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Dick Patton leads Egon Zehnder’s global CEO Practice. He partners with clients on CEO succession, advisory, and search, in addition to providing board consulting and search, talent assessment, and recruitment of senior-level executives. Dick previously led the firm’s global Consumer Practice and cofounded Egon Zehnder’s Chief Marketing Officers Practice.

One of the greatest rewards of our profession is helping others win. I get genuine satisfaction from seeing my clients, candidates, and colleagues succeed.

Prior to joining Egon Zehnder, Dick held management, marketing, and business development roles at Coca-Cola and Frito-Lay. He has also worked in startups and an advertising agency, and published two speeches in the Congressional Record while working for the U.S. Senate.

Dick earned a BA from Brown University and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a frequent speaker, and his insights on talent development, functional evolution, and recruitment have appeared in Bloomberg Businessweek, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and other publications. Dick serves as a trustee of Groton School in Massachusetts, and he cochairs Egon Zehnder’s annual Marketing Leadership Summit at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. He is married with three children and loves spending time outdoors.

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Content by Dick Patton

Even CEOs Get Nervous About Their Jobs
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Even CEOs Get Nervous About Their Jobs

Dick Patton talks to NPR about the importance of mindset preparation and the role of boards in helping CEOs succeed.

Harvard Business Review – Survey: 68% of CEOs Admit They Weren’t Fully Prepared for the Job

Harvard Business Review – Survey: 68% of CEOs Admit They Weren’t Fully Prepared for the Job

CEOs are known for their confidence, but according to a. Egon Zehnder survey of 402 CEOs from 11 countries, while many did feel ready for the strategic and business aspects of their roles, they felt much less prepared for the personal and interpersonal components of leadership, which are just as critical to success.

Commentary: Here’s Why So Many CEOs Start the Job Unprepared

Commentary: Here’s Why So Many CEOs Start the Job Unprepared

Leadership has never been easy. Yet given the current volatility of the external world—stemming from geopolitical uncertainty, activist pressure, a new generation of employees, and digital disruption—running a large company is both more challenging and less secure than it’s ever been, as the daily drumbeat of CEO departures shows.

Directors&Boards - The Lonely CEO

Directors&Boards - The Lonely CEO

Whether it’s racial tensions in a coffee shop or testimony before Congress about privacy, CEOs face a lot of pressure to make things right. But where do CEOs typically turn to when they need honest feedback Not the boardroom.

The CEO: A Personal Reflection

The CEO: A Personal Reflection

Between November 2017 and January 2018, Egon Zehnder conducted a global research project, surveying current chief executives from a wide cross-section of industries, countries, and corporate structures. A large number—402 of them—responded, sharing their perspectives on what the job entails, the level of preparation they felt they had received, their succession planning process, and how they lead and cope in these volatile times.

Bloomberg – New CEOs Struggle with Tougher-Than-Expected Top Job

Bloomberg – New CEOs Struggle with Tougher-Than-Expected Top Job

Only around one in three new CEOs feel fully prepared to take on the top job, reports Bloomberg citing Egon Zehnder’s study: “The CEO: A Personal Reflection.”

CMO Redefined

CMO Redefined

“Cladogenesis” is a term used by evolutionary scientists to describe the relatively sudden division of an existing species into two or more separate lines – thus creating new species – often in response to radical change in the environment.

Comfort with Paradox

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.

Leaders of the Future: Navigating Disruption in Consumer Goods and Retail

Leaders of the Future: Navigating Disruption in Consumer Goods and Retail

Egon Zehnder was privileged to be part of the 60th annual Consumer Goods Forum global summit on 15-17 June 2016. Held in Cape Town, South Africa, the summit provided a window onto the energy and opportunity of Africa— the world’s youngest continent and one of the fastest-growing consumer markets.

The Intersection of Brand and Culture

The Intersection of Brand and Culture

The news story seems common now. Information about a company – working conditions, political affiliations, government relations, etc. – is made public, and the public’s opinion of the company changes. The change, just like the news, can be detracting or encouraging. Regardless, one thing in clear: in an era of mass information, brand and organizational culture can no longer live in silos.

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