Our Team

Timothy W. O’Brien

Managing Director

My Role at RSR Partners

I joined RSR Partners almost a decade ago and opened the firm’s first branch office in Cleveland. Over the past few years, the Cleveland office has grown significantly, and we have built a great practice serving some of the region’s most successful businesses. Because our team is so highly self-motivated and driven, most of my time is dedicated to assignment management and search execution, both of which I love.

How I Deliver Impact

I believe that I was made for search and derive great joy and continuously renewed energy from the hunt for outstanding leaders across the waterfront of general management and senior functional leaders. One of my former colleagues from my firm said that I often care even more than the client does about the outcome of each search.

Expertise I Bring to the Firm’s Clients

In my 30 years in the search profession, I have served a multitude of clients, from large, multi-national corporations, to mid-size industrial companies, to early-stage start-ups.

I began my career in search with Booz Allen Hamilton, which gave me an excellent grounding in all of the fundamentals of effective search execution. When Booz decided to exit the search business, I spent the next several years with Russell Reynolds Associates and rose to executive director. Because I have some entrepreneurial inclinations, I was compelled to launch my own search firm in the early 1980s. I ran O’Brien & Company for nearly 20 years, and then decided it would be fun to return to the larger firm environment. After some time working at Heidrick & Struggles where I was part of the firm’s Industrial and Human Resources Practices, I answered the call from our chairman, Russ Reynolds, to join his new firm. And because he encourages building through creative approaches, I have been busy and satisfied ever since.

Life Outside RSR Partners

I have a rich and satisfying life outside the bounds of work, though, frankly, my work and free time often merge because my craft often feels like leisure. My spouse of many years and I enjoy international travel; and after visiting Europe numerous times, we are now exploring Central America. We collect art of all periods. And after spending most of my adult life living in a high-rise condominium, far above the ground, I have become an avid gardener at our new townhouse home, where I also serve as the association’s treasurer. In the recent past, I served on the foundation board of Cleveland’s largest library system, and chaired the adult education program at my church. I enjoy road biking and have biked through Spain, France, Austria, and Hungary.

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