Michael J. Portland


consultant name

Michael J. Portland Egon Zehnder, Chicago


Michael Portland, based in Chicago, works closely with clients to optimize their CEO succession, C-Suite succession, and executive development processes with senior executive assessment that yields deep, holistic insights into leaders’ competencies and potential. He has extensive experience in a broad range of leadership consulting projects including optimizing leadership teams’ effectiveness, board effectiveness, organizational design, and strategy. Mike works across a wide range of industry segments, with a particular emphasis on companies in the industrial and process industry sectors. He is active in Egon Zehnder’s Executive Assessment and Development, Human Resources and Supply Chain Practices.


Prior to joining Egon Zehnder, Mike was EVP and Chief Marketing & Development Officer at RR Donnelley Inc. in Chicago, where he oversaw the strategic planning, business development, and corporate marketing functions. Previously, he served in several management roles within Ashland Chemical Company, including VP & General Manager of Ashland's Service Businesses Division; President & COO of sourceXplorer.com (a startup internet procurement venture within Ashland); VP Planning, Development & Marketing; and VP of Marketing. Earlier in his career, Mike advised large global corporations as a consultant with McKinsey & Company, where he was a Senior Engagement Manager based in Cleveland and Amsterdam.

Mike earned a BA in Engineering Sciences from Dartmouth College, a BE in Engineering from Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, and an MBA from Harvard University. He is a member of the executive committee and former chair of the board of The Associated Colleges of Illinois, a non-profit organization promoting and supporting academic success in higher education for high-need students.

News and Publications

CEO Net Present Value

Before a company acquires an expensive new piece of capital equipment, the board will vigorously scrutinize assumptions, payback times and contribution to enterprise value – assigning a net present value. What if this expensive new piece of equipment is the CEO?

Driving Change and Building Value

While many industrial companies in a business-to-business sales environment have identified superior strategic marketing capabilities as a critical long-term success factor, most are unable to achieve the results they’d like from this increasingly important function.

consultant name

Michael J. Portland Egon Zehnder, Chicago