Egon Zehnder Elects Michael Ensser as Next Chair
The Firm’s Board Member and former Managing Partner of Germany succeeds Jill Ader, first female Chair of the global top five executive search and leadership advisory firms
Michael Ensser has been elected Chair of Egon Zehnder by the partnership of the world’s leadership advisory firm. He assumes the role on Nov. 1, 2022, succeeding Jill Ader, who has chaired the Firm since 2018 and will transition to an advisory role.
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“As our next chair, Michael embodies values-driven leadership, putting humanity and empathy at the core of all he does, which is exactly the type of leader we need to continue the Firm’s tremendous growth, expanding the reach of our leadership advisory capabilities as organizations face increased complexity and transformative challenges,” said Ader.
Over his 25 years at Egon Zehnder, Ensser has played key roles, including leading the German market, the second largest for Egon Zehnder, where he pioneered Leadership Advisory services, as well as leading the Switzerland market. Before that, Ensser led the Berlin Office, which under his leadership grew to one of the biggest offices in the Firm. Ensser currently serves on Egon Zehnder’s board, co-chairing its People Committee and is also chair of Germany’s Board Academy, co-created with McKinsey and KPMG, which prepares executives for non-executive board positions. He also helped to launch Egon Zehnder’s second global knowledge center in Budapest.
Ensser was elected by Egon Zehnder’s partnership, where every partner has an equal vote in the selection of the chair, a legacy from the Firm’s eponymous founder, who believed strongly in true partnership and good governance. Elections take place every three years, and chairs can serve for a maximum of two terms.
“I am honored and grateful to our partners for placing their trust in me to lead our Firm in this next chapter,” said Ensser. “Building on our Firm’s values, we will continue to grow our Firm’s leadership advisory capabilities to better serve our clients, deliver on our commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and increase our focus on sustainability.”
Ensser’s election is part of a planned succession. The chair must be a partner in the Firm, and the partnership has a tenure limit of age 62. Following those guidelines, Ader will retire from the partnership of Egon Zehnder later this year, and she will transition to a senior advisor role, focusing on both client work and helping colleagues to flourish. “Jill has been nothing short of outstanding as our chair, helping to crystallize our values, increase our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts and amplify our role as leadership advisors and coaches,” said Edilson Camara, Chief Executive Officer of Egon Zehnder. “We are grateful that Jill will be returning to client-focused work, as our world needs great leaders more than ever before.”