In this episode of the Sport Lifestyle Podcast, we speak with Steve Bonomo from Arete Partners, a global executive search firm. Prior to Arete Partners, Steve was head of talent acquisition at Twitter, adidas, and TaylorMade. We discuss his time working for leaders like Mark King, Herbert Hainer, and Jack Dorsey, along with the venture back companies he’s now recruiting for.

Podcast Highlights

2:20 – What is Arete Partners: “We are a leadership search firm working with early stage startups. We’re that player coach that knows how to get in there, lead an organization, see the possibilities, roll up their sleeves and just build from the ground up. 

3: 40 – Working with CEO of TaylorMade Mark King: “He would give lots of people chances if he felt that they had potential, if they were made up with good values.”

5:26 – Story about John Daly: “It was around the Buick Open and John Daly actually won it that year. We got all the employees out in the parking lot and we knocked on John’s door and we’d set up a bit of, almost like a driving range or a portion of a driving range in the parking lot. And we wanted to see if he could hit the Callaway building with our new golf ball.”

7:50 – Moving to Germany to work for adidas: “I actually had the opportunity within a well established, footwear apparel company to build something that nobody knew about.”

9:20 – Working with Jack Dorsey vs. Herbert Heiner: “They’re both a bit more on the introverted side. But they are very different people, but I would say they probably certainly had some common traits.”

11:03 – Does Jack Dorsey wear sandals to the office?: “Like he wears some of the most amazing sandals that I wouldn’t know where anybody would actually find. But he’s probably the most genuine, authentic, just deeply caring about every employee leader that you’ll ever come across and he’s super smart, but his humility just puts you in awe.”

12:33 – Jack Dorsey’s foresight on remote working: “I will tell you that Jack (Dorsey) was two years ahead of COVID. He just said, if you want to get the best and the most diverse talent in the world, you can’t require everybody to move to San Francisco. So back in 2018, he really pushed us to start to look at a decentralized strategy where people could work from almost anywhere. From a diversity standpoint, you need to be open to going after people all over the country, where they’re fully embedded into their communities and not ask them to leave and go to Silicon Valley where all of a sudden it’s one of the most homogeneous places in the world.”

19:30 – The difference between Arete Partners and traditional executive recruiting firms: “The founders of our company, six years ago, built this company through their relationships, with the VCs and understanding where the gap in that market was.”

21:33 – Changes in the workforce in the next 2-5 years: “I think at least in the US or in a specific country, you’re going to start seeing a lot more virtual work. This (COVID) has been an amazing test case to say, wait a second I don’t need to be on an airplane every other week, or I don’t need to fish just from the pond in front of my house because we have this amazing technology that allows people to connect.”