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Wishing John Jennings Well in Retirement and WATSON’s Ongoing Commitment to Board Director and Executive Search

November 30, 2023

Posted in: WATSON Views

At the end of this year, WATSON will bid farewell to John Jennings. As Partner, Board Director and Executive Search, John helped scores of organizations find their board directors and senior executives, and helped shape the future of WATSON as the firm has grown.

But before we let him go, we had a few last questions for John about his time at WATSON…


WATSON: It’s been six years since you first joined the WATSON team. How have things changed in that time?

John Jennings: Well, there are certainly a lot more of us! I still have the “Welcome John” sign I received on my first day in October 2017 with everyone’s signatures on it – all twelve of them. Today, that sign would need space for three times as many signatures, and trips to Toronto and Ottawa, to get everyone’s name on it.


W: What do you consider your most memorable moment during your tenure at WATSON?

JJ: There are many to choose from, but those that stand out most revolve around how the leadership team responded to the pandemic, initially taking action to ensure everyone’s health and safety, next reassuring the team about job and financial security, and then engaging in initiatives to preserve morale and our strong culture. I was proud to see our people-first principles really shine through in those first weeks of uncertainty.


W: You’ve advised so many organizations in recruiting their board directors and senior executives. Do you have any parting words to share with them?

JJ: I want to say “thank you” for the trust placed in our team to recruit your leaders. There are a lot of important positions in an organization, but none that will affect the future as much as the board directors and C-suite executives. It’s been a privilege to partner with search committees and CEOs in building ever-stronger leadership teams.


W: As you embark on an exciting new chapter, what are you most looking forward to?

JJ: The pursuit of a single-digit handicap. That, and allaying my wife’s concerns that I’ll drive her crazy being around so much.


W: Is there one message you’d like to share before you set your permanent Out of Office notification?

JJ: I was attracted to this career by the opportunity, challenge, and responsibility to recruit the right leaders with the right skills at the right time for Canadian organizations. As I reflect on that body of work, particularly the last six years with WATSON, and the impact those leaders have made in their respective organizations, our team has successfully achieved that mission. Further, I’m more confident than ever that my WATSON colleagues will continue to deliver outstanding results for clients across all the services we provide.


Thank you, John, for your leadership and invaluable contributions over the past six years. Here’s to a retirement that’s better than a hole-in-one – filled with joy, great company, and endless adventures!

WATSON’s Board Director and Executive Search team, led by Barb Schimnowsky and Sharon Rudy, look forward to continuing John’s legacy of excellence in helping organizations across Canada recruit their leaders.