A Well-Known CEO Reaches Out

The call to CEO Arnette Heintze came in late one night in the spring of 2008. A CEO of a public company and one of the wealthiest individuals in the world introduced himself and said he’d been given Heintze’s home number by a business advisor whose opinion he trusted highly – someone who described Heintze as well positioned to provide insight into the type of executives best prepared to meet the responsibilities of a Chief Security Officer on a world-class level.

Finding the Right Chief Security Officer for the Client

Over the course of that night’s discussion – and ensuing ones in the days that followed – the two men talked about the client’s high-profile personal circumstances and work-related, globe-spanning responsibilities, obligations and practices.

The client outlined his expectations of a CSO and emphasized his need for an executive with exceptional credentials. Heintze listened to his concerns and asked questions. He scanned, filtered and compared the client’s responses to his own front-line experiences – as a senior security executive; as a mentor to direct reports in how to address assignments with a comparable scope; and as an advisor to organizations and entities recovering from mission-critical failures of leadership in the security function establish programs with integrity.

Quickly apparent – based on the individuals’ wealth, position, political interests, global travel pattern, interaction with stakeholder communities, and geo-political points-of-view – was a significant need for a highly accomplished level of security leadership comparable to that protecting world leaders. Over the next few days, Heintze assembled a short list of six candidates with exceptional international credentials – and, on a confidential basis, provided the client with their resumes.

Four World-Class Candidates. One Offer. One Accepted.

The client interviewed four of these individuals and hired one. The new CSO – in a very short period of time – has been aggressively building out the best practices in security necessary to support the world-class scope, capability and track record of the security function crucial to protecting this particular client and his ability, as CEO, to continue delivering high-performance public company results for shareholders worldwide.

Unplugged: The Perspective of Hillard Heintze’s CEO

“It may be tempting to think that individuals with world-class credentials in security – such as those who have been entrusted with the personal protection of the U.S. President and his family – are naturally well suited to any protection assignment with high levels of risk, for any given set of potential targets.

That’s only true to a certain extent. Such an assumption risks overlooking other critical factors – such as the executive’s personality traits, lifestyle preferences and domain-specific expertise demonstrated over decades by award-level, peer-surpassing performance under pressure.

Finding the right match for a high-profile position requires not just tapping an elite pool but also personally understanding how each individual will act and react under many different  circumstances…”

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