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Dick Patton

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+1 617 535 3500

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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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Thought Leadership

Thought Leadership by Dick Patton

The CEO Insights Series

The CEO Insights Series

The CEO Insights Series shares our latest and best thinking on the most definitive topics affecting CEO leadership and performance today. Read more

“In the Eye of the Storm”: A New CEO Mandate

“In the Eye of the Storm”: A New CEO Mandate

Five tips for CEOs while they work to manage the business and create psychological and emotional safety for their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. Read more

The Call for Curiosity

The Call for Curiosity

Curious, bold leadership is not something you simply have or don’t have; you build upon what is there, you learn it and continue to… Read more

The Uncharted Leadership Voyage

The Uncharted Leadership Voyage

The CEO turnover rate is at a record high and appears to be accelerating. How can we better prepare CEOs for today’s reality, where… Read more

No CEO is an Island

No CEO is an Island

We often speak of CEOs as forces unto themselves, when in reality, there can be no CEO leaders without followers—and vice versa. Read more

It Takes a Village: Supporting CEO Leadership

It Takes a Village: Supporting CEO Leadership

Leading in today’s complex, uncertain world presents challenges that no amount of preparation can completely take into account. How CEOs are seeking regular, reliable… Read more

New Captains of Consciousness

New Captains of Consciousness

Across the world, top corporate officers are increasingly assuming a mantle of public leadership by driving purpose-directed company strategies and taking overt stands on… Read more

Even CEOs Get Nervous About Their Jobs
3:04

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. Read more

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… Read more

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,… Read more

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.… Read more

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,… Read more

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:… Read more

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… Read more

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… Read more

Architect of Consumer Centricity

Architect of Consumer Centricity

Markets are merging; smart, self-confident consumers are networking with one another and sharing their views online. Read more

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,… Read more

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… Read more

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