March 29, 2021 – Following a wave of recent growth, WittKieffer has appointed Michael Castleman as chief growth and transformation officer. “Michael’s keen ability to assess and navigate complex situations as well as his comprehensive perspective and innovative thinking made him an ideal addition to our leadership team,” said Andrew Chastain, president and CEO of WittKieffer. “He will be a key part of ensuring that WittKieffer is best poised for success today and the future to continue servicing our clients with the expertise and continuum in leadership services and executive recruiting they expect and rely upon.” Mr. Castleman has experience in driving organizational transformation to achieve strategic, operational, and financial performance. In this role, he will lead the interim and life sciences practices for WittKieffer and oversee finance, accounting as well as the growth strategy for the entire firm.
Based in the Philadelphia area, Mr. Castleman will apply his experience in private and public equity markets as well as his demonstrated ability to build teams and align companies with key constituencies to deliver a blend of financial expertise, operational experience, and growth orientation for WittKieffer and its clients. He will work with senior partners across the firm to drive business development and commercial growth for WittKieffer’s strategic vision.
Prior to joining WittKieffer’s leadership team, Mr. Castleman founded Inference Strategic Advisors, a consulting service company focused on business strategy, transformation, M&A and financial excellence. Prior to that, he served as the president and CEO of CDI Corp., a recruiting and professional services company focused on engineering and information technology that generated more than $750 million in revenue. Mr. Castleman also spent more than a dozen years in alternative investing, which included co-founding Lehman Brothers’ venture capital business before transitioning into financial, operational, and business unit leadership positions. He is also a board director for MRI Network Holdings.
WittKieffer, based in Oak Brook, IL, assists hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers, medical schools, and physician groups; biotech, pharmaceutical, diagnostics and medical device companies; colleges and universities and not-for-profit community service and cultural organizations with senior administrative recruiting assignments. With more than 100 search professionals nationwide, its consultants recruit CEOs, CFOs, COOs, CNOs, physician executives and other leaders.
Fueling Recent Growth
Mr. Castleman’s hiring follows a recent wave of growth at the firm. Earlier this year, WittKieffer appointed Deborah Wing as a new principal and co-leader of the firm’s academic medicine and health sciences practice. “Dr. Wing is an absolutely terrific addition to WittKieffer and our team in academic medicine. Her reputation as a clinician and leader in the field of women’s health and reproduction is stellar,” said Kimberly A. Smith, managing partner and practice leader of WittKieffer’s academic medicine and health sciences practice. Previously, Dr. Wing served three years as a senior client partner for the academic health center practice with Korn Ferry.
WittKieffer Names Board Services Practice Leader
WittKieffer has appointed James King as leader of its board services practice. In addition to his new role, Mr. King serves as a senior partner and the firm’s chief quality officer, a board member and member of its diversity council. “Today’s business landscape has been severely altered as a result of COVID-19, leaving even the most seasoned boards questioning traditional governance practices and wondering if their members have the skills and abilities to thrive in an uncertain future,” WittKieffer said.
The firm added Greg Duyck as leader of the firm’s advancement practice. “Greg’s extensive executive search experience in the field of higher education, as well as his notable expertise in the realm of fundraising, make him well-suited for this key role within our firm,” said Zachary Smith, managing partner and leader of WittKieffer’s education practice. “I can attest to what a dynamic leader he is and am excited for what’s to come for the Advancement Practice with him at the helm.” The firm described Mr. Duyck is a natural fit to guide WittKieffer’s team for advancement, an area within the firm’s education practice dedicated to recruiting vice presidents of advancement and development; capital campaign leaders; and executives in all areas including principal gifts, advancement services, alumni relations, corporate and foundation relations, and planned giving for prominent higher education institutions.
WittKieffer recently appointed Natalie Derry to the role of managing partner and practice leader, education, for its WittKieffer International operations. Based in London and Edinburgh, Ms. Derry has been instrumental in WittKieffer’s growth outside the U.S. and in fulfilling its ability to operate seamlessly on a global scale. “We are fortunate to have Natalie leading the continued expansion of our education practice internationally,” said C.J. Bolster, WittKieffer’s managing director of global operations. “She has worked with some of the most prestigious institutions in education and continues to build the reputation of our firm worldwide.”
WittKieffer also expanded its interim leadership practice into the field of higher education. The practice, first launched in 2018 to provide interim leaders to the firm’s healthcare industry clients, will now also serve clients in academia that are seeking temporary executives to ensure leadership continuity in these difficult times, the firm said.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media