Kelly O. Kay


Office Location: San Francisco , Los Angeles

Phone: +1 415 2915220

Kelly O. Kay is the global managing partner of Heidrick & Struggles’ Software & Internet Practice and co-leads the firm’s global mobility sector based in the San Francisco office. He conducts searches on a worldwide basis for a wide range of technology companies focusing on the board, CEO, and sales and marketing officer roles. Kelly also leads the firm’s Marketing, Sales & Strategy Officers Practice for technology companies on the West coast, and has global account responsibility for many multinational technology companies.

Kelly’s focus and wide-ranging expertise in the technology sector includes SaaS, cloud, application and infrastructure software, internet content and services, digital transformation, social media, mobile devices, mobile services, mobile software, consumer electronics, open source software, storage and security solutions, virtualization software, unified communications, and big data/analytics for the enterprise, commercial, mid-market, and SMB markets.

Before joining Heidrick & Struggles, Kelly was a managing partner with a leading Silicon Valley boutique executive search firm where he conducted board, CEO and senior-level searches for leading technology companies specializing in growth, innovation, restructuring and global expansion. Prior to executive search, Kelly was a partner at the Center for Corporate Innovation (CCI), a nationwide CEO and C-level development, strategy and networking organization sponsored by McKinsey & Co.

Previously, Kelly served six years as chief marketing officer and co-founder of a nationwide management consulting firm, and earlier as general manager and vice president for a large public manufacturing company. Kelly also held various management roles at Gemini Management Consulting, and spent six years in sales with IBM Corporation.

Kelly serves on the advisory boards of Bunchball and Perzo. He has been interviewed numerous times for major publications such as Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones, as well as being quoted in FINS Technology’s, The New Tech Talent Exodus, and in FINS Sales & Marketing’s, Ten Startups Hiring Sales and Marketing Staff, as has been an industry conference speaker at the ASI Power Summit.


Kelly received a bachelors degree in marketing from the University of San Francisco and a MBA from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.