Heidrick & Struggles

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Heidrick & Struggles International Incorporated
S&P 600 Component
IndustryExecutive Search, Leadership Consulting & Culture Shaping
FoundedChicago, Illinois (1953)
HeadquartersWillis Tower
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Key people
Gardner Heidrick, Founder
John Struggles, Founder
Krishnan Rajagopalan, CEO
Tracy R. Wolstencroft, Chairman
Gerard Roche, Former Senior Chairman
RevenueIncrease US $494.29 million (2014)
Increase US $6.80 million (2014)
Number of employees
1,548 (2015)

Heidrick & Struggles International Incorporated is an international executive search firm headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, United States. In addition to its executive search practice, the firm also has a consulting practice focused on leadership and shaping corporate culture.


Heidrick & Struggles was founded in 1953 by Gardner Heidrick and John E. Struggles, both former employees of the management consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton. Heidrick recruited Struggles, who previously worked as a personnel manager for Montgomery Ward, as his partner in the new venture establishing their presence in Chicago. The partnership heralded the beginning of one of the first executive search firms in the United States.[1] Their first three clients were West Virginia Coal & Coke Corporation, Northern Trust and Continental Can.

Heidrick & Struggles served as a launching pad for many top companies in the modern executive search industry. In Spring of 1955, Heidrick & Struggles hired Spencer Stuart, who would eventually leave to start his own executive search firm, Spencer Stuart.

In 1957, Heidrick & Struggles began expanding outside of the Midwest across the United States and onto both coasts with offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City. In 1968, the firm officially became an international provider by establishing an office in London. The firm has gone on to expand globally with more than 50 offices in six continents.[2]

In 2014, Heidrick & Struggles International named Tracy R. Wolstencroft as President and Chief Executive Officer. Wolstencroft, who was also named to the Heidrick & Struggles Board of Directors, came to the firm after serving a 25-year career at Goldman, Sachs & Co. where he was a partner from 1994 – 2010.

In 2017, Tracy Wolstencroft was named Chairman and Krishnan Rajagopalan was named the new Chief Executive Officer. Krishnan serves on the Board of Directors and also leads the firm’s Management Committee.

Recent acquisitions[edit]

  • In December 2012, Heidrick & Struggles acquired Senn Delaney, a leading firm in corporate culture shaping. The acquisition was part of a strategy to build a professional services firm focused on serving the leadership of top international organizations. The purchase closed with an acquisition cost of $53.3 million.[3]
  • In October 2015, Heidrick & Struggles acquired London-based leadership consultancy Co Company. Co Company Chairman Colin Price joined Heidrick & Struggles as Executive Vice President leading its leadership consulting practice.[4]

Firm timeline[edit]

1953 – Gardner Heidrick & John E. Struggles partner to establish Heidrick & Struggles

1954 – Heidrick & Struggles land its first client, the West Virginia Coal and Coke Company

1968 – Opening of the Heidrick & Struggles London office

1974 – European firm expansion with the opening of offices in Frankfurt & Paris

1979 – Firm establishes a presence in Asia with an office in Hong Kong

1982 – Gardner Heidrick retires after 29-years with the firm

1986 – John E. Struggles retires after 33-years with the firm

1999 – Heidrick & Struggles International becomes a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ

2008 – Heidrick & Struggles becomes a strategic partner of The World Economic Forum

2012 – Acquires corporate culture-shaping firm Senn Delaney

2013 – Rings the bell on the NASDAQ in recognition of the firm’s 60th anniversary

2014 – Names Tracy Wolstencroft as President and CEO

2015 – Acquires London-based leadership consulting firm Co Company

Feb 2016 - Acquires Decision Strategies International (DSI), a leadership advisory firm

Aug 2016 - Acquires JCA Group, a London-based executive search advisory firm.

Apr 2017 - Tracy Wolstencroft named Chairman and Krishnan Rajagopalan is the new CEO

Notable placements[edit]

  • Bob Goldberg - CEO of the National Association of Realtors® [5](2017)
  • Ken MacKenzie - Board Chairman of BHP Billiton Ltd. (2017)[6]
  • Mohamad Ali - President & CEO of Carbonite, Inc. (2015)[7]
  • Satya Nadella - CEO of Microsoft (2014)[8]
  • Robert Douglas Lawler - CEO & Member of Board of Directors of Chesapeake Energy Corp. (2013)[9]
  • Charles E. "Ed" Haldeman, Jr., - CEO of Freddie Mac (2009)
  • Bruce Witherell - COO of Freddie Mac (2009)
  • Eric Schmidt - CEO of Google (2001)[10]


  1. ^ "Who We Are Continued | Heidrick & Struggles". www.heidrick.com. Retrieved 2015-12-03.
  2. ^ Jenn, Nancy Garrison (2005-04-01). Headhunters and How to Use Them: A Guide for Organisations and Individuals. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9781861977342.
  3. ^ "Heidrick & Struggles Acquires Senn Delaney, the Leading Corporate Culture-Shaping Consulting Firm". GlobeNewswire News Room. Retrieved 2015-12-03.
  4. ^ "Heidrick & Struggles Acquires Strategic Advisory Firm To Strengthen Global Leadership Consulting Expertise". PR Newswire. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  5. ^ Realtors, National Association of. "Bob Goldberg Named Next CEO of National Association of Realtors®". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2017-07-13.
  6. ^ "BHP Names Ken MacKenzie as Chairman Amid Activist Challenges". Bloomberg.com. 2017-06-15. Retrieved 2017-07-19.
  7. ^ "Heidrick & Struggles Places President and CEO at Carbonite | Hunt Scanlon Media". Hunt Scanlon Media. Retrieved 2015-12-03.
  8. ^ "Satya Nadella is Microsoft's New CEO". Read, Write, Web.
  9. ^ "Chesapeake Energy Names Anadarko Executive Robert Douglas Lawler As CEO". RTTNews. Retrieved 2017-07-19.
  10. ^ McGeehan, Patrick (April 17, 2005). "Openers: Suits; Google's Trickle-Down". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 December 2016.