Suzanne M. Burns is a trusted advisor to numerous public and private company CEOs and Boards. An expert on Board best practices, CEO succession planning, organizational and cultural alignment, and attracting developing diverse talent to drive shareholder value, Suzanne is a member of Spencer Stuart’s Board, CEO, Industrial, Private Equity, and Digital Transformation practices.

Trusted C-suite advisor

  • Suzanne advises global clients on board and C-suite talent selection, cultural transformation and board effectiveness to increase competitiveness.
  • She also leads the firm’s B2B distribution and building/architectural product teams. Ms. Burns serves manufacturing and distribution clients around the world, bringing more than 25 years of industrial experience in the areas of general management and strategic growth leadership.
  • Prior to joining Spencer Stuart, Suzanne served as chief talent officer for W.W. Grainger, the global MRO distributor, and led the supply chain and distribution center integration of 11 previously acquired businesses into a new U.S. omni-channel business model.
  • Previously, as president of Fluid Management, a subsidiary of IDEX Corporation, Suzanne launched IoT-enabled digital predictive diagnostic technology into DIY big-box channels.
  • Earlier, she spent 17 years with Eaton Corporation. She was president of the $1 billion global electrical Power Quality business following the acquisition of Powerware. She also oversaw the integration of $2.2 billion, 15,000-person hydraulic manufacturer Aeroquip-Vickers across 84 facilities worldwide. As director of international development from 1995 to 1998, Suzanne led Eaton’s expansion beyond North America and Europe and established 15 start-up/joint venture investments in Asia and Latin America.

Suzanne is active in the Chicago community as a member of The Chicago Club, The Economic Club of Chicago, Women Corporate Directors, The Executives’ Club of Chicago and the University Club of Chicago. She is a member of the board of the Chicago Botanic Garden and the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago Foundation. Ms. Burns previously chaired the nominating and governance committees for Communities In Schools of Chicago and Leadership Greater Chicago. As Spencer Stuart’s representative on the America’s Board of the Association of Executive Search Consultants and a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors, she stays abreast of the latest trends in corporate governance. Suzanne holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.

Practice Areas