S&P 600 Component
|Founded||November 14, 1969|
|Headquarters||1900 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, California, USA|
Gary Burnison (CEO)|
Robert P. Rozek (EVP, CFO and CCO)
|Revenue||US $1.819 billion (FY18)|
|US $133.779 million (FY18)|
Number of employees
Korn Ferry is a management consulting firm headquartered in Los Angeles. It was founded in 1969.
Korn Ferry was founded in 1969 by Lester Korn and Richard Ferry. The two first met in 1962, when they worked for Los Angeles accounting firm Peat, Marwick, Mitchell. Before leaving to form Korn Ferry, the two were made partners at the firm.
Initial public offering in 1972
In 1972 the firm went public with an IPO, but in 1974 reacquired all outstanding shares to become private again.
In 1973 Korn Ferry formed Tokyo, Japan based Korn Ferry International Japan in 1973. With the opening in 1975 of Korn Ferry International Singapore the company had 41 offices in 20 countries. In 1977 Korn Ferry acquired the Mexico City firm Hazzard & Associados. The next year in 1978 they opened offices in Malaysia and Hong Kong and acquired the UK firm John Stork. In 1979 they acquired Australian-based Guy Pease Associates. In 1981 the company became the largest executive search firm in the world, with Lester Korn serving as Chairman and CEO. In 1987 Korn Ferry opened an office in Bangkok, Thailand with a footprint of 37 offices in fifteen countries servicing around 1,250 client corporations and organizations. In 1989, the firm's revenues exceeded $100 million for the first time.
On May 10, 1991 Lester Korn retired as chairman with Richard Ferry then president and CEO assuming the additional role of chairman. Following this Richard Ferry several initial office closures. Beginning in 1992 Korn Ferry implemented a video-conferencing system to speed up the screening of job candidates. Under Richard Ferry, Korn Ferry in 1993 acquired and merged its European operations into Carre Orban and Partners that was branded in Europe as Korn/Ferry Carre/Orban International. Korn Ferry next opened their first office in India (1994), China (1995), Indonesia (1996), and South Korea (1998).
In August 1998, Korn Ferry partnered with the Wall Street Journal to start the internet venture Futurestep.com, which was utilized to help candidates at the middle management level specifically find positions to advance their career. By 2001 Futurestep had been rolled out to 22 countries with worldwide losses of $60 million since beginning in May 1998 with $23M in the nine months to Jan 31, 2001.
In 1999 they acquired the German firm Hofman Herbold and separately the Australian firm Amrop International for $3.8M. In 2000 acquiring the London-based PA Consulting Group for an estimated $35M. In 2000 they purchased Boston-based search firm specializing in financial services Westgate Group, and Pratzer & Partners Inc. a Canada-based boutique executive recruiting firms.
Amongst an executive-search industry contraction during 2000 Korn Ferry's 2001 redundancies were "more dramatic than those of competitors who aren't publicly traded" such as Spencer Stuart and Russell Reynolds Associates. The greater reductions were reported and attributed to having "expanded so heavily during the technology boom" coupled with Korn Ferry's new CEO Paul C. Reilly choosing to "send a message to shareholders."
In 2001 they purchased Levy Kerson, Helstrom Turner & Associates, and Pearson, Caldwell, and Farnworth. In 2005 Korn Ferry moved their regional head office to Shanghai, China with a footprint of 73 offices in forty countries. In 2006 Korn Ferry acquired leadership development tools firm Lominger Limited of Golden Valley for $24M.
In 2006 the company acquired Lominger International, and in 2007 Gary Burnison became the company’s new CEO. That year the company acquired LeaderSource in 2007. In 2008 Korn Ferry acquired Lore International Institute. Then in June 2009, Korn Ferry acquired the London-based executive search firm Whitehead Mann. IIn 2010 it acquired Sensa Solutions, in 2013 Korn Ferry completed its acquisition of Minneapolis-based PDI Ninth House for $80M, and in 2015 Korn Ferry also acquired Pivot Leadership.
As of 2018, Korn Ferry employed 7,643 people worldwide.
In 2005 Korn Ferry accused one of its former star recruiters, David Nosal, of stealing confidential client data to establish his own competing firm. In 2008 Nosal was charged under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) noting that he "acted "without authorization" in violation of the law." In 2016 the US court of appeals from the ninth circuit ruled in United States v Nosal in Korn Ferry's favor that Nosal's "activity now constitutes a criminal act, under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)."
In 2018 Korn Ferry took a one-time, non-cash intangible asset impairment charge of $106 million, or $79 million on an after-tax basis, to account for rebranding its entire business simply as "Korn Ferry," and sunsetting all the Company's sub-brands, including Futurestep, Hay Group and Lominger. Since the firm's inception, it has conducted over 100,000 senior-level searches, and placed about seventy thousand managers. Korn Ferry is known for its "headhunting technology".
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- Laurence Ackerman (18 August 2011). Identity Is Destiny: Leadership and the Roots of Value Creation. ReadHowYouWant.com. pp. 93–. ISBN 978-1-4596-2616-4.