firm’s teams and a culture of inclusion in which each person at the firm feels supported and accepted, with DEI fully embedded in all aspects of the organization.
“Elevating the outcomes of diversity, equity, and inclusion to one of the most important business imperatives of our time is my passion, and it’s one that Spencer Stuart shares,” said Dr. Byers. “As I’ve experienced over the past 14 months, the firm is deeply committed to DEI and I am excited to continue this journey and build on our momentum with the team globally.”
Privately held since 1956, Spencer Stuart focuses on delivering knowledge, insight, and results through the collaborative efforts of a team of search professionals, now spanning 56 offices, 30 countries, and more than 50 practice specialties. Spencer Stuart helps clients address their leadership needs in areas such as senior-level executive search, board recruitment, board effectiveness, succession planning, in-depth senior management assessment, and many other facets of organizational effectiveness.
New C-Suite Leaders
Spencer Stuart recently added Christine Laurens, former chief financial officer for global management consulting firm Kearney, as its new CFO. She succeeded Valerie Harper, who became the firm’s head of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) and Asia-Pacific. “We are delighted to welcome Christine Laurens to Spencer Stuart as our chief financial officer and member of our global leadership team,” said Mr. Williams. “Christine is a deeply experienced finance leader in professional services and brings a global perspective and growth mindset to our firm.”
Spencer Stuart also named Lucy Lopez as general counsel and chief legal officer. She succeeded Dave Rasmussen, who retired after 24 years with the firm. “Her extensive legal background within professional services, deep experience in serving clients effectively and helping evolving businesses grow, as well as her demonstrated commitment to supporting and developing others, makes her an ideal choice for this role,” said Mr. Williams. Ms. Lopez, who is based in New York, joined Spencer Stuart after more than two decades with McKinsey & Company, most recently serving as deputy general counsel and head of legal, Americas.
The firm also recently added Wanda Felton, former vice chair and first vice president of the Export-Import Bank, as senior advisor to the firm’s board practice. As senior advisor, Ms. Felton acts as a key thought leader, advising Spencer Stuart’s North American board practice on expanding diversity capabilities and recruiting efforts as well as helping to connect the firm with the diverse governance community.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media