Frank Smeekes: Executive Search Consultant, Europe

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Frank Smeekes

Frank Smeekes serves as DHR International's Managing Partner, Europe and is also a member of DHR International's Board of Directors.  Read more >

Frank Smeekes serves as DHR International's Managing Partner, Europe and is also a member of DHR International's Board of Directors. 

Frank's clients include companies undergoing leadership transitions both geographically in new markets and products, as well as new competencies such as IoT, mobility, and big data. He specializes in the Industrial Space, specifically the automotive, and diversified manufacturing sectors, as well as in the Professional Services Practice focusing on data, consulting, turnaround, and supply chain. He is experienced in placing senior-executive positions (CEO, COO, President) and board assignments internationally, working with teams to find direct reports to these executives, specifically for supply chain, finance, technology, operations, marketing & sales roles.

Frank brings with him more than 30 years of professional services experience, 25 of those years include international search experience. He and his team have recruited over 400 successful placements globally in the USA, Europe and Asia.

Prior to joining DHR, Frank was a Managing Director at executive search firm, Russell Reynolds Associates responsible for the Automotive Practice based in Chicago. Earlier in his career, he worked predominantly in Management Consulting focused on Industrial markets globally. Some illustrative clients over the years include AT Kearney, Bain Capital, Booz Allen, Dana, DSM, Cooper Standard, General Motors, Grainger, Johnson Controls, Kleiner Perkins, Lear, Lease-plan, Robert Bosch, Garrett Systems, Platinum Equity, Honeywell, Tesla, Volkswagen, ThyssenKrupp, and Valspar.

Next to individual assignments, Frank has led global teams on some noteworthy assignments such as placing the CEO of Cargolux, CEO of Tesla, CEO of Tata Automotive, CEO of Mark IV, CEO code 3, and Board-members for Visteon, Lear, and Sheerwind.

Frank is native Dutch and fluent in English and German with a good understanding of French. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a Master of Business Administration. < Read less



Amsterdam | Europe
Frankfurt | Europe
London | Europe
Paris | Europe
Zurich | Europe
Chicago | North America
December 2019

Frank Smeekes and How the War on Talent Has Increased in Europe

Frank Smeekes, managing partner of our Europe and Board Member practice shares insights on how companies can better connect with their respective markets, how the war on talent has increased in Europe and more. More >

November 2017 | City A.M.

Tech expertise on car giants' boards has risen 50 percent in the past year as electric and driverless race heats up

Car giants are increasingly turning to tech expertise to bolster their boards amid a global drive to push ahead in the fields of driverless and electric vehicles. More >

August 2017 | Business Review Europe

53% of France's CAC40 have Deputy CEOs; UK's FTSE has none

Over half of France’s biggest businesses have a Deputy Chief Executive Officer on their boards, while 4% of Dutch companies, 3% of German, and zero UK organisations have the same. More >

August 2017 | Management Today

Do You Need a Deputy CEO?

Despite being de rigueur in France, the deputy is extinct in the FTSE 100. More >

July 2017

FTSE 100 director earnings hit by $133m since Brexit as weaker pound bites

Loss in value makes it easier for overseas competitors to pick-up UK-based talent More >

July 2017 | Evening Standard

FTSE 100 execs eye move from UK as sterling dive hits pay

THE fall in the pound since the Brexit vote might be good for exports but it is hitting FTSE 100 bosses in the place they care about most — their wallets. More >

September 2016 | White Papers

The Rise and Rise of Overseas Experience For Today's CEO

Overseas experience has become an increasingly common requirement in searches for new CEOs of international companies. Without it, potential CEOs may be holding their career back. More >

September 2016

International Expertise Becoming Mandatory for CEOs of Major European Corporates

•66% Now Boast Overseas Experience •But CAC 40 companies in France increasingly targeting French nationals for top roles – 90% of CEOs are French • Large levels of international stakeholders in UK companies behind higher proportion of non-UK CEOs More >

February 2016 |

Number of FTSE 100 companies with a Deputy CEO halves in two years

Number of Deputy CEOs drops from six to three between 2013 and 2015. Low usage limits succession planning options and increases risk of lengthy periods of instability. More >

February 2016 | Executive Grapevine

DHR International: Why FTSE 100 Deputy CEOs are sharply declining

FTSE 100 companies are ridding themselves of deputy CEOs to ensure more flexible succession planning, according to DHR International. More >

March 2015 | White Papers

In praise of diversity in Europe

It is now six years since Norway became the first country in Europe to legislate on board diversity, insisting that its listed companies should be at least 40 per cent composed of female directors. Since then, Belgium, Iceland, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain have all introduced their own versions of these rules, while the UK has told its largest companies it expects them to get to 25 per cent by the end of 2015, or face legislation. The European Union is still considering whether to impose quotas across all member states. More >

June 2015 | White Papers

Who will drive Europe’s automotive industry forward?

Europe’s automotive industry is finally beginning to emerge from the sales slump that followed the global financial crisis of 2007-8. New car registrations across the European Union rose by 5.7 per cent during 2014 according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, the first year of positive growth since 2007. Commercial vehicle sales were even stronger, rising 8.8 per cent over the first 11 months of the year. More >