Red-hot Times for Executive Search

What’s up with Korn/Ferry?

Just about everything: its search assignments, its stock, the size of its workforce, and its earnings.

The company said today that there was a “20 percent increase in the number of search engagements opened compared to the prior year.” Its fourth-quarter earnings rose 73.2 percent from a year ago.

Stock in Korn/Ferry, which is based in Los Angeles, is at about $20-$21. Last fall, it was closer to $14.

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Meanwhile, Challenger, Gray & Christmas reports that “a record 148 CEOs left their posts last month.” Says John Challenger: “These are red-hot times for executive search firms, as CEOs move fluidly from organization to organization in search of a bigger challenge and bigger payday.? This is a free-agent CEO market, the likes of which we have never seen.”

The health care field is providing the most announcements of CEO turnover.

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