This blog:
• is not associated with DHR International, Jobplex, Osprey Capital or the Hoffmann family, and in no way is trying to impersonate DHR International or its associates
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Some of the best reading on this web site comes from the comments. Click on the "Comments" link in the gray box under each post. If you don't want to leave an anonymous comment, feel free to email us with any tip offs at unofficial.dhr(at)gmail.com. If you are employed by DHR International or Jobplex, please email us from a personal computer or device. You can use an anonymous email web site, if you like.

March 26, 2015

Discrimination at DHR International: a Principal sues DHR in Silicon Valley

Once again, DHR International are being sued by a former employee. This time it includes allegations of discrimination.

Pravesh Mehra, DHR International Global Leader
A Principal in the Silicon Valley office of DHR International  was working with, amongst others, Pravesh Mehra and "performed her services for DHR in an exemplary manner" however Pravesh Mehra "stopped working with [the Principal] and told her that she would have a hard time in the consulting market because she was a Caucasian female without an MBA"! Ironically, Pravesh Mehra is "global leader of the Business & Professional Services Practice". It doesn't appear a very professional way to treat a valued employee.

The pleadings allege that DHR has "a practice of withholding employee wages and using said wages as a "float" to operate its business … without regard to the California Labor Code".

The Principal was also "informed and believes that DHR has a long-standing practice of acting to avoid paying earned commissions and bonuses. Specifically, principles are routinely terminated after they have generated earned commissions and before the commissions have been paid out."

Guess what?

The Principal "was set to receive her yearly bonus and her paycheck from DHR on April 11, 2014" but less than week before this date "On the afternoon of April 5th 2015, [she] noticed that her company iPhone was completely wiped and removed of all content… Her corporate email also did not work on her laptop."

In other words, DHR International fired the Principal without even showing her the decency of telling her face to face! They just locked her out of their systems.

DHR owed her at least $43,000. For someone earning a base salary of $100,000 per year, this is a lot of money. Priya Taneja (then Priya Patel) from DHR told her "DHR would not pay her the remaining salary, bonus, commissions and expense that she was owed". And they haven't!

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing have issued the Principal a Right-To-Sue notice.

So, it would appear DHR International fired a Principal who was working diligently and earned decent commissions. DHR had the benefit of the "float" and then fired her so that David Hoffmann could fund his private jet. Or perhaps, as alleged, it was because she was a woman.

March 20, 2015

David Hoffmann has REALLY left DHR International

Update March 20, 2015: confirmation that David Hoffmann has left DHR International

A search of the DHR International web site for the name "Hoffmann" as of February 27, 2015 reveals only Geoffrey Hoffmann. David Hoffmann's bio has been removed. If you click on a link to the page or the Google result, you get an error.

This happened within 24 hours of us revealing on this web site that David Hoffmann's profile was full of "embellishments". In other words, rather than updating his profile, DHR International removed David Hoffmann as Chairman.

In early February 2015, David Hoffmann was still calling himself "Chairman". A recent press release (dealing with the acquisition of CTPartners) refers to David Hoffmann as "the principal shareholder of DHR International", while older press releases referred to him as "Chairman".

Geoff Hoffmann has been the CEO since 2013. And Stephen A. Hayes is now the Chairman instead of Hoffmann Sr. According to Hayes' current bio, "Stephen Hayes serves as Executive Chairman of the firm." Until recently, Hayes was listed as "President/Vice Chairman of the firm".

It turns out David Hoffmann has actually left DHR and is no longer Chairman. He no longer has an executive role or Board role at DHR. He is just the principal shareholder. Curious there has been no press release around Stephen Hayes' appointment as Chairman.


March 18, 2015

DHR International lie when they say they are "ranked #1 in geographic coverage"

Update May 25, 2015: updated to reflect DHR's reducing the number of offices listed on their website from 51 to 49.

DHR International boldly claim they are "ranked #1 in geographic coverage with over 50 locations providing global executive search service across Asia, Europe, North America, and South America." They say it on their web site, press releases, etc.


A large number of DHR International and JobPlex "renowned" consultants and employees make the same claim, including (as at March 20, 2015): Justin HirschSean Scanlon,  James Abruzzo, Elizabeth Hayes, Carter Morgan, Brian Livingston, Neil Caughlan, Patrick Brazill, Timothy Liedtke, Evan Grossman, Khozema Mansure, Brittainy Kinsure, Melissa Basolo, Christopher Mantese, Lindsey Conboy, Katie Russell, Jake RobbinsMichelle Marie (Marcinkoski) Patidar, Susan Gottlieb, Stacy Donohue, Katie Brown, Andrew Ross, Tara Cummings, Brian Livingston, Nancy Mack, Michael Boyce, Leon Van Hook III and Kristin Jacobs.

This unofficial web site has covered in the past the fact that many of DHR's claimed 49 offices are bogus.

But let's accept for a moment that DHR International have 49 real offices. 

Are DHR International "ranked #1 in geographic coverage"?

No!

Of the global executive search firms, here are their geographic coverage.

Amrop: 85
Korn Ferry: 76 + 8 'Alliance Partners' = 84
IRC: 75
Stanton Chase: 72

Even if you believe DHR's claim as to the number of office they have, they are #18 in geographic coverage based on number of locations. #18 is not even close to #1.

If you remove DHR International offices that are unstaffed (there are lots), then DHR International are ranked #23!

And it doesn't matter how you look it: every firm listed above have offices in more countries and more continents, especially as DHR International have no offices in Africa and Australia.

To be clear, DHR International designed and launched their new web site in 2014, and included this claim that they are "ranked #1 in geographic coverage". Many DHR International consultants claim this false statistic in their LinkedIn profiles. Presumably DHR International mislead their clients by saying this in proposals.

So, once again, DHR International and many of their consultants are misleading their prospective clients and consultants. This is another example of "Hoffmannitis". Apparently, DHR International have no shame.

March 15, 2015

Is DHR International's "roster" of directors for CTPartners "Blue Chip"?

Updated: March 16, 2015: including more definitions of "Blue Chip" and WSJ articles on Farley.

DHR International have handpicked a "roster" of six new directors they are proposing for election to the Board of Directors of CTPartners.

The DHR International press release claims:
  1. "The proposed board members ... represent some of the best managed companies in the world."
  2. ""This proposed slate is about as Blue Chip as it gets,” said David Hoffmann, the principal shareholder of DHR International ...  The collective expertise of our board nominees will help drive maximum value for shareholders.”
According to the NYSE, "A blue chip stock is stock in a company with a national reputation for quality, reliability and the ability to operate profitably in good times and bad." Every definition we can find is similar e.g. Merriam-Webster's definition: "a stock issue of high investment quality that usually pertains to a substantial well-established company and enjoys public confidence in its worth and stability; also:  a company that offers such stocks"; "a business or undertaking with an outstanding record or likelihood of profitability"; or "one that is outstanding".

So, to be as "Blue Chip as it gets", the whole "roster" needs to be "Blue Chip"? A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Is this "roster" "Blue Chip"? Let's start with two directors.

William Farley is best known for running Fruit of the Loom and sending it bankrupt. According to Wikipedia, "in 1999 the company filed to reorganize its debt. Later that year, Farley retired from his position as president and CEO just prior to the bankruptcy filing in 1999." So, under Farley's ownership, it would be incorrect to say Fruit of the Loom had "the ability to operate profitably in good times and bad" or under Farley's watch "enjoy[ed] public confidence in its worth and stability" or was one of "the best managed companies in the world". It thus fails the definition of "Blue Chip".

For more information on Farley and his presiding over the failure of Fruit of the Loom, see the WSJ and here. We also note that the DHR press release does not refer to any listed company leadership positions Farley has held since 1999 i.e. for 16 years.

Geoffrey Hoffmann has only worked for his daddy's businesses. The largest of these is DHR International, which is a relatively small (162 consultant) privately held firm. It is farfetched to claim it has a "national reputation for quality and reliability". Just look at their track record on this web site and form your own view whether DHR International is "Blue Chip". Certainly, the large number of lawsuits from clients and employees suggest there are issues impacting "quality and reliability".

At least looking at the press release, Hoffmann Jr. has never held any listed company roles.

This is another example of "Hoffmannitis".

Thank you to the readers who have sent in anonymous emails with information on the other directors on the "roster". If you could back the information up with publicly available information that we can point to, then we will post the information. This web site will only post information that is supportable by publicly available facts.

March 11, 2015

Fact check: Is DHR International "one of the fastest growing search firms"?

DHR International often claim they are "one of the fastest growing search firms".

Is this accurate?

There are (still) 12 press releases on the DHR International web site from 2014 detailing senior consultants joining DHR International. There is not yet a single one for 2015!

We looked at the number of client-facing revenue-generating consultants listed on the DHR International web site today, deduplicating those across multiple offices and removing those in support roles (e.g. CEO (Geoffrey Hoffmann), CFO (Douglas Black), Head of Research (Marissa Martin), Internal recruiters (April Drury, James G. Abruzzo and Lorenz Pestinger)).

As of March 11, 2015 there are 162 consultants at DHR International. (If you believe DHR International has 51 offices, this is a paltry 3 consultants per office).

We then looked at the DHR International web site in 2010 at the lowpoint of the market and found that there were 185 consultants.

In other words, DHR International has shrunk over the last five years.

So, is DHR International "one of the fastest growing search firms"?

No. It is not even a "growing search firm". This is another example of "Hoffmannitis".


DHR International consultants as at March 11, 2015

Abbed Anabtawi
Albert Sim
Amy Orlich
Andrew Ross
Andy Cornwell
Anna Marietta
Arjun Srivastava
Ayman Haddad
Bertrand Kimper
Bob Marchant
Bonnie Sharps
Carol Hartman
Caroline Edwards
Charlie Fang
Chris Guiney
Chris Prosper
Chris Sotomayor
Christine DeYoung
Christine Greybe
Claire Hwang
Clare Cizek
Conrad Lee
Courtney Lake
Craig Randall
Craig Sigovich
Cyd F. Kinney
Dan Carney
Danny Cheung
David A. Bruno
David Madden
David Nagy
David P. Smith
David Treussard
Debbie Graf
Deepak Gupta (aka Dipak Gupta)
Dennis C. Hood
Diane Coletti
Diane D. Smith, RN, BSN
Dipanjan Sengupta
Donald M. Kilinski
Donna Pratt, MD, MSEH
Dwain Celistan
Edward van den Boorn
Eric Dieny
Eunice Kim
Fernando Boldrini
Fernando Cesar
Frank Smeekes
Frank Spencer
Geoffrey Hoffmann
Glenn Sugiyama
Gordon S. White, Jr.
Helen Getzkin
Helen Park
Hendrik Geissler
Iris Tong
Jadie Li
Jae (Jae-Hang) Noh
James Abruzzo
James B. Norton
James DiFilippo
James L. Schroeder
Jan Westerink
Jason Lee
Jay Millen
Jeffery L. Smith
Jeffrey Webb
Jerry McGrath
Jill Schofield
Johannes Suciu
John Baker
Joseph C. Huddle
Joseph G. Christman
Joyce Mak
Joylyn Largo-Afonso
Judi R. Kilachand
Julia Eakes
Julie Stiller
Juliette Neu
Justin Hirsch
Kate Quinn
Kazuhiko Mori
Kazushige Hata
Keith Giarman
Kelvin Ling
Kelvin Pang
Kenneth Xu
Kirk Durossette
Kristi LeBlanc
Lance Winn
Lawrence R. Noble
Linda Madrid
Louis M. Hipp III
Manish Pajan
Manuel Corsino
Marcey Rubin Stamas
Marco Muñoz
Margaret Dillon
Martin M. Pocs
Mary Lee Montague
Matthew Wake
May Tung
Merritt J. Norvell, Jr. Ph.D.
Michael D. Getchell
Michael Kotelec
Michele Baird Counter
Michelle Smead
Mike Lim Sang Chong
Mike Nagata
Mona Bopanna
Naomi Tachibana
Nick Parry (demoted to JobPlex)
Nick Slee
Nicole Phillips
Olivia Quatrone
Pascal Daoglio
Pat Richter
Patricia Watters Binkley
Paul Stefunek
Philip DeFord
Philippe Tirault
Pravesh Mehra
Rick Brown
Rick Walker
Rives Dalley Hewitt
Robert Baker
Robert Godfrey
Robin Singleton
Roc Spence
Rod Malcolm
Ron Woessner
Ryoko Komatsuzaki
Sal DiFranco
Sayres Dudley
Scott R. Harris
Scott Sette
Sean Scanlon
Serge Lamielle
Shannon Connors
Shawn Woessner
Simon Mansfield
Smooch Repovich Reynolds
Stacey Holland
Stacey M. Holland
Stéphane Rambosson
Stephen A. Hayes
Steve Godwin
Steve Stine
Steven Yeo
Sue Rossiter
Supriya Dikshit
Sussannah Kelly
Suzy Stewart
Thomas Drewry
Thorsten Otremba
Tom Goodrich
Tushar Dhingra
Victor Kleinman
Wendy Pangburn, CAE
William R. Franquemont
Xavier Alix

March 10, 2015

Fact check: Is DHR's letterhead accurate?

DHR International's letterhead lists in the footer the following regions:

Asia Pacific    |    Australia    |    Europe    |    Middle East & Africa    |    North America    |    South America

See, for example, the letterhead used in:

  1. the letter of February 10, 2015 from Geoffrey Hoffmann (CEO) to Brian Sullivan of CTPartners, as filed with the SEC; and
  2. the search contract sent by Gayle Mattson of DHR to Barton Winokur of CDI Corporation on March 20, 2014 for the $375,000 CEO search - it is Exhibit A of the lawsuit by the client, CDI Corporation, against DHR.
The natural implication is that DHR International operate in these regions.


Is this accurate?

No.

DHR International does not (and did not on the dates of these letters) have disclosed offices in Australia or Africa. These regions are not listed on the DHR International web site.

In any document that they send to a client, DHR are again misleading their reach. If we were CDI Corporation, we would be pointing to this in court as it is false advertising.

This is another example of "Hoffmannitis".

March 3, 2015

The revolving door at DHR International

The Wayback Machine makes it easy to look back in time at DHR International's web site.

We did some quick analysis and compared the consultants listed on the web site in May 2008 versus today (March 2015). The total number of consultants is essentially flat. The interesting statistic is the churn: approximately 80 per cent of the consultants employed by DHR International in 2008 have left over the seven years. That is a high churn in a professional services firm - over 10% per year.

Of course, many consultants have come and gone during this time and so the turnover will be even higher.

Can anybody guess why?