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    Firm Overview

    Thriving organizations change all the time. If the behaviors of senior managers don’t change too, everyone’s in trouble. The issue might be talent management. It might be the launch of a new business model or the phase out of an old one. A new executive might need an onboarding process. A sitting CEO might be losing credibility with the board and in need of turning things around. That’s a lonely place to be. These human dynamics have consequences—consequences that can alter the destiny of an organization. They are why the Jackson Hole Group has been in business since 2002.

    The partners in the Jackson Hole Group have been CEOs, presidents and senior executives. Every member of the team has 20 plus years of experience in general management and strategic human resources. Each provides a single point of contact to their clients, whenever and wherever. Jackson Hole unlocks the greatest possible return for clients by giving them access to the intellectual capital of the entire firm, and all the tools that talent owns.

    Our growth is by word of mouth. You’ll see no client lists on our website, no stories in the media. The work Jackson Hole does is never talked about except within a client. Sometimes it’s an older manager who needs to learn new tricks. Sometimes it’s a younger manager who needs the wisdom of experience. The issues change but not the senior level of the organization with which we work intensely.

    There is no Jackson Hole methodology. We don’t have a change model we apply to every business situation. We never try to jam the client’s need into our model. Our clients get a solution unique to them and the problems they’re solving.

    View our Practice Areas | Learn more about Our Team

  • Principals

  • Strategic Alliances

    • Crowe-Innes Assoc.

    • Decker Communication

    • Gavigan Associates

    • Visual Inc.

    • Windridge

    • 5 Dynamics

  • Advisory Board

  • Practice Areas

  • Fred Wilson

    Retired Chairman and CEO of Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises ("SFAE") Fred Wilson joined Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises as President and Chief Executive Officer of Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises in December 2003 and was named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of SFAE in March 2004.

    Wilson has a distinguished retail career spanning more than 30 years. He served as Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of the Donna Karan Company, a division of Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH), as well as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Eluxury.com, the LVMH e-tailing arm based in San Francisco. Since joining LVMH in 1996 and prior to leading Donna Karan, Wilson held the posts of CEO for the LVMH Specialty Store Retail division and CEO of LVMH Fashion Group for the Americas. Prior to joining LVMH, he spent 17 years with Duty Free Stores (DFS), serving as President and Chief Merchant of the company. Wilson previously held management positions with both Federated Department Stores and Associated Dry Goods.

  • Dave Pottruck

    David S. Pottruck has been a director of Intel since 1998 and Chairman and CEO of Red Eagle Ventures, Inc., a private equity firm in San Francisco, California, since 2005. Mr. Pottruck has also served as Co-Chairman of Hightower Advisors, a wealth-management company in Chicago, Illinois, since 2009; as an advisory board member of the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, since 2005; and as an advisory board member of PwC-Diamond Technology Consultants, a consulting firm, since 2004. Mr. Pottruck teaches in the MBA and Executive Education programs of the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania, and has held adjunct faculty positions at five universities. Mr. Pottruck also serves as a Senior Fellow in the Wharton School of Business Center for Leadership and Change Management. In 2004, Mr. Pottruck resigned from the Charles Schwab Corporation after a 20-year career that included service as President, CEO, and a member of the board. Mr. Pottruck also serves on the boards of numerous private companies.

  • Neil Ashe

    Neil Ashe is president and CEO of Global eCommerce for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.  He was appointed in January 2012 to lead Walmart’s Global eCommerce Division, which develops strategies, platforms and applications that combine the latest in online innovations with physical stores to give Walmart’s customers a unique and seamless shopping experience.

    Prior to his current role, Neil was president of CBS Interactive, where he led online properties and drove development of innovative methods to distribute programming. Websites included CBS.com, CNET.com, CBSNews.com, and CBSSports.com.

    As president of CBS Interactive, Neil led the interactive content business with operations in the U.S., Europe and China. After leading the successful integration of CNET Networks with CBS, he and his team ramped up CBS entertainment content distribution online, making CBS.com the largest television network site in the industry.

    Prior to this, Neil was CEO of CNET Networks. He also oversaw development in the company’s China division, taking it from a small magazine and events operator to a highly profitable online business. Ultimately, he led the sale of the company to CBS and became president of CBS Interactive.

    Neil also founded a company focused on using the Internet to improve K-12 education in the U.S. He was a partner and managing director at private investment firm Crest Communications Holdings and, before that, was an associate at Smith Barney.

    He has an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and a B.S. in Business Administration from Georgetown University. He serves on the boards of AMC Networks and the Georgetown University Board of Regents.

  • Ernie Sadau

    Ernie Sadau assumed the role of president and CEO of CHRISTUS Health on March 1, 2011. In this position, Ernie leads day-to-day operations for CHRISTUS Health and lends extensive expertise in developing programs to improve quality and clinical integration and preparing the organization to capitalize on the opportunities of the future.

    Ernie joined CHRISTUS as senior vice president of Patient and Resident Care Operations in 2006. His title was changed to senior vice president and chief operating officer in 2008 as he expanded his role and oversight within the organization. He continues to provide guidance, consultation and direction to CHRISTUS entity leaders with responsibility for patient and resident care within the system. He has over 25 years of experience in health care operations and finance, providing measurable operational performance improvement and strong leadership skills.

    In his tenure at CHRISTUS Health, Ernie led the consolidation of the organization's non-acute entities, developed an algorithm process for continuous evaluation of operational and strategic success and implemented new regional structure and accountability to stabilize operations and improve financial performance. Ernie also served as the chief diversity and inclusion officer for CHRISTUS Health, developing the strategic initiatives and processes to ensure that CHRISTUS is living out its commitment to valuing differences and strengthening the ministry's culture of inclusion.

    Before joining CHRISTUS, Ernie served in many roles at Adventist Health System from 1983-2006, holding various executive positions in the organization's many hospitals and systems, including chief financial officer, administrator, and president and CEO of Adventist Health System/Midwest in Hinsdale, Ill., which includes five hospitals, over 60 physician practices, surgery and imaging centers and several home care agencies. During his tenure with Adventist, Ernie led successful hospital acquisitions and joint ventures; implemented thriving physician recruiting, community relations and employee development programs and developed many necessary medical services in the communities he served, including opening the only freestanding Emergency Room in Illinois and a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

    Ernie holds a master's degree in hospital administration from Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. He received his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the University of North Texas. Ernie is a Fellow of the American College of Health Care Executives, and was named an Up & Comer by Modern Healthcare magazine in 2000, an award that honors rising young stars in the health care management field.

  • Phil Schlein

    Philip S. Schlein joined USVP in 1985 after a successful 28-year career as an operating executive in the retailing industry. For 11 years prior to joining USVP, Phil was President and CEO of Macy's California. Under his leadership, Macy's California sales grew from just under $200 million to almost $1.2 billion; profits grew from $17 million to $108 million. Phil began his retail career with R.H. Macy, Inc. from 1957 till 1984 and served on the Board of Directors of Apple Computer for eight years from 1979 to 1987.

    Since joining USVP, Phil has originated a number of investments in the consumer/retail sector including PETsMart, Fresh Choice and The House of Blues. In recent years, Phil has been active in the consumer products areas and currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Kids Park, Sound ID, Speciality's Bakery & Cafe, Tea Collections and other privately-held companies.

    Part of Phil's philosophy is that "to succeed in retail, you want to always aim higher than your customers' expectations."

    Phil holds a B.S. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Caden Wang

    Caden Wang's many years of international corporate experience brings JHG a wealth of strategic, financial and operational business expertise.

    Caden is currently on the board of the U.S. public company Leapfrog, and was previously on the board of bebe and Fossil. Prior to his semi-retirement, Caden was the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Moёt Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) Retail Group, which included 10 operating companies at varied stages of maturity. The Group had operations in 20 countries with combined annual revenue over $3 billion and included DFS, the world's leading retailer to the traveling public, and Sephora, the cosmetic and fragrance chain first acquired in France and then expanded throughout Europe and the US. The Group also included various new online and specialty retail concepts. In addition to his traditional finance responsibilities for the Group, Caden provided leadership in the transformation of the existing organizations, the launch of new concepts, disposition of nonstrategic units, and in managing several mergers and acquisitions of new companies.

    Prior to LVMH, Caden was the Chief Financial Officer for a few retail companies and also held senior executive positions with Sunkist and the Ernst & Young consulting group. Caden has lived and traveled extensively in Europe and Asia. He is trilingual, speaking English, Japanese and Chinese.

  • Helen Bulwik

    Newport Board Group is a partnership of board directors and highly experienced senior executive leaders with deep knowledge of capital markets, strategy and operations. Helen helps emerging growth, middle market and private equity clients navigate transitions and improve their performance. She has a long and distinguished career in successfully identifying, developing and executing strategies for top line growth, new business development and enhancing economic value for leading consumer companies. Helen has served as CEO of six middle market retail and consumer companies, successfully developing and implementing strategies for growth and competitiveness. In addition, as a senior level strategist and thought leader for three highly respected consultancies – IBM and Accenture and the Tom Peters Group, she advised senior management of more than seventy of the top 100 Global Retailers in the development and execution of strategic initiatives for growth and a sustainable competitive advantage. Helen has served and continues to serve on the Board of Directors of a number of public and private middle market companies and non-profit organizations. As a Board Director, she challenges executives to target stretch goals and coaches them to identify and pursue the optimal path toward achieving them. She earned both her undergraduate degree and MBA from the University of California – Berkeley, Haas School of Business where she also served as an adjunct professor on subjects of Strategic Retailing, Consumer Demand and Marketing. She is a sought after speaker frequently and widely quoted in top business publications and the news media.

  • Targeted Search

    It is in the nature of what Jackson Hole Group principals do that they grow exceptionally close to their clients, gaining special insight into client strengths and challenges. What makes the insight special is the first-hand perspective on the skills and interpersonal fit that produce success for executives in a specific organization. With that insight the firm provides a value-added service to clients in hiring directors, CEOs and other senior leaders.

    This may mean assessment of internal candidates. It may mean identification of external talent. When a candidate is identified Jackson Hole provides assistance in sensitive areas like compensation negotiations, internal communications, onboarding and executive transition.

    Case in point: Jackson Hole Group provided an interim senior executive to fill a key role to a client undergoing significant organizational change. With Jackson Hole’s deep understanding of the company’s needs, the CEO sought the firm’s assistance in finding a permanent replacement for this critical position. . Jackson Hole created the position specifications, identified internal and external candidates and managed the seamless on boarding of the new executive.

    Client testimonial: “Jackson Hole Group knew our company strategy and culture so well that it was natural for them to guide us in selecting a key member of our executive team.” R.H.

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  • Business Advising

    CEOs have few “safe harbors” where they can share their concerns, get unvarnished perspectives or pressure-test their thinking. Beyond being lonely at the top, quite often it’s also isolating.

    In our Business Advising practice, the Jackson Hole Group serves as an experienced thought partner to the CEO, available to her or him on an “as needed” basis. In this role, Jackson Hole Group draws on its deep operating experience to be a trusted confidante on a range of issues, from evaluating the implications of strategic options or talking through how best to overcome the challenges of business transformation, to the relationship with the Board or thinking through solutions to organizational conflict.

    Case in point: Jackson Hole Group was engaged to assist in the transformation of a successful multi-billion dollar U.S. retailer from a U.S. store based model to a global, omni channel business model. While the vision and strategy had been clearly articulated, our focus with the CEO and Executive team was to help ensure that the strategy was aligned with processes, talent requirements, organizational structure, roles, decision rights, metrics, and incentives utilizing a comprehensive, facilitated, and structured approach. As a trusted advisor to the CEO and leadership team, we equipped them with the tools to effectively communicate and implement a major strategic change and to actively engage their employees.

    Client testimonial: It’s one think to have a big vision. It’s another to put the people and structures in place to realize it. That’s why we work with the Jackson Hole Group. R.H.

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  • Executive Effectiveness

    Even senior leaders need support from experienced professionals to whom they can speak confidentially. Such trusted advisors can provide not only an essential sounding board but can also help the executive define clear metrics and approaches to take his or her performance to an even higher level.

    Coaching for senior executives must be provided within the context of business goals and performance objectives. The relationship between coach and executive is confidential but it’s still a three-way partnership between the coach, the organization and the executive being coached. All parties to the partnership commit to defining success. Jackson Hole views this as part of a comprehensive talent management strategy. The work is intense, immediate and requires far more communication than conventional executive coaching.

    Case in point: A division president was not performing up to expectations. Convinced of the manager’s potential but under pressure from the board to make a change, the corporate CEO brought in Jackson Hole Group. This was certainly not the best way to begin a coaching relationship. But a special partnership was created between the executive and the coach. For one thing, now two people were accountable for performance goals. Over a six-month period their collaboration created new awareness in the executive, a plan of action toward specific goals and a support system that sustained permanent change in the executive’s performance.

    Client testimonial: “My partnership with Jackson Hole Group saved the career of a talented executive in our organization. And that has had direct benefits for revenue development ever since.” - R.G.

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  • Organizational Advising

    Successful organizations embrace change and manage it assertively ensuring that organizational decisions are aligned with changing business requirements. Whatever the business challenge may be, talent and organization considerations are critical: managing leadership transitions, designing a succession strategy, harmonizing roles and accountabilities or optimizing performance management systems. To achieve targeted business objectives, talent strategies and organization structure must remain in synch.

    The work of Jackson Hole Group’s Organizational Advising practice gets clients focused on the long run. Members of the practice bring deep and pragmatic experience to their work with boards and executive teams. JHG’s senior advisors have assisted boards and executive teams achieve more effective collaboration within management teams, design and implement talent strategies and provide objective guidance to enhance board effectiveness.

    Case in point: Jackson Hole was asked to collaborate with a board in developing and implementing a long-term talent strategy and capability building. The engagement was conceived as a ten-year collaboration that involved planning for two successive CEO transitions. It led to the restructuring of the entire management team and an ongoing commitment to succession planning/talent development that is nurturing internal candidates for senior positions. Central to the success of the engagement was Jackson Hole’s knowledge of the client’s talent base. That has been the foundation of problem solving on leadership issues, assistance with the relationship between management and the board, coaching of individual executives and, finally, an executive team populated with a broader base of talent.

    Client testimonial: “Working with the Jackson Hole Group instilled talent management and leadership development as a strategic capability at our company.”
    - K.M.

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  • Strategic Human Resources

    Understanding the needs of a business and creating the talent strategies to meet them are crucial in the success of an organization. It is the core capability of the Jackson Hole Group. It is manifest in every one of the firm’s practices but resides most explicitly in its Strategic Human Resources practice.

    Taking HR beyond the conventional tactical responsibilities of the function, the work of the Strategic Human Resources practice is focused on helping clients develop and fully leverage strategic HR capabilities. These include employee engagement, talent assessment, succession planning, cultural alignment, growth strategies and leadership development. Essential to this work is the integration of all HR processes into a cohesive approach linked directly to business strategy.

    Case in point: Jackson Hole Group was engaged over multiple years in the transformation of the Human Resources function for a technology company. It began when the firm was asked to assist with the integration of an acquisition and subsequently moved into an onsite interim Chief Human Resources Officer advisor role. With knowledge of the client’s business challenges and opportunities, Jackson Hole led the repositioning of HR to a strategic role in the company and successfully shepherded the recruiting process for a permanent HR head. The work continued through the onboarding process for the new HR hire and an ongoing advisory role to the senior management team.

    Client testimonial: “Jackson Hole Group helped us better understand the critical strategic role that Human Resources must play in our business strategy. Jackson Hole supported us in both the vision and execution for this role and has consistently stepped in as a valued advisor in leading us through the significant organizational transition.” - E.L.

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  • Interim Management

    Eventually every organization finds itself with a vacancy in an essential executive position. It may be the result of an unanticipated departure, a resignation, illness or a manager’s transfer to another role. When vacancies occur, the choice for an organization is to either fill the hole quickly or navigate the transition with an interim manager.

    Jackson Hole Group has built a bench of strong executive talent that provides interim leadership for business initiatives that can’t wait for a search to be completed. This gives clients time to carefully select a high-impact executive for the long term.

    Interim managers don’t fill a role just for maintenance. They bring experience to client challenges, hitting deliverables and providing continuity of leadership. Frequently they assist in the recruitment of candidates for a vacancy. Central elements of these assignments often include coaching the successor, onboarding, and integration into the leadership team.

    Clients of the Interim Management practice have access to the dedicated expertise of Jackson Hole principals, who are themselves supported by the full resources of the firm on any number of business challenges. For clients this means stability and time to focus on transition.

    Case in point: At a pivotal point in its history a Jackson Hole Group client needed a new CEO. The board had to consider internal and external candidates for the job without disrupting the work of the senior leadership. Jackson Hole was asked to provide an acting CEO. It served in that capacity for seven months. During this period the interim CEO reduced operating expenses 34 percent, retained internal talent and set up the organization for a successful sale. The asset value of the organization grew and the organization moved forward with a new infusion of capital.

    Client testimonial: “We’re a growing technology firm, and that’s great. But fast growth brings problems for a young company like ours. Jackson Hole Group has been indispensable in helping us manage fast growth.” - E.L.

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    Jackson Hole’s work with nonprofit and not-for-profit organizations applies substantial experience in the sector with a value-based approach to consulting--an approach rooted in an understanding of the sector’s special challenges and alert to the transplantation possibilities of for-profit best practice.

    This approach positions Jackson Hole Group to provide guidance on governance, organizational effectiveness, nonprofit leadership and the special relationship between nonprofit management and volunteer leaders. Our client base in this area is deep, enriched by experience in the special situations in which nonprofit leaderships find themselves. Every Jackson Hole principal serves on at least one nonprofit board; most serve on more than one.

    Case in point: A nonprofit board was launching a new long-term strategic plan. It needed better performance out of its senior leadership, and it needed it quickly. Jackson Hole Group worked with the client to build trust within the executive team, with immediate impact on execution and communication. This was accomplished through a set of “interventions” with members of the leadership supported by individual coaching. In advance of board meetings Jackson Hole Group’s ongoing advisory leant further support. A particular accomplishment was the creation of tools for “dialogues”—within the executive team and with the board.

    Client testimonial: “For nonprofits the relationship between the executive team and the board is a different animal from what it is for a corporation. The Jackson Hole Group understands that, and it’s why our partnership with them works.” - J.S.

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