Our Story

For more than 50 years, Russell Reynolds Associates has been committed to our purpose to improve the way the world is led. Our firm’s history is one of excellence, partnership, and meticulous execution.

Purpose-led, right from the beginning.

In 1966, Russell S. Reynolds, Jr. left a career in banking to join a boutique US search firm. Companies globally were in a period of transition, with economies shifting and advances in science, technology, and engineering creating challenges and opportunities that called for leaders with new kinds of skills. Russ fell in love with the industry and eventually felt compelled to launch an executive search firm of his own. He raised investments from family and friends, and together Russ and a partner, Lee Getz, opened the first location of Russell Reynolds Associates on Madison Avenue in New York City in 1969.

From the beginning, RRA was a dynamic firm with a culture of mutual respect and strong ethics, and over the next several years, the firm began to gain a reputation in the market for our depth and breadth of specialized expertise as well as our high-touch client approach. This momentum led to incredible growth – first in the US and then internationally. By 1977 RRA was already one of the Big Six in the executive search space, and in the 1990s the firm became the fastest-growing of the major executive search firms. By 2000 we had 35 offices around the world.

Our growth has continued into the 21st century. Today RRA has 47 offices in major cities globally, advising some of the world’s largest and most complex organizations on their most pressing leadership challenges across industries, functions, and geographies.

While the needs of our clients have evolved since we started, the fundamental challenge they face remains: the need for new types of leaders with the skills to shape what’s next, tapping into the opportunities brought by disruptive changes in the market and technology. Across our history, we have remained committed to being a redefiner – to having our fingers on the pulse and to helping our clients stay ahead of the curve by finding and developing future-ready leaders.