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Clayton, Dubilier & Rice names new leadership team

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) has appointed Nate Sleeper as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and David Novak and Rick Schnall as Co-Presidents, effective 1 January, 2020. Donald Gogel, CD&R’s current Chief Executive Officer, will continue to serve as Chairman.

“I have worked closely with Nate, Dave and Rick for two decades and am confident in their abilities to carry the vision and values of the Firm forward,” says Gogel. “Today’s announcement reflects CD&R’s strong commitment to continuity, consistency and constancy of purpose. We have a very experienced group of senior professionals who range in age from their late 30s to 60s, including twenty partners with over a decade of tenure, which provides a strong foundation for future generational transition.”

Gogel, who has worked at CD&R for 30 years, was appointed President in 1995, Chief Executive Officer in 1998 and added the Chairman role in 2012 when Joseph L Rice, III, retired. At that time, CD&R was one the few leading global private equity firms to successfully complete a management changeover from its founders. CD&R has managed three leadership transitions over its 40 years, beginning with a transfer from Martin Dubilier to Rice, then to Gogel two decades ago, and again today to Messrs. Novak, Schnall and Sleeper. 

“Don has always encouraged a team approach to the leadership of the Firm which has proven to be highly effective,” says Sleeper. “We intend to continue this flat and flexible decision-making approach and look forward to working closely with the many CD&R Operating and Financial Partners who play critical roles in sourcing investments, driving portfolio company performance, managing successful exits and ensuring transparency with our investors. We are very committed to our partnership model.”

Novak (22 years at the Firm), Schnall (23 years at the Firm) and Sleeper (19 years at the Firm) will continue in their investment roles, as well as work closely together on Firm-wide leadership and management-related issues. Along with Gogel, all three will work together on a newly-formed Executive Committee that will focus on Firm governance-related issues. They will also remain on the Investment Committee, which Vice Chairman Kevin Conway will continue to Chair.

David Wasserman will continue as a Senior Partner until the end of the year and then become a Senior Advisor to the Firm. “David has been an outstanding Partner who has made many significant contributions to the Firm over 21 years. We are grateful for his support through this important transition,” says Gogel.

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