CalPERS opens search for CEO

The largest US pension system has launched its effort to replace current chief executive Anne Stausboll, offering a six-figure salary and a sizeable yearly bonus.

The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) has launched its search for a new chief executive officer (CEO) to replace Anne Stausboll, who will retire 30 June.

The search is being led by New York-based recruitment firm Heidrick & Struggles.

The CEO will lead and manage the pension fund, its health benefit programs and its 2,700 employees, and oversee the executive leadership team across multiple offices, including the investment office.

The annual salary range for the role is $224,000 to $352,800, depending on the candidate’s qualifications, with the opportunity to earn an annual performance award of up to 40 percent of base salary, according to a description on the CalPERS website. Stausboll, for example, received a $113,679 bonus in 2014, according to CalPERS data.

The pension is looking for a candidate to commit to at least a five-year tenure in the position.

CalPERS included a list of parameters for its new CEO, including 15 years of experience leading “large, complex, high performing organizations;” someone “politically astute” with a track record of “positively balancing multiple stakeholders;” and someone “strategic, innovative, and creative and, at the same time, known for effectively managing scaled operations and technology.”

Stausboll, who announced her retirement last month, has served as chief executive of CalPERS since January 2009, when she became the first woman to lead the pension fund. At the time of her appointment, CalPERS had marked a 26 percent loss of its investment assets and faced an ethics scandal involving former officials, including former CEO Fred Buenrostro.

“She led us through a difficult period, and we have emerged as a more accountable, transparent, and smarter institution,” stated CalPERS board president Rob Feckner.