True’s Climate Tech Practice Grows Leadership Team
February 23, 2023 – Global talent provider True has named Paul Gilkerson to co-head of its climate tech practice and added Wrendon Hunt to lead climate tech’s industrial and manufacturing sector. “Paul and Wrendon exemplify the innovative leaders that make True the world’s best talent partner to clients taking advantage of the investment opportunities of today,” said Andy Towne, co-head of the climate tech practice. “Paul’s experience co-founding a sustainability start-up and his intense customer focus, along with Wrendon’s deep expertise in public and PE industrial and manufacturing work, will expand and differentiate the services we offer clients.”
Mr. Gilkerson brings over a decade of leadership experience in the climate tech industry to his new role at True. He specializes in C-suite placements across venture, private equity, and publicly traded companies, including Powin Energy, Array Technologies, Pivot Bio, and Global Thermostat.
Mr. Gilkerson has also placed principal investors at some of the leading funds in the world, including Decarbonization Partners, Quantum Energy Partners, Energy Impact Partners, and Closed Loop Partners. Mr. Gilkerson was formerly a partner with Hobbs & Towne. He came to executive search from the company he co-founded, Sealed Inc., a venture-backed start-up, which designs, manages, and finances home weatherization and electrification projects.
“Our goal is to solidify True Search as the first place any global investor turns when they have executive talent needs in climate tech,” said Mr. Gilkerson. “Our practice is built on over 25 years experience in industrial technology, sustainability and decarbonization. This experience allows us to tackle the most difficult searches in both established and emerging areas of climate tech, and to serve as valuable advisors to our clients.”
Mr. Hunt, who is based in Houston, has experience with Fortune 500 and PE talent acquisition across energy, petrochemicals, machinery testing, manufacturing and sustainability. He was previously a consultant with Egon Zehnder. Before entering the executive search industry, Mr. Hunt was a leader for Dow Chemical Co., serving as commercial director for its solar energy business and GM of a global commodity chemical line. The West Point and Harvard Business School graduate began his career as a surface warfare officer in the United States Navy, completing two western Pacific deployments. He also was director of a financial advisory and asset management firm, and was a White House fellow serving as a special assistant and advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Labor.
“I believe that True—with its leadership, scale, and appetite—is completely changing the search industry,” said Mr. Hunt. “They are writing the playbook on how to disrupt. As somebody who has thought about disruption in the industry, I want to be a part of that playbook.”
Serving the Private and Public Sectors
Working in both the private and public sectors, True Search has offices throughout the U.S. as well as the EMEA and APAC regions. Since the late 1990s, the firm’s founders have refined their search process with a blend of data-centric insights, relationship-building, and experience to produce a methodology that consistently improves hiring decisions and accelerates growth.
Related: True Search Appoints COO and CFO
The firm’s clients include Jet, Work Front, and Summit Partners. True Search is a subsidiary of True Platform, a global portfolio of human capital services and products for high-growth tech and tech-enabled organizations. True recently placed No. 7 on the Hunt Scanlon Media “Top 50 Recruiters” ranking.
LLR Partners, a private equity firm based in Philadelphia, made an investment in True this past spring. The partnership is aimed at developing and expanding innovation within the talent space.
True Launches Private Equity Practice
True has launched a private equity practice and named managing director Matt Goldstein as its leader. “The creation of the PE practice formalizes True’s existing authority in the ecosystem,” the firm said. “Starting from True’s innovative roots in venture capital and technology, the firm has grown with clients across industries and asset classes to close over 1,000 searches for PE funds and their portfolio companies in the past three years.” “We’re putting a stake in the ground to announce we deliver products and services catered to the PE market,” said Mr. Goldstein. “We’re here to answer client demand for talent partners that understand the speed, needs, and challenges of this asset class.”
LLR Partners, which has raised more than $5 billion to fund investments across the technology and healthcare sectors, is said to have bought into True’s mission to disrupt a stagnant industry in desperate need of tech-driven talent solutions. “They expressed interest and we were compelled to listen, even though we were not looking for a financial partner,” said Brad Stadler, True co-CEO and co-founder, at the time of the investment. “Through our discussions, we quickly became aligned on how they could operationally and strategically support our long-term vision.”
“We also aligned on our ability to control our own destiny with no pressure to transact,” said Joe Riggione, True co-CEO and founder. “Our collective vision is for True to remain independent and become the industry’s dominant brand. We couldn’t be more excited about partnering with LLR to get there.”
Related: True Search Expands Leadership Team
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media