Asian American Career Ceilings: Perspectives from the CEO of Heidrick & Struggles

Peter Young

On February 8, 2022 Committee of 100 presented the Asian American Career Ceilings Initiative webcast, “Perspectives from the CEO of Heidrick & Struggles” that featured a fireside chat with Krishnan Rajagopalan, President and CEO of Heidrick & Struggles, a global leader in executive search, leadership development, and organizational and team effectiveness. The fireside chat explored his personal history and career as an Indian American who has risen to the top in a mainstream profession and his perspective on the ways that individuals and organizations can help to solve the career ceiling problem.

The interview was conducted by Peter Young, Committee of 100 Member and Chair of the Committee of 100 Asian American Career Ceiling Initiative.

Event Details
February 8, 2022
5:00 pm to 6:00 pm Eastern Time / 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm Pacific Time

About Speakers
Peter Young, Moderator
CEO and President, Young & Partners
Committee of 100 Member
Peter Young is CEO and President of Young & Partners, a boutique investment banking and corporate strategy firm focused on the life science and chemical industries worldwide. He manages the firm and is actively involved in client transactions and financings. Under his leadership, Young & Partners has established and maintained its position as a highly regarded firm serving the corporate strategy, M&A, restructuring and financing needs of clients.

He was previously head of industry groups at Salomon Brothers, Schroders and Lehman Brothers, a senior private equity executive with J.H. Whitney & Co. and a senior member of Bain & Co., the corporate strategy firm.

Mr. Young received a BA in Economics from Yale, an MS in Accounting from NYU, and MBA from Harvard Business School where he graduated as a Baker Scholar. He is a CPA and a Chartered Global Management Accountant. He serves on a number of boards of directors, both corporate and non-profit. including Société de Chimie Industrielle, a leading life science and chemical industry non-profit organization and the Editorial Advisory Board of Pharmaceutical Executive.

Krishnan Rajagopalan
President and CEO, Heidrick & Struggles
Krishnan Rajagopalan is President and CEO of Heidrick & Struggles, a global leadership advisory firm providing executive search, leadership assessment and development, organization and team effectiveness, and culture shaping services. He serves on the Board of Directors of Heidrick & Struggles and leads the firm’s global Management Committee.

Krishnan has over 18 years of experience in executive search, having led C-suite and Board level searches for global corporations across all industries, including private equity. He advises clients regularly on digital transformation, leadership, succession planning, governance, culture, and diversity and inclusion. Prior to assuming his current responsibilities, Krishnan led Heidrick & Struggles’ global Executive Search division and, before that, he led the firm’s Global Technology & Services practice. He has been recognized as one of the “100 Most Influential Executive Recruiters in the World” by Bloomberg Business Week.

Krishnan is a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion and gender parity, both for the firm’s employees and for its clients. Recently, Heidrick & Struggles pledged that on an annual basis at least half of the Board candidates that are presented to clients in total over the course of the year will be diverse. The firm also partners with organizations like the Paradigm for Parity® coalition and the 30% Club’s Future Female Directors program to help close the corporate leadership gender gap and promote gender parity across all levels of organizations.

Before joining Heidrick & Struggles, Krishnan served as a Vice President and Partner with a global management consulting firm, where he focused on strategy, operations, and transformation across a wide range of industries.

Krishnan graduated from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business with an MBA, from Johns Hopkins University with an MS in Engineering, and from Johns Hopkins University with a BS in Engineering.

About Asian American Career Ceilings
Asian Americans have been underrepresented historically with regard to leadership positions in the U.S. Although there has been an improvement over time, there is still a significant gap that has not been closed. The Asian American Career Ceilings series examines the challenges facing Chinese Americans and other Asian Americans with regard to barriers to advancement in a wide variety of professions in the U.S. The goal of this initiative is to contribute to the already significant efforts of organizations and individuals who have been tackling this issue. Previous webcasts in this series have highlighted the data that shows how serious the problem is, particularly if you go above the middle ranks of companies. It is also true at the corporate board level.

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