Temp Execs Gaining Favor in a Troubled Economy


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Objectivity and the lack of a political agenda allow a temporary executive to make tough decisions like layoffs and cutbacks.

Many employers today are finding the need to shift course given the changing economy, but they don’t have the leadership they need to do so. In hard times, firms want executives who can make difficult decisions and not worry about relationships, experts say. And that’s why more employers are turning to temporary executives.  

Los Angeles-based Business Talent Group, which has more than 1,500 temporary executives and 100 clients, has seen its business grow 47 percent year over year since its inception 2½ years ago. “We hear a lot from companies that want to bring in an interim executive to deal with a turnaround or crisis and who can make tough calls and be the bad guy,” COO Amelia Warren Tyagi says. “And then the next person can come in and rebuild loyalty and culture.”

Workforce Management New York bureau chief Jessica Marquez recently spoke to three temporary executives who work with BTG—William Kuehn, who often temps as an interim CEO; Philip Deming, who temps as a head of HR; and Sydney Drell Reiner, who temps as a chief marketing officer—about their experiences.

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