The headhunter behind some of the most prominent appointments in British boardrooms for two decades is to step down, 18 months after selling her company to a bigger American rival.
Sky News understands that Jan Hall, who placed the chairmen of Diageo, Legal & General and Standard Chartered, will relinquish her role chairing Heidrick & Struggles JCA Group later this year.
During 2018, Ms Hall will also hand over her responsibilities as co-head of the firm’s CEO and board practice in Europe, and as sole head of the equivalent division in the UK.
She will complete existing client projects and will continue to work with Heidrick as part of an effort to establish herself as a broader corporate adviser in company boardrooms, according to a City source.
Although little known outside the City and corporate world, Ms Hall has been one of the most influential figures in British business for two decades, helping to recruit scores of FTSE 100 chairmen and chief executives.
Among the top bosses she placed were Carolyn McCall as easyJet’s chief executive and Johan Lundgren as her successor; Joe Garner, the Nationwide chief; Sir John Kingman, chairman of Legal & General; Javier Ferran in the same role at Diageo; and Archie Norman as Marks & Spencer’s chairman.
Image: The headhunting industry is facing pressure to show it is in tune with calls for greater diversity
Ms Hall and a handful of peers wield extraordinary influence over the composition of blue-chip company boards and can earn high six-figure salaries for their counsel in identifying new leadership.
The headhunting industry is, though, facing growing pressure to demonstrate that it is in tune with calls for greater diversity in corporate boardrooms.
The announcement of Nasdaq-listed Heidrick’s acquisition of JCA in August 2016 referred to the boutique’s track record of appointing women to the boards of FTSE 350 companies, underlining the heightened importance attached to the issue.
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Before establishing JCA with Emma Fallon in 2005, Ms Hall was senior partner at Spencer Stuart, another leading firm.
She could not be reached for comment on Friday.