BCG alumnus John Legend tapped as next coach on The Voice

18 September 2018

Noted singer and actor John Legend – who started his career as a consultant at BCG – has joined the coaching team on television singing competition The Voice. Legend was recently honored as the first black man to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony award.

John Legend has been named a coach on the sixteenth season of vocal competition The Voice, which will air this spring. The singer, songwriter, and actor will replace Jennifer Hudson, who serves as a coach in the fifteenth season which launches later this month. Legend will join returning coaches Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, and Kelly Clarkson. Legend was previously a judge on ABC music show Duets, alongside Kelly Clarkson.

“I’m thrilled to join the coaches of ‘The Voice,’” Legend commented. “I’ve been a guest and mentor on the show multiple times and I’m so excited to discover talented singers and help them make the most of their gift. I hope the world is ready for #TeamJL.”

Legend rose to musical prominence back in 2004 with his single ‘Ordinary People,’ and has since had a number of hits, including ‘Green Light’ and ‘All of Me.’ He is also a frequent collaborator with hip hop and R&B artists (Kanye West, Jay-Z, etc.) that want to add some neo-soul flavor to a song.BCG alumnus John Legend tapped as next coach on The VoiceLegend recently became the first black man to achieve EGOT status – winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. He recently won a Creative Arts Emmy for ‘Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert,’ wherein he played the titular role. Legend had previously won a Tony  in 2017 for co-producing the play ‘Jitney,’ a 2015 Oscar for his duet with Common ‘Glory’ from the movie ‘Selma,’ and 10 Grammys. Legend joins EGOT luminaries that include Whoopi Goldberg and Mel Brooks.

Though many know about his acting and singing acumen, most don’t know that John Legend has another skill in his envious range of talents: consulting.

After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in English, Legend landed a job as a consultant with prestigious strategy firm The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Legend worked for three years at the firm’s New York City office before he leaped into a music career full-time in 2002.

"It was definitely something to pay the bills," he told USA Today in 2005. "Most artists have to wait tables or something like that to make money. I actually had something that was a good job, that paid well."

Other well-known Boston Consulting Group alumni include Indra Nooyi (CEO of PepsiCo from 2006-2018) and Jeffrey Immelt (CEO of General Electric, 2000-2017).

In addition, BCG has two alumni who made a major impact within the consulting world itself. Roland Berger, the founder of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, worked for BCG in Boston and Milan for years before setting up his own consulting firm. Meanwhile, Bain & Company was founded in 1973 by former BCG consultant Bill Bain.

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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