Tracy Wolstencroft Steps Down as Chairman of Heidrick & Struggles

January 9, 2019 – Tracy R. Wolstencroft has stepped down from his role as chairman of the board of directors of Chicago-headquartered executive search, leadership consulting and culture shaping services provider Heidrick & Struggles.

Increased commitments from his new position as president and CEO of the National Geographic Society prompted the decision. He will continue to serve as a member of the board. The board intends to appoint one of its current directors to serve as chairman in advance of the Heidrick annual meeting of shareholders in May. Lyle Logan will continue to serve in his capacity as lead independent director.

In September, Heidrick rival Russell Reynolds Associates placed Mr. Wolstencroft into his role at National Geographic Society.

Mr. Wolstencroft served from 2014 to 2017 as president and CEO of Heidrick & Struggles, leading the firm through a transformation that continues today. During his tenure, Heidrick’s revenues grew by 17 percent. Two years ago, Mr. Wolstencroft took a medical leave of absence and Krishnan Rajagopalan took over as CEO of Heidrick. Mr. Wolstencroft was then named chairman of the firm’s board of directors, a role he continues to hold.

Related: Russell Reynolds Associates Moves Former Heidrick CEO to No. 2 Post at National Geographic

Previously, Mr. Wolstencroft was a longstanding partner at Goldman Sachs and served on its firm-wide partnership committee. Over the course of his 25-year career, he led a wide array of Goldman’s investment banking businesses and advised a diverse range of corporate and government clients across the U.S., Asia and Latin America. During his tenure, he spent four years living in Asia where he focused on China, Japan and Singapore. Upon retiring from Goldman, and given his commitment to environmental sustainability, he continued advising the firm and serving as chair of Goldman’s global clean technology practice.

New Challenging Position

Heidrick & Struggles’ shareholders may have felt that Mr. Wolstencroft’s new position would take up too much of his time to fulfill his chairman duties, according to industry insiders.


Heidrick & Struggles Names President and CEO
Heidrick & Struggles has named Krishnan Rajagopalan as its new president and CEO. Mr. Rajagopalan, who has served as acting CEO since Tracy Wolstencroft took a medical leave of absence in April, will also become board member.


Mr. Wolstencroft took the helm of the National Geographic Society to lead an ambitious impact-driven strategic plan. “As a deeply respected member of the Society’s board of trustees, Tracy has been a key architect in the transformation of the Society’s mission and strategy in recent years, including helping to establish the joint venture that created National Geographic Partners, expanding National Geographic’s footprint in an unprecedented way,” said Jean M. Case, chairman of the National Geographic Society board of trustees and the National Geographic Partners board of directors.

Related: Non-Profit Sector Opens Up New Career Path for High Performing Leaders

Mr. Wolstencroft’s “decades of experience as a global business leader will greatly benefit the Society as it strives to achieve its strategic aims while expanding its footprint in key markets around the world,” said the National Geographic Society.

Mr. Wolstencroft has served as the Society’s board of trustees vice chairman as well as chair of its finance committee, providing seasoned stewardship of the organization’s financial assets and demonstrating his deep understanding of its mission. He joined the board in 2008 after having served on the Society’s International Council of Advisors since 2004.

Related: Hunt Scanlon Top 50 Non-Profit & Higher Education Search Firms

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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