Chuck Lew Retires from Retained Executive Search Firm He Founded

Charles E. (Chuck) Lew, an industry leader in retained executive search, will retire from the firm he founded at the end of July. The firm, which he began with one partner in 1979, continues to thrive under the leadership of Shana Plott, who was named CEO in 2016. The Charlotte-based firm has clients around the globe.

“Our team and clients are grateful to Chuck for his leadership and friendship,” Plott said. “Chuck has always insisted we provide exceptional client service, do high-quality work and maintain the utmost integrity. We’ll continue on this same path as we expand the business he built.”

“He’s worked long and hard during his career and has earned his retirement,” Plott continued. “We wish him the best as he continues in his roles of hands-on granddad, champion pickleball player and Porsche enthusiast. He’s not going to sit still for long.”

Lew sold his entire stake in the firm to Plott. The sale closed July 12.

Lew is philosophical about his long career: “When you establish a new business, you try to succeed in the short term. When you reach your one-year anniversary, you’re thinking about getting through that second year. I never imagined Coleman Lew would still be going strong nearly 40 years later. We’ve hired great people. Every company founder hopes his company goes on even after he retires. I have the utmost confidence in Shana and her team to continue growing the business and taking the firm in directions I never dreamed of.”

Coleman Lew has always been a generalist firm and will continue to serve a number of sectors, including education, technology/media/communications, consumer, financial services, healthcare, industrial, nonprofit and government. The firm is in a growth mode and has a team of 15 professionals.

Over the past 39 years and more than 375 search engagements, Lew has earned a national industry reputation. The majority of his searches have involved recruiting CEOs, presidents and general managers or their direct reports.

Lew earned his bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University. Prior to founding Coleman Lew, he was general manager of an office products company and later a recruiter in the Columbus, Ohio office of a national recruitment firm. A U.S. Marine combat veteran who served in Vietnam, he and his wife have four grown children and four grandchildren.

Coleman Lew is Charlotte’s longest-standing retained executive search firm.