Ginny Clarke leaving Chicago for Silicon Valley
August 24th, 2016
Virginia, “Ginny,” Clarke, a longtime expert on diversity and executive search in Chicago, has left town to work for Google in Silicon Valley. She’s for years been plugged in to Chicago’s business world and has been a notable name on the civic scene, too.
But those who know her well will miss her quick wit and professional insight. Clarke, who talked about the challenges of being a single mom, has been a mentor to Chicago business executives and students alike.
“I came here in my early 20s to go to Kellogg (School of Management) from California, and never intended to stay this long,” says the 6-foot-1 Clarke.
In Chicago, Clarke most recently was CEO of Talent Optimization Partners LLC, her own consulting firm.
At Google, Clarke will lead an executive recruitment team, focusing on diversity and internal mobility.
“Cool part is that I’ll be working with two former colleagues” David Beuerlein formerly of Spencer Stuart, and Stuart Kaplan, whom she recruited to Amrop Knightsbridge (now LHH Knightsbridge), where she was a partner, she told friends in an email. “I am thrilled about the chance to positively impact diversity in Silicon Valley at the senior-most levels.”
She started her career in banking at First National Bank of Chicago (now Chase) and then spent a decade in the institutional real estate business with Jones Lang LaSalle and Prudential Real Estate Investors.
The move is a coming home for Clarke, who grew up in California and whose son, Julian, is attending the University of Southern California.
Clarke has been has served on the board of the Chicago Sinfonietta since 2009 (she was board chair from 2013-15), the Posse Foundation (which mentors young people) and the Mikvah Challenge.