John T. Gardner
Company Info: Heidrick & Struggles
Web site: www.heidrick.com
Address: 233 S. Wacker Dr., Suite 7000, Chicago, Ill. 60606
Advice: Gain an early breadth of experience, and then focus on what you do well and what you are passionate about.
Qualities sought in emerging leaders: As my search work is focused on CEO and board assignments, I look for the unique combination of intelligence, experience, vision, leadership, toughness, drive, compassion, and integrity required to succeed at the highest level of business.
Sector specialization: Industrial, consumer
Job function specialization: CEOs, board directors
Geographical Focus: Global
Companies I often recruit for: BHP Billiton; Owens-Illinois; Allied Waste; Phelps Dodge; Walter Industries
Favorite historical figure: General George Patton
Education: Georgia Institute of Technology, BS 1965, Harvard Business School,
MBA with Distinction, 1970
Employment history: Heidrick & Struggles, Vice-Chairman, 1992 to present; Lamalie Associates, Managing Partner, 1986-92; General Electric, VP, Ceramics, 1982-86; Fotomat, SVP, 1980-82; American Optical Group, Warner Lambert, GM, 1977-80; McKinsey, Engagement Manager, 1973-77; Cole National, VP, 1972-73; Rike’s, Federated Department Stores, Divisional Merchandise Manager, 1970-72
Other interests: Sports
Professional/Membership Affiliations: AESC
Experience in executive search consulting: 22 years
High Profile Placement: CEO, BHP Billiton, 1998, 2007
Other paths I might have pursued: Senior management in a blue chip global company
The global business trend that will most influence corporate performance in the future: The steadily increasing globalization across all sectors of business coupled with increased pressure from strong corporate governance and private equity ownership will continue to raise the bar for performance.