Clarke Murphy

Clarke leads milestone board searches and CEO succession plans for Fortune 100 companies and helps develop strong, sustainable leadership teams.

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Clarke Murphy is a leadership expert who advises the world's top companies on leadership strategies that fuel profitable growth and value for all stakeholders.

Known for his authenticity and integrity, he is a trusted advisor on issues of diversity, sustainability, board formation, and succession. He has particular expertise helping boards include sustainable competencies and track record into multi-year CEO succession processes.

As the former CEO of Russell Reynolds from 2011-2021, he spearheaded a purpose-driven approach to business and led the firm through its greatest period of growth.

In his new book, "Sustainable Leadership: Lessons of Vision, Courage, and Grit from the CEOs Who Dared to Build a Better World," Clarke tells the stories of dynamic business executives who are using their position to solve the most complex social and economic challenges of our time.

Since 2021, Clarke has co-hosted the Redefiners podcast, interviewing courageous leaders who are redefining their organizations—and themselves—to deliver extraordinary results.

He is a regular speaker at business schools and headline leadership events, including the United Nations Global Compact Leaders' Summit and the World Economic Forum's Sustainable Development Impact Summit. His insights have also featured in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, the Economist and Financial Times.

Before joining Russell Reynolds in 1988, Clarke was a commercial banking officer at Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company (now part of JPMorgan Chase) in New York.

“The best leaders are those who help to build a better world –courageous leaders who are willing to pivot their organizations toward a more sustainable future and deliver lasting value for all stakeholders, not just stockholders.”

Clarke holds a BA in history from the University of Virginia​.​​​
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Areas of Expertise

Board and CEO Advisory Board Director and Chair Search CEO Succession C-Suite Succession Financial Services Private Capital

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Clarke ​is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations as well as a member of the Board of Directors of Carnegie Hall and the New York City Ballet.​