Elena has been a Partner at ghSMART since 2007. She is a highly sought after advisor for leading CEOs, boards, and investors globally. Elena initiated and co-leads The CEO Genome Project® featured in a cover article of Harvard Business Review and in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller book The CEO Next Door. The CEO Genome Project® is an extensive research and client practice supporting CEOs, executives on the path to CEO, and boards managing all stages of CEO succession. The research explores paths and behaviors that lead to the top, typical setbacks CEOs encounter and ways to prevent them. This research and insights have been featured in leading CEO forums, on TEDxUPenn, CNN.com, other major media and conferences.
Prior to joining ghSMART, Elena was an Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company, where for six years she advised CEOs and senior executives of Fortune 500 companies and major private equity players on the issues of M&A, business strategy, organizational change (including CEO “100 day” plans), and operations. Her clients included major corporations in media, technology, and financial services industries. Elena was a core member of the McKinsey Media & Entertainment practice and authored several publications on advertising sales strategies, marketing effectiveness, and organizational transformation. Elena led design and rollout of a new candidate assessment system across McKinsey US offices and has been actively involved in candidate assessment, training, and coaching since 1999.
Prior to McKinsey Elena started her career in finance and accounting, first with Andersen Worldwide in New York and later with AIG-Brunswick private equity in Moscow, Russia. Elena actively supports non-profit institutions including Social Finance, Washington National Cathedral Schools, The Economic Club of New York, and others. Elena holds an MBA in finance from Wharton. She received a CPA license and a BS in Accounting with Magna Cum Laude from SUNY Binghamton. Elena completed Leadership Coaching certification at Georgetown University. She also completed three years at the Moscow State Pedagogical University majoring in education, with coursework in psychology. Elena lives in Washington DC with her family.
Select publications and speaking:
- The CEO Next Door: The 4 Behaviors that Transform Ordinary People into World Class Leaders (Random House, 2018) Botelho, Powell and Raz
- TEDxUPenn Decoding the CEO genome: What big data says about world’s top leaders (2019)
- Unexpected Companies Produce Some of the Best CEOs (Harvard Business Review, 2020) Botelho, Kos
- When the Heir Apparent Is the Wrong Choice for CEO (Harvard Business Review, 2019) Botelho, Hayden
- The Fastest Path to the CEO Job, According to a 10-Year Study (Harvard Business Review, 2018) Botelho, Powell, Wong
- How CEOs Without College Degrees Got to the Top (HBR, 2018) Botelho, Powell, Tetali
- What to Do If Your Career Is Stalled and You Don’t Know Why (HBR, 2018) Botelho, Creagh
- Research: When Getting Fired Is Good for Your Career (HBR, 2018) Botelho, Wright, Powell
- What Sets Successful CEOs Apart (HBR, 2017) Botelho, Powell, Kincaid, Wang
- 4 Behaviors of Top-Performing CEOs (HBR IdeaCast, 2017) Botelho
- The Dangers of Hiring a Nice CEO (HBR, 2016) Botelho, Wang, Powell