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Gary Burnison

Chief Executive Officer

Gary Burnison is the CEO of Korn Ferry. Under his leadership, Korn Ferry has been transformed to a global organizational consulting firm with more than 7,500 colleagues. 

Today Korn Ferry works with clients to design their organizational structures, roles and responsibilities. The firm helps organizations hire the right people and advise them on how to reward, develop and motivate their workforce. The firm also helps professionals navigate and advance their careers.

Burnison brings hands-on experience to his current position, having served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for Korn Ferry from 2003-2007. He joined Korn Ferry as Chief Financial Officer in 2002. Prior to Korn Ferry, Burnison was Principal and Chief Financial Officer of Guidance Solutions, a privately held consulting firm developing and supporting technology solutions, from 1999 to 2001. Before Guidance Solutions, Burnison served as a senior executive officer and director of Jefferies & Company, Inc., the principal operating subsidiary of Jefferies Group, Inc., where he worked from 1995 to 1999. Earlier, he served as partner at KPMG Peat Marwick from 1984 to 1995.

Burnison is the author of seven leadership and career development books, including a New York Times bestseller. His latest book, Leadership U: Accelerating Through the Crisis Curve, helps leaders activate their teams amid unprecedented challenges and change. Other books authored by Burnison include Advance: The Ultimate How-To Guide For Your Career, Lose the Resume, Land the Job, No Fear of Failure: Real Stories of How Leaders Deal with Risk and ChangeLEADThe Leadership Journey: How to Master the Four Critical Areas of Being a Great Leader and The Twelve Absolutes of Leadership.

Burnison writes regular content focused on the intersection of strategy, talent and leadership, including his widely-read weekly “Special Editions” for global leaders. He is also a regular contributor to CNBC and other major media outlets.

Burnison earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Southern California and holds an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Pepperdine University.

Areas of Expertise