ZURICH, November 18, 2021– Egon Zehnder mourns the loss of its esteemed founder, Dr. Egon P. S. Zehnder, who passed away on November 16, 2021, at the age of 91 surrounded by his family after a brief illness.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our founder,” said Chair Jill Ader and CEO Ed Camara in a joint statement. “All of us at Egon Zehnder are beneficiaries of Egon’s legacy, and it is a privilege and an honor to work for the firm that bears his name.”
Born on April 12, 1930, Zehnder graduated from Harvard Business School in 1956. In 1964, at the age of just 34, he took the brave step of founding his own firm in a townhouse in Zurich. Initially, the company was composed of Egon Zehnder and Brigitte Jentsch, who served as his assistant for 55 years. From the beginning, Zehnder built up the business as a values-led management consultancy advisory. Today, Egon Zehnder is among the world’s leading advisory and executive search firms.
Zehnder was distinguished by his courage and selflessness. Possibly his boldest and most generous move came in 1976, when he gave up his own majority shareholding to re-distribute equity equally among the partners, creating a truly equal partnership that was unparalleled. In 2000, Egon went a step further when he returned his shares to the partnership and stepped away from his client work. “This selflessness was characteristic of Egon, and it is his example that has enshrined generosity as a core value in our firm today,” declared Ader and Camara. “This boldly unconventional philosophy made our ‘One Firm’ model possible. Our values are the principles we’ve inherited from Egon and that we continue to stand by with steadfast commitment.”
Zehnder joins his late wife, Brigitte Zehnder, and leaves behind his five wonderful children (Dominik, Andreas, Sven, Peter and Heidi – Andreas and Peter are Partners at the firm today) as well as his 16 grandchildren, who brought him such joy. Our thoughts and prayers are with them all.
About Egon Zehnder
Egon Zehnder is the world’s preeminent leadership advisory firm, inspiring leaders to navigate complex questions with human answers. We help organizations get to the heart of their leadership challenges and offer honest feedback and insights to help leaders realize their true being and purpose. Our 525 consultants across 63 offices and 37 countries are former industry and functional leaders who collaborate seamlessly across geographies, industries and functions to deliver the full power of the Firm to every client, every time.
We believe that together we can transform people, organizations and the world through leadership.