Based in New York City, Manuel Waenke advises companies and organizations on key leadership challenges and executive recruitment with a focus on food & agribusiness, climate & sustainability and PE & VC. Drawing from his prior experience as a consultant, operator and investor, Manuel is passionate about helping organizations find and develop the right leaders for navigating times of unprecedented rates of change and complexity.
Nothing makes a bigger difference to companies’ performance than getting the right people on the bus and in the right seats. I’m privileged to have the opportunity to help some of the world’s leading companies hire and develop the best leaders.
Prior to joining Egon Zehnder, Manuel was the Director of Ventures at FootPrint Coalition, a New York and LA-based climate tech VC and media firm founded by Robert Downey Jr., where he led most of the firm’s investment work. Previously, he was the Head of Corporate Strategy & Development at Inari, a late-stage agriculture biotech startup, which raised $300M and achieved a valuation of over $1B during Mr. Waenke’s tenure. Earlier, Manuel amassed extensive experience at McKinsey & Co., working in agribusiness, economic development and high-tech projects across five continents and 22 countries.
Manuel earned a BSc in International Business from the Vienna University of Economics and Business, graduating first in his class, an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, and an MA in Environmental Sciences from Stanford University. He also founded and served as the president of Stanford Alumni in Food & Ag, an alumni community with around 1,000 members. A native Austrian, Manuel now lives in New York City with his wife and dog. Outside of work, he is an enthusiastic globetrotter and avid tennis and soccer fan.