What does a CEO currently need?
Sustainable LeadershipBoard and CEO AdvisorySustainabilityExecutive Search
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November 01, 2019
Sustainable LeadershipBoard and CEO AdvisorySustainabilityExecutive Search
The Finans article, "What does a CEO currently need?" quotes Russell Reynolds Associates CEO Clarke Murphy and Consultant Peter Gramkov on the importance of sustainable initiatives. The article is excerpted below.


The Board of Directors at Russell Reynolds Associates recently gathered in Copenhagen, where the company's CEO, Clarke Murphy, held meetings with a number of Danish directors and chairs. His message to them was very simple: Find board members who are able to implement a sustainable agenda.


"My opinion is that the biggest challenge is convincing current leaders that this can happen. People don't like change," he says.


Russell Reynolds Associates analyzed 1,300 search assignments conducted last year. The result is that less than 5 percent of companies demand candidates with a sustainable mindset.


Clarke Murphy says many companies still think about earnings and profit in the short run, and as a result, consider it too expensive to invest in sustainable initiatives.


"The question is whether a company can make a profit while redirecting the business ideals. I think that not all companies make a separation between profit and sustainability. But some do. Do they win or lose? Our opinion is that companies will win if they find people who can make the business greener," he says.


Peter Gramkov, Country Manager at Russell Reynolds Associates Denmark, says that being able to think in a sustainable way is something that is looked for in the recruitment process.


"We need to show that there is a track record in driving a sustainable agenda," he says.


"This has to be well-anchored all the way down into the organization, and then up to the Executive Board. This must be completely sustainable, otherwise it will appear hollow," he says.


To read the full article, click here.