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Chief People Officer Trends

In May & June 2023, FlemingMartin organized lunch discussions with more than 100 Chief People Officers (CPOs) from leading Software, Fintech, and Life Science companies.

Topics included Artificial Intelligence’s (“AI’s”) impact on HR, the state of hybrid work and its ongoing impact on culture, tools for enhancing communication and connectedness within an organization, plunging valuations and their influence on compensation, and combating CPO burnout.

Click here to review the full summary.

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FM Broadcast – Summer 2023

Best Practices: Confidential Executive Search

There are times when companies need to hire a new leader with utmost discretion. Sometimes, there is an underperforming executive whose vacancy would cause significant operational disruption, creating a need for smooth succession. In other situations, an executive may be ready to retire or move on, and there is a need to curtail uncertainty across their team. There may also be scenarios in which a company may want to avoid alerting competitors to a drastic change or new initiative.

Confidential executive searches necessitate precision and the safeguarding of the privacy of the organization, all while preserving morale and the operating efficiency of your business. Below, we share some recommendations if you are contemplating such a search.

Prepare for a longer process: Confidential searches cannot be run in-house like traditional hiring procedures and may require an abridged interview process. By not disclosing your company’s name during initial outreach, it will be more difficult to generate interest from top candidates. Moreover, it will be very challenging for an internal recruiter at your company to directly reach out to candidates and maintain 100% anonymity via LinkedIn or other traditional channels.

Think about who is involved and anticipate potential leaks: Think through the small group of trusted colleagues or team members who will be “in the know” and a part of the process. Clearly define your interview and hiring process from the start: align on when the company name will be revealed, the specific role of each member of the search process, and the timeline along which the stakeholders will collaborate. Note calendar visibility when scheduling discussions about the search or interviews with candidates. It is also important to remind prospective candidates to exercise discretion about the opportunity –having candidates sign an NDA can accelerate meaningful discussions but can add an extra step into the process. A little planning and attention to detail can go a long way!

Tight messaging around why this role is confidential: Align early in the process on messaging to prospective candidates about why the search is confidential. Be honest about the shortcomings of the incumbent (if applicable) but truly focus candidates on the long-term needs of the organization (e.g., needing a specific skillset or a more strategic vision in this function to move the business forward). Beware that candidates may interpret a search’s confidentiality as a reflection of your company’s culture and/or how your organization deals with any performance issues, so get ahead of these assumptions with tight, consistent, and clear messaging.

Consider using a retained executive search partner: Partnering with an external firm, one possessing expertise in executing confidential searches for impactful leaders will accelerate the process. Outsourcing this work to a partner with a dedicated focus in executive search adds a layer of confidentiality while minimizing operational distractions for your team. The right firm will know how to access a hard-to-find network of qualified, passive candidates, and they will evaluate and present a slate of top contenders. Finally, working with an external search partner helps ensure fairness, impartiality, and effectiveness throughout the entire search process.

FlemingMartin has a track record of being a trusted partner that successfully completes confidential searches. Our team brings the domain expertise, a highly refined process, and deep networks that accelerate the timeliness needed in search execution.

Client Snapshots

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Confidential Search Completed: Chief Business Officer

FlemingMartin recently completed a search for a venture-backed Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) company to find an exceptional leader to join the Company’s management team. Our client needed a seasoned executive to drive the Company’s revenue generation strategy and scale revenue across existing and new sales channels.

Scott Yen, FlemingMartin’s Fin/Tech Practice Leader: “It is always an honor to be trusted by your client to find an impactful leader, and completing the search with confidential parameters and without leaks meant that we were able to serve our client without disrupting their business.”

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Search Completed: Chief People Officer

Scaled Agile is the #1 training and certification framework for lean-agile implementation worldwide. SAFe®, the company’s leading system for scaling agile, is trusted by thousands of enterprises across the globe and seeks to embrace agility, deliver value faster, and seamlessly integrate innovations.

With a new private equity investor, category leader Scaled Agile sought its first Chief People Officer to partner closely with its CEO and leadership team at a pivotal point in the company’s growth journey. Scaled Agile’s lead independent director selected FlemingMartin based on a longstanding relationship and knowledge of FlemingMartin’s depth of experience conducting HR search.

Marty McMahon, FlemingMartin’s Co-Founder and HR Practice Leader: “Working with innovators is always exciting. Establishing a close partnership with an amazing CEO and his lead board director allowed us to pivot effectively throughout the search to find an exceptional Chief People Officer.”

You can view the hiring announcement here.


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Search Completed: Vice President of Legal

Allakos (Nasdaq: ALLK) is a clinical stage biotechnology company deeply committed to developing therapies for patients suffering from allergy, inflammatory, and proliferative diseases.

With multiple critical milestones approaching, Allakos sought a VP of Legal to drive the legal function and serve as an indispensable partner to the senior leadership team. Allakos’ CFO selected FlemingMartin based on a longstanding relationship and proven success from recruiting projects at his prior company.

Jonah Klein, FlemingMartin’s Life Sciences Practice Leader: “It was a privilege to be a trusted partner to Allakos on such a critical search. From the jump, we were in complete alignment on strategy and process, which allowed us to get off to a very fast start and complete the search in only 19 days.”

You can view the hiring announcement here.



Search Completed: Vice President, IT

Nevro (NYSE: NVRO) is a leading, global medical device company providing innovative products for patients suffering from debilitating chronic pain. Since receiving FDA approval and commercializing in 2015, Nevro has grown revenue to $400M annually and has a market cap approaching $900M.

When Nevro’s previous Head of IT departed unexpectedly, the CEO and CFO were anxious to bring in the right executive to take the reins of the department. Plus, they needed this leader to come aboard as soon as possible.

Fleming Jones, FlemingMartin’s Co-Founder & Managing Director: “We had recently worked on some similar searches, so we were able to access and present the best IT talent in the region quickly and efficiently.”

You can view the hiring announcement here.



Firm News

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Congratulations to Scott Yen on his recent anniversary at FlemingMartin – he is celebrating 3 years at our firm!

Scott joined FlemingMartin in March 2020 as our Financial Services & Technology Practice Leader.

With more than 12 years of experience in investment banking prior to joining FlemingMartin, Scott has brought deep capital markets expertise and a differentiated network to our firm. He is known for establishing strong relationships with executives, leveraging his unique background to provide strategic counsel to guide hiring decisions, and partnering with hiring managers on multiple assignments to build out truly high-performing leadership teams. Since joining FlemingMartin, he has completed more than 30 searches for companies such as:

·       Afero



·       Bird Rides (NYSE: BRDS)

·       Marqeta (NASDAQ: MQ)

·       Opendoor (NASDAQ: OPEN)

·       RingCentral (NYSE: RNG)

·       Synapse

·       Upstart (NASDAQ: UPST)

·       Upwork (NASDAQ: UPWK)

Congratulations to Nathaniel Sprouse on his recent 1-year anniversary at FlemingMartin!Sprouse Nathaniel Headshot Cropped

Nathaniel joined FlemingMartin in February of 2022 as an Executive Search Associate. Since joining, he has helped complete searches for diverse clients, such as ORIC Pharmaceuticals, Scaled Agile, and Mezzetta. In his first year, he has greatly enjoyed contributing to our unique approach: forging deep partnerships with clients, incorporating great nuance in candidate generation, and creating an unrivaled, white glove candidate experience throughout each search.



Connecting leaders

Recruiting the best executive talent

Recently Completed Searches

Confidential Private PaaS Company

  • Chief Business Officer

Confidential Public Company

  • Corporate Controller

Allakos (NASDAQ: ALLK)


LQ Digital


Scaled Agile

The Linde Group


Select Current Searches

Private Biotech Company

  • Confidential Finance Role

Public Biotech Company

  • VP, Translational Research

Venture-backed Fintech Company

  • Chief Compliance Officer

Public Biotech Company

  • Head of Investor Relations & Corporate Communications

Private Publishing Company

  • Board of Directors (x2)

Public Software Company

  • Confidential Finance Role

Public Software Company

  • Vice President, Corporate Controller

Private Manufacturing Company

  • Head of Finance

Private Fintech Company

  • Confidential Finance Role

About FlemingMartin

FlemingMartin is a leading retained executive search firm focused on the Technology, Fintech, and Life Sciences industries. FlemingMartin partners with Boards, Venture Capital Firms, and company executives to build successful, execution-focused management teams. The Firm’s principals are trusted advisors and business partners who enable companies to gain powerful, far-reaching, and lasting contributions from their executive-level human capital. For more information on FlemingMartin, please visit