Keith Giarman: Executive Search Consultant, North America

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Keith Giarman

Keith Giarman serves as Managing Partner of the Private Equity Practice for DHR International, based out of the San Francisco, CA, and New York, NY, offices. He is also a member of the firm's North American Executive Committee driving overall strategy for the organization. Read more >

Keith Giarman serves as Managing Partner of the Private Equity Practice for DHR International, based out of the San Francisco, CA, and New York, NY, offices. He is also a member of the firm's North American Executive Committee driving overall strategy for the organization.

Keith led the launch and successful expansion of the Private Equity Practice over the past 10 years. Today, under his leadership, the practice manages approximately 100 board, C-level, and senior search assignments per year working with management teams and top-tier investors where the mantra is rapid and long-term enterprise value creation. Keith has also been instrumental in the build out of principal investing teams.

Prior to DHR, Keith built the CEO practice for one of the premiere boutique executive recruiting firms in Silicon Valley serving the venture capital community. In previous operating roles, he worked extensively with VC and PE investors, most recently as President and CEO of Clarus Systems (acquired by OpNet), where he raised more than $20 million to launch the company. Prior to his experience in Silicon Valley, Keith was Vice President of Sales, Service, and Marketing at Citizens Communications (NYSE: CZN), today a $3 billion full‐service communications carrier that was merged with Frontier (NASDAQ: FTR). He was one of five executives on the senior leadership team responsible for 800 employees, $1 billion in revenue, and $200 million in operating income.

Keith earned his BA at UC San Diego and his MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was recruited into the PhD program in organizational behavior. Keith is honored to serve as the Chairman of the Board at Mission Dolores Academy, a fully diverse innovative K-8 school that is based in the historic mission district of San Francisco. He is the former Vice Chairman of the HBS Association of Northern California and former Trustee for Schools of the Sacred Heart in San Francisco where he was the Chairman of the President’s Evaluation Committee.  There, he chaired the Search Committee overseeing the successful recruitment of a new president for the institution in 2012. Keith is also a former Trustee and President of the Alumni Association at the Hopkins School in New Haven, CT, and former Chairman of the Western Region Board of Jumpstart based in Boston, MA.  He is an advisor to several technology companies and funds, including Circle Systems and Roble Ventures. < Read less



New York | North America
San Francisco | North America
Silicon Valley | North America
June 2019 | White Papers

Chief Human Resource Officers in Private Equity Funded Companies

In the current and increasingly competitive business climate, with dynamic and shifting markets and associated customer requirements, the CHRO is one of the essential links to the successful growth and profitability of PE sponsored companies. The top HR officer is at the vortex, with the CEO, in defining and cultivating the culture and driving the talent agenda so critical to meet value creation objectives. More >

June 2019 | Hunt Scanlon Media

Talent Challenges Facing Mid-Market Private Equity Backed Companies

PE firms that specialize in lower mid-market transactions have an added challenge of attracting top talent who can function effectively to lead their businesses. Keith Giarman, managing partner private equity at DHR International, joins Hunt Scanlon Media this week to discuss how these smaller companies — often starved for leaders in finance, HR and sales — are changing up their strategies to lure talent. More >

March 2019 | Middle Market Growth

Mapping a New Career Benefit: How companies are touting their location to attract talent

The great Amazon beauty pageant, in which over 200 cities competed to become the site of the corporation’s second headquarters, spotlighted the role geography plays in a company’s growth plans. Location—especially a region’s quality of life and cost of living—has become an increasingly important factor in a company’s ability to attract and retain talent in a tight labor market. More >

January 2019 | White Papers

Chief Executive Officers in Private Equity Sponsored Companies

The ideal profile of a CEO in a private equity sponsored company is situational – highly dependent on the investment thesis for a particular entity. More >

January 2019 | White Papers

Chief Financial Officers in Private Equity Sponsored Companies

Some consider the skill set of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to be more “portable” from industry to industry or business model to business model than other senior level members of the executive team. Based on the experience of our clients in the Private Equity Practice, the core financial acumen and analytical competencies of an effective CFO can be appropriately applied in different industry or business settings; however, their success will depend on a multitude of situational factors. Is the CFO who successfully partnered with the CEO to grow a company and related infrastructure from $25 million to $100 million qualified to do the same in a company growing from $250 million to $1 billion? Perhaps not. Stage and proof points from prior experience matter. More >

July 2018 | White Papers

Doug Albregts, CEO of Sharp Electronics, Cares More About What You've Done Than Where You're From

Doug Albregts, President/CEO of Sharp Electronics, sits down with DHR International to give insight into his working philosophies and background. Among his comments, Mr. Albregts explained that the right background and experience - and some core basic values - creates an easy-going culture of cooperation. More >

February 2018

DHR Completes Chief Marketing Officer Search for MariaDB

Global Executive Search firm DHR International is pleased to announce the successful placement of Franz Aman as Chief Marketing Officer of MariaDB. The search was completed by Partner, David Madden and Managing Partner, Keith Giarman. More >

March 2018 | White Papers

Human Capital Best Practices in PE Funded Companies

On Thursday October 26, 2017 in Sausalito, CA, at the Cavallo Point Inn — a historic landmark overlooking San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge — nearly 40 professionals from the Private Equity community convened to address and discuss human capital best practices. More >

January 2018 | pfm

The Talent Wranglers

Private equity firms know first-hand how human capital can drive returns, so many are hiring their first chief talent officer. But staffing the role requires a clear set of priorities. More >

September 2017 | The Washington Post

A 29-year-old is the new CFO of the company behind Jell-O and Oscar Mayer weiners

Warren Buffett may be one of America's oldest CEOs. But a food giant created by a merger deal that was orchestrated between his company and a private-equity firm two years ago just named one of the youngest chief financial officers in the country. More >

March 2017 | White Papers

Chief Talent Officers in Private Equity Sponsored Companies

Private equity investors are placing a greater emphasis on driving operational value in their portfolio companies while, in many cases, holding investments longer. They have also come to realize that executives with the potential to create value and meet aggressive thresholds for investor returns—for the firm, themselves and the management team— are increasingly critical to success. More >

May 2016 | Harvard Business Review

How Private Equity Firms Hire CEOs

Corporate boards often say that succession planning is their top priority, but at publicly traded companies, directors rarely get to turn that planning into action: The average CEO tenure at S&P 500 firms is nearly 10 years. That’s in sharp contrast to the private equity world. PE firms hold investments in dozens of companies, and after making an investment, they nearly always replace the CEO. More >