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Jeffrey Cohn - Bench Strength Advisors. New York, NY, US

Jeffrey Cohn

Managing Partner | Elevate Partners (A DHR Company)


Expert in leadership, assessment and corporate culture. Author, Wall Street Journal & Huffington Post Contributor.



Jeffrey Cohn Publication



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Jeffrey Cohn is an expert in leadership, assessment and corporate culture. Most recently Cohn was a Partner and a CEO succession planning expert at top, global executive search firms including, Heidrick & Struggles and Spencer Stuart. Cohn is a frequent public speaker, lecturer, facilitator, and panelist. He has worked on global, leadership development initiatives with Deans of Oxford University, Harvard University, INSEAD, IMD, and Berkeley as well as with the World Economic Forum, YPO, and the CEO Leadership Institute at Yale.

Cohn is often quoted as a leadership and governance expert by the Wall Street Journal, CNN, Economist, and Fortune. He is an award winning author and has contributed to many prestigious publications including the Harvard Business Review. His most recent book, "Why are we Bad at Picking Good Leaders" was cited by several global publications and honored as one of the "best business books" of 2011.

Cohn has worked with and advised CEOs of some of the most creative organizations in the world, including Cirque du Soleil, the Cleveland Clinic, the gold medal Olympic basketball team and numerous high-technology start-ups. He helps companies of all shapes and sizes solve their most complex talent management issues. Cohn has developed and implemented integrated solutions to help companies identify, assess and on-board new recruits, focusing on leadership "potential" and cultural "fit."

Earlier in Cohn's career, he was a Principal at a leading economics consulting firm (LECG), a business development associate at Abilizer Solutions, and a research associate at Andersen Consulting. Cohn graduated with a degree in Economics from Vanderbilt University (Economics) and an MBA (finance) from Tulane University.

Industry Expertise (4)

Corporate Training

Training and Development

Corporate Leadership

Management Consulting

Areas of Expertise (7)

Leadership Development

Succession Planning

Executive Coaching

Talent Management

Organizational Design

Executive Development

Executive Assessment

Education (2)

Tulane University: MBA, Business Administration

Vanderbilt University: B.Sc., Economics

Media Appearances (6)

Heir Apparent to Disney’s CEO Will Step Down

Wall Street Journal  online


Succession planning at the world’s largest media company fell into disarray on Monday as Tom Staggs, Walt Disney Co.’s chief operating officer and the heir apparent to Chief Executive Robert Iger, unexpectedly said he would step down.

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AmEx President Dies on Plane

The Wall Street Journal  online


The president of American Express Co., who was viewed as a likely successor to Chief Executive Kenneth Chenault, collapsed and died on the way home from a business trip Friday. His death sent shock waves through the New York company where he had worked since he was a college student...

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Cisco Shares Details on How It Chose Its Next CEO

The Wall Street Journal  online


Corporate boards rarely divulge much about their succession efforts. “It’s unusual for boards to let the public have a sneak peek inside closed boardroom doors,’’ said Jeffrey Cohn, a succession-planning expert. Yet investors increasingly care about how well boards prepare for the transfer of power at the top...

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From Drug Prices to Drones, What's Ahead for Business in 2015

The Wall Street Journal  online


The powerful forces of bolder shareholder activists and impatient boards mean “more CEOs will get ousted in 2015,’’ suggests Jeffrey Cohn, a CEO succession expert...

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Winning the CEO Succession Horse Race

The Huffington Post  online


At some point, virtually every ambitious executive asks this question. According to a recent global study a remarkable 87% of managers aspire to the corner office. But it's not just whether you think you deserve the top job, it's whether your board of directors thinks you deserve it...

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Why we pick bad leaders, and how to spot the good ones

CNN  online


I recently interviewed more than 60 chief executives of very large global companies. Virtually all of them said that recruiting and promoting general managers with true leadership potential was the key ingredient to their organization's long-term success. Fair enough. But the CEOs were then quick to admit that this task is much easier said than done...

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Research Focus (1)

Apple Computer 1992

Getting to the Core of Apple


Getting to the core of Apple: In 1991, the computer industry had just experienced its worst year in history. Although Apple had continued to outperform its competitors, the intense competition was putting acute pressure on its margins. This case examines Apple's need to retain its profitability as the structure of the industry deteriorated. Apple's CEO asked his staff key questions: Could Apple change the structure of the industry, and if so how? And what were the alternatives?

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