Mann Recruitment was founded by psychologist Anna Mann, who on marriage merged her firm with that of her husband Clive Whitehead (Whitehead Engineering), to form Whitehead Mann in the 1970s. The firm listed on the AIM part of FTSE in 1997. By 2003 the company had market capitalisation of £33 million mainly through acquisition, with offices in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Hong Kong and New York; together with training and advisory divisions. As part of the expansion, the firm acquired Leonard Hull, founded by former journalist Carol Leonard. During this period, the firm subsequently placed: Luc Vandevelde at Marks & Spencer; Clara Furse at the London Stock Exchange; Sir Christopher Bland at British Telecom; Steve Russell at Boots; Richard Lapthorne at Cable & Wireless; John Devaney at Marconi; Archie Norman at Energis; Tony Ball at BSkyB.
But during the dot.com boom its fortunes both climbed and fell, and after strategy disagreements with new CEO Gerard Clery-Melin, in 2003 Mann announced her decision to leave the firm, subsequently setting up MWM Consulting in 2004. In 2006, the company was subject of a £26 million management buyout, financed by investor Palladian Investors, a division of Och-Ziff. After placing Sir Philip Hampton as chairman of Royal Bank of Scotland, the two government representatives at Lloyds Banking Group, Sir Nigel Rudd as chairman's seat at Invensys and recruited Harvey McGrath as chairman of Prudential; Carol Leonard took a six-month sabbatical as head of search, and then left the firm in February 2009.
In June 2009, the company was acquired by Korn/Ferry.
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- Andrews, Amanda (12 June 2009). "Recruitment firm Korn/Ferry acquires British headhunter Whitehead Mann". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 27 Aug 2011.