JM Search Expands on the West Coast, Appoints Former Software CEO Kevin Kernan to Lead the Expansion

JM Search, a leading retained executive search firm for private equity and venture capital investors, portfolio companies and Fortune 1000s, has expanded to Seattle, Washington and Los Angeles, California. The expansion is being led by Kevin Kernan, a former software executive and experienced executive recruiter who joined the firm as a Partner in 2016 and is based in Seattle. The new locations add to the firm’s existing offices in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia.

“Seattle and Los Angeles represent key growth areas for our firm, particularly in the technology sector where we have seen heightened demand for elite executive talent in both markets,” said Mr. Kernan. “Growing our presence in Southern California and the Pacific Northwest will allow us to better serve our growing client roster in these regions.”

Mr. Kernan focuses on recruiting CEOs, C-Level executives and direct reports to the C-Suite for SaaS, Cybersecurity and Analytics companies as a member of the firm’s Technology practice. He brings over 30 years of executive leadership and recruiting experience within the Technology sector to the firm and came to JM Search after six years as a Managing Director at ChampionScott Partners, a technology-focused retained executive search firm.

Before transitioning to executive search, Kevin spent 25 years in leadership roles with Serena Software, Secure Software and Rational Software. As CEO of Secure Software from 2003 to 2007, he raised multiple rounds of venture funding from CRV, Updata Partners and Valhalla Partners, built the leadership team and successfully sold the business to Fortify Software, a portfolio company of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Fortify was subsequently acquired by Hewlett-Packard (HP) in 2010. For the 17 years prior, he held progressive senior leadership roles at Rational Software Corporation and was instrumental in the company scaling its revenue from $20 million to over $700 million before it was acquired by IBM for more than $2 billion in 2003.

“Kevin’s wealth of experience as a CEO, operating executive and board director, combined with his exceptional track record in executive search, uniquely positions him to advise clients on recruiting executive leadership,” said John Marshall, founder and CEO, JM Search. “Kevin has made an immediate impact on our firm and we are thrilled to have him leading our expansion on the West Coast.”

Kevin has served on three boards, is an active investor in several technology companies, and frequently coaches investors and their CEOs on building high performance teams. Having lived and worked outside of the United States, he has a strong understanding of global go-to-market strategy.

In July 2016, JM Search made its first hire in Los Angeles, adding Jerry Fong as a Vice President. Mr. Fong joined the firm following nearly six years with executive search firm Morgan Samuels. He began his career as a management consultant with Accenture, where he served for ten years.