I came in as CEO in 2013, and E*Trade was struggling – it needed a turnaround. It was an existential crisis. Without Topgrading, E*TRADE would have gone under. Topgrading helped us survive and flourish. 

– Paul Idzik, CEO

The Company: E*TRADE Financial Corporation is a leading technology-enabled company and a well-recognized digital disruptor within the financial services sector.

Industry:  Financial Services

Topgrading and Business Results: 

  • From 25% to 75% A Players hired in upper management ranks
  • From 10-year performance of -20% to 3-year performance (since Idzik became CEO) of +150%

Quotes from the interview with Paul Idzik, CEO

  • When I took over as CEO toxic investments in the mortgage business dating back to the 2008 financial crisis were dragging the company down. I had very few A Players in the top 2 levels. A couple of key mis-hires could have caused the demise of the company.
  • 6 out of 7 of the top team were replaced, 100% with A Players, with the help of interviews by a Topgrading Professional.
  • Recruiting A Players became easier; the rigor of the Topgrading method sent a message to the financial world that E*TRADE is serious about talent. This attracted A Players.
  • The organization culture is dramatically better. Our A Players set high goals and work collaboratively.
  • I had used Topgrading at Barclays (where I was #2 executive) and at DTZ (where I was CEO; now Cushman & Wakefield), so with that experience I launched Topgrading without delay.
  • A Topgrading Professional conducted multiple 2-day Topgrading Workshops for managers across the company’s key locations.
  • I required that the Topgrading methods be followed (including Career History Form, phone screens, tandem Topgrading Interviews, and candidate-arranged reference calls).
  • A Topgrading Professional initially served as a tandem partner with some hiring managers, to serve as a role model, and to coach them ‘in real life’ after they had gone through Topgrading Workshop.
  • My advice: don’t just fight fires replacing a couple of people. Make achieving 90% A Players a never-ending quest, to be discussed and reinforced daily. Don’t settle for a B Player replacement for a C.
  • With Topgrading you can look forward to a much more positive, exciting organization culture with almost all A Players.

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