Executive & CEO Succession Planning

Heidrick & Struggles’ Executive & CEO Succession Planning experts know that succession decisions are critical in sustaining organizational performance and success. Yet, the quality of the planning processes and approaches that underpin these decisions vary enormously.  As business volatility increases and CEO tenure gets shorter, clients are turning attention to the need for efficient succession processes that sustain organization stability and performance through leadership transitions.

Boards and C-level executives partner with us in the design and implementation of effective corporate succession plans and leadership transitions, including alignment around future leadership requirements; identification, assessment and selection of candidates; and transition planning and on-boarding for new leaders.

Blending our firm’s executive search and leadership consulting capabilities, we run a twin-track process providing clients with a comprehensive internal and external corporate succession picture. This ensures we identify and develop successors who will take the organization to the next level.  Our approach is designed to help clients identify and evaluate the next CEO or senior executive and prepare them for success.

Knowledge Center

How to leave a job gracefully

By Kelly O. Kay 26 Jul 2017 - Publication

A Heidrick & Struggles survey collects the advice of more than 700 human resources officers and transitioning executives on how best to move into a new role.

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CEO Succession Trends in 2016

By Jeffrey S. Sanders 11 Jul 2017 - Article

In its latest annual analysis, The Conference Board, in collaboration with Heidrick & Struggles, tracks key trends in CEO succession practices at S&P 500 companies.

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Route to the Top 2017

By Heidrick & Struggles 20 Apr 2017 - Publication

The destination may be the same, but research suggests that the path to the corner office is different in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

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Krishnan Rajagopalan

Meet Our Leadership

Krishnan Rajagopalan President and Chief Executive Officer

Krishnan Rajagopalan is President and Chief Executive Officer, based in Heidrick & Struggles’ Washington, D.C. office. He was named to this role July 6, 2017. He serves on the Board of Directors and also leads the firm’s Executive Committee.

Previously, Krishnan served as Acting CEO at Heidrick & Struggles, while also leading the Executive Search business globally. In his prior leadership roles, Krishnan served as head of global Executive Search practices and for a time, led the firm's Leadership Consulting Practice.

He has been recognized by Business Week as one of the “100 Most Influential Executive Recruiters in the World.” Krishnan focuses on leading senior-level searches for clients in the management consulting, technology services, outsourcing, and venture capital arenas. Krishnan has also conducted search assignments for executives in a broad range of corporate functions, including chief executive officer, chief operating officer, and president positions, as well as senior-level positions in strategy development and client relationship development.

Prior to joining Heidrick & Struggles, Krishnan was a vice president and partner with A.T. Kearney Consulting. During Krishnan’s tenure with A.T. Kearney, he focused on strategy, operations/procurement and e-business across a wide array of industries, including technology services, hi-tech and manufacturing. Krishnan has conducted numerous engagements where he was an active part of defining and assessing the executive leadership team.

Prior to joining A.T. Kearney, Krishnan was a consultant with Price Waterhouse in its strategic management consulting group. Before embarking on his consulting career, Krishnan was a lead engineer with Harris Corporation in the commercial satellite communications arena.

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