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senior executive looking to transition into a new career
February: Executive Career Transitions

“I am contemplating transitioning from a large corporation to a startup or smaller PE-funded company. I have spent the last ten years in leadership roles at a large telecommunications company with GM accountability for a $60M P&L. I can easily transition within that industry, but I'd like to go to a startup and I want to know the best way to go to those companies at a leadership level. What is the right positioning of myself? Are there a set of contacts I should be working with?”

Daniel A. Kaplan, Partner with CTPartners and AESC Americas Council Member, discusses how to transition between industries:


"There are three approaches which could lead to a successful executive career transition in this situation:

  • To start, I would recommend the candidate contact the headhunters and executive recruitment professionals with whom he/she has relationships and ask for introductions to the partners in their respective Private Equity or VC practices. The most likely transitional point would be a telecommunication start up with logical correlations to the individual’s experience. It’s not guaranteed, but it is fairly typical to see a GM with $60 mil P+L assume a COO job or CEO role in a start-up if they can demonstrate entrepreneurial flare, an ability to roll up their sleeves, and they remain focused on a space with natural synergies to their past.
  • Secondly, they should identify the funds that have significant capital allocated to the telecom space and identify the headhunters / executive recruiters they most frequently employ.
  • Finally, if the individual has well vetted investment ideas, the deal teams at these firms will generally want to listen.”


For further information, you may wish to join BlueSteps. BlueSteps is the exclusive service of the AESC that puts senior executives on the radar screen of over 6,000 executive search professionals in over 70 countries. Be visible, and be considered for up to 50,000 opportunities handled by AESC search firms every year. Find out more at www.BlueSteps.com.

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