John T. Gardner

Vice Chairman Emeritus

Office Location: Chicago

Phone: +1 312 4961000

John Gardner is a vice chairman emeritus and senior advisor of Heidrick & Struggles, based in the firm’s Chicago office. John has served as an industry-leading executive search consultant for more than 30 years. He is widely recognized as a trusted advisor, having working closely with the boards of some of the world’s largest and most successful corporations on their leadership issues. He has led succession, selection, and development projects for chief executive officers, chairmen and non-executive directors across the Americas, Europe, and Asia Pacific.

John founded and led the firm’s Industrial Practice, served as president, Global Practices, and drove the expansion of Heidrick & Struggles’ CEO & Board Practice globally. He has been a frequent speaker and writer on the issues of leadership and corporate governance. John has also received many industry and firm awards, including the John E. Struggles Award, the firm’s most prestigious honor.

Earlier in his career, John served as an officer in the U.S. Army, held a series of line and staff roles with General Electric and Warner-Lambert, and was a consultant with McKinsey & Company.


John received a bachelor of science in industrial management from Georgia Tech, and a master of business administration with distinction from Harvard Business School.