Former Accenture CHRO Jill Smart joins AlixPartners Board of Directors

13 November 2018

Global management consultancy AlixPartners has welcomed Jill Smart as a member of its Board of Directors. She joins as a representative of strategic investment partner La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (“CDPQ”), which handles the Canadian province’s $308 billion in pension plan and insurance program investments. The former Accenture Chief Human Resources Officer has over three decades of experience in the consulting industry.

Jill B. Smart was CHRO at Accenture for almost a decade, retiring in 2014 after spending 33 years at the global management and technology consulting giant. She was replaced by Ellyn Shook, who remains in the role to this day. As CHRO, Smart led Accenture’s global HR agenda, including resource planning, recruitment, training, engagement, and succession planning. During her tenure, Smart oversaw the near tripling of the firm’s workforce from 100,000 to 281,000.

Before assuming executive roles in HR management, Smart’s work at Accenture centered around business integration initiatives (i.e. aligning business strategy with IT), helping clients successfully navigate major transformations.Former Accenture CHRO Jill B. Smart joins AlixPartners board of directorsIn 2015, she became the President of the National Academy of Human Resources, an organization which performs HR-related research, outreach, and initiatives, while also recognizing distinguished professionals within the industry. Smart was a Director at talent acquisition and management firm Alexander Mann Solutions from 2015 until this year, when the company was sold.

Smart has also served as a Director at product development and software engineering solutions firm EPAM Systems for the past two years. Now, the seasoned consulting executive will take on a Director role at management consulting and turnaround expert AlixPartners.

“I am delighted that Jill will be joining the AlixPartners board,” said Simon Freakley, CEO of AlixPartners. “Her combined skills as both a leader in a global management consulting organization and an expert in the field of human resources make her a great addition to our firm. Her experience and counsel will be of real benefit as we continue to grow AlixPartners as the career choice for the very best talent in our industry.”

Smart is also on the board of trustees of the University of Illinois, as well as board member of The Goodman Theater. She holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Illinois.

In other recent AlixPartners appointments, the consultancy added Jim Takach as a Managing Director in LA, and Mark Flamme as a Managing Director in Chicago.


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Leadership advisor YSC Consulting appoints Eric Pliner as CEO

18 April 2019

London-based global leadership consultancy YSC has appointed Eric Pliner as its new CEO, replacing Robert Sharrock, who held the role for five years. Pliner, previously the firm’s Americas leader, will remain based in New York City.

For 30 years, YSC Consulting has been providing leadership advisory services to clients across a wide range of industries. The firm provides services in the areas of leadership strategy, performance, research, and analytics. YSC also has offerings in organizational leadership and CEO & board advisory. The firm’s approach is grounded in the behavioral sciences, allowing clients to better align business strategy and leadership.

In 2017, Graphite Capital complete a private equity investment in the firm, which has allowed YSC to continue its rapid expansion across the globe. Today, the firm has 19 offices across the Americas, EMEA, and APAC regions, staffed by 225 professionals with backgrounds in clinical psychology and organizational behavior, among other areas.

YSC’s incumbent CEO, Robert Sharrock, will now move into the roles of managing director of YSC’s board and CEO of the advisory practice. Sharrock had previously indicated that he would move into a client-facing role following one year of results after the private equity infusion.Leadership advisor YSC Consulting appoints Eric Pliner as CEO


 “Having achieved the goals we established as a business during my tenure, I look forward to fully devoting my time to the client service areas of the business I find most rewarding, which is working directly with board members and CEOs,” Sharrock said. “I will also be offering my unreserved support to Eric and our global team as we continue to expand our distinctive business around the world.”

Eric Pliner, who has been with the firm since 2010, will step into the role of CEO. An expert in organizational behavior, talent management, and development, Pliner joined the firm as a senior consultant, working his way up to managing director and head of YSC Americas in 2014.

Prior to joining YSC, Pliner was director of organizational talent management & development at the NYC Department of Education, and was an adjunct instructor in the curriculum & teaching department at Hunter College in New York. He holds an MBA in management, organizational behavior, and human resources from the City University of New York – Baruch College.

“Robert has successfully led the business through five years of sustained growth and shaped the brand into a premier global leadership consultancy,” Pliner said. “I am thrilled and humbled by the opportunity to lead this iconic firm as we continue to serve world-class organisations in understanding and developing the critical leadership to achieve their future business strategies.

“Whether through individual executive assessment, pre-deal due diligence and post-deal integration for private equity transactions, design and execution of inclusive leadership and diversity strategy, coaching for senior executives and teams, resilient change leadership, and more, YSC’s global services are and will remain distinctive, characterful, and best-in-class,” he added.

Related: Ohio-based consultancy Change 4 Growth launches UK office