David Pottruck - Former CEO, Charles Schwab


David Pottruck, Former CEO Charles Schwab

David Pottruck is the former CEO and President of Charles Schwab. David joined The Charles Schwab Corporation in 1984 as served as Executive Vice President of Marketing and led its innovative direct response advertising campaigns. He became Schwab’s President in 1992, co-CEO with Chuck Schwab in 1998, and CEO in 2002. David is currently the Co-Chairman of HighTower Advisors, a wealth management firm that he helped launch in 2008. He is also the Chairman of Red Eagle Ventures, an investment firm in San Francisco focused on privately held companies. He serves on the Board of Directors of Intel Corporation and, in addition, he is on the Board of Directors of several early-stage companies, including CorpU, a 21st-century corporate leadership development organization, where he is chairman.

Summary Notes on Advisors

What should companies look for when choosing advisors?

  • Domain Expertise: Experience in areas your company is developing or needs to develop
  • Experienced Advisors: People who understand the advisor role as opposed to a management role

What can an advisor help with?

  • If a CEO is figuring out how to scale and build the company from a human capital perspective, advisors who have been through HCM-related processes (hiring, firing, managing etc.) can be valuable

What are the best ways to work with advisors?

  • Important to have chemistry
  • Key to hold periodic meetings and discuss performance or other specific initiatives

What is an example of where an advisory relationship did not work and why?

  • As an advisor, the relationship doesn’t work when the advisee does not call or take advantage of your network
  • An advisory relationship can fail when it’s forced
  • When an advisor’s background is in a different industry, it’s important to acknowledge what similar functions he or she can help with