Thomas J. Neff*
Company Info: Spencer Stuart
Web site: SpencerStuart.com
Address: 277 Park Avenue, 32nd Floor, New York, NY 10172
Advice: Create a track record of success. Make sure you have a series of general management assignments to prepare yourself for the ultimate job. Multi-industry experience is experience. It's also useful to take on some difficult challenges. Work for strong, brand-name companies, if you can. If an individual is in a company that is struggling, fair or not, he or she may get brushed with the same issues their struggling company is facing.
Qualities sought in emerging leaders: A track record of success. Demonstrated leadership ability, with an inclusive style of managing; an ability to recruit, retain and develop a management team that can get the job done. Today, more than ever, a global background that includes a point of view about what emerging markets are relevant for the company's products. Communications skills? It's got to be someone who has the capability to represent the company effectively, both internally but also with the board, the financial community, and the company's major shareholders.
Sector specialization: Board services; financial services; consumer goods & services; private equity, aviation, aerospace and defense.
Job function specialization: CEOs, presidents, board directors
Geographical Focus: North America
Companies I often recruit for: Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Boeing, Campbell Soup
Favorite historical figure:
Education: Lehigh University, MBA; Lafayette College, industrial engineering, B.S.
Employment history: Chairman, Spencer Stuart. Joined in 1976, named president, 1979, managed worldwide firm, 1979-1987; Principal, Booz Allen & Hamilton, 1974-1976; CEO, information systems company, 1969-74; Trans World Airlines, market planning job, 1967-69; McKinsey & Co. consultant, 1964-1967
Other interests: A complete workaholic, he once told Business Week: "There's never a weekend when I'm not talking to clients or candidates."
Professional/Membership Affiliations: Board member, ACE Ltd., Hewitt Associates, and the Lord Abbett mutual funds. Trustee emeritus of Lafayette College
Experience in executive search consulting: 33 years
High Profile Placement: Many CEO searches, including Boeing, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, AT&T
Other paths I might have pursued: NA
The global business trend that will most influence corporate performance in the future: NA