Heather A O'Keefe


consultant name

Heather A O'Keefe Egon Zehnder, Houston


Heather O’Keefe, based in Houston, serves clients in the consumer packaged goods, retail, apparel, and energy sectors. She advises clients on executive searches as well as management appraisals and accelerated integration of transitioning executives. She is also an active member of Egon Zehnder’s Executive Assessment and Development Team.


Prior to joining Egon Zehnder, Heather spent most of her career in consumer goods marketing, where she managed brands up to one billion dollars in sales across a variety of categories and business situations. Previous positions include Senior Brand Manager with The Coca-Cola Company; Director of Marketing with Paris Presents Incorporated, a family-owned manufacturer of beauty and personal care products; and Brand Manager with Kraft Foods. She started her career in the Chicago office of Bain & Company, where she advised clients in the consumer products, electronics, financial services, and pulp & paper industries. Heather’s work at Bain included post-merger integration, breakout growth strategy, supply chain strategy, global pricing, and procurement.

Heather earned a BA in Economics, Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences, and Sociology from Northwestern University, and an MBA with concentrations in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

News and Publications

Board Excellence in Both Strategy and Oversight

In today’s environment, boards are expected to fulfill their traditional oversight and compliance role and also add value through strategic insight and guidance.

A new vision of sales leadership: Looking past likability in a time of disruption

The consumer products sector is in the midst of dramatic change. Manufacturers are reconfiguring through mergers and spinoffs. Retailers undergo consolidation and pricing pressure as ecommerce takes a growing share of wallet.

CERAWeek 2017

An impending market rebound has many feeling cautiously optimistic, but the extended cycle of the current downturn – now being characterized as “lower for longer” – has created a new reality that will change leadership imperatives for the foreseeable future. Energy leaders are realizing that lower prices, unpredictable market dynamics and hyper competition for talent, resources and capital are driving a need to rebuild and adapt businesses or risk being left behind. In this new reality, it’s critical to strike a balance between disruption and discipline – understanding how to best lead innovation while still adhering to longstanding best practices that will ensure longevity regardless of future market fluctuations.

Comfort with Paradox

Most CEOs and boards name succession, both for the CEO and for business unit leaders, as their biggest strategic challenge. While this leadership challenge exists for every industry, it is particularly acute in the consumer sector, where many of the successive waves of disruption first hit.

CERAWeek 2016

From exploration to distribution, the energy industry is confronting historic challenges and opportunities that are testing the ability of its leaders to navigate uncertainty

consultant name

Heather A O'Keefe Egon Zehnder, Houston