John R. Sibbald Obituary
John Ristow Sibbald passed away in Atlanta, Georgia, on June 27, 2016 from complications of Parkinson’s.
Mr. Sibbald headed his own executive search firm after working with Hewitt Associates, Pfizer, and Booz Allen and Hamilton. Mr. Sibbald was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, and grew up in Reno, Nevada. He graduated from the University of Nevada and later completed a masters at University of Illinois at Champagne-Urbana. He served as a captain in the army in Germany, and as ROTC Instructor at the U of I.
Mr. Sibbald placed over 1300 senior executives in many Fortune 500 companies. Included in these are Abbott Labs, Baxter Travenol, Ralston Purina, British American Tobaccos and SC Johnson.
In the 1980’s Sibbald focused on the Private Club industry, influencing the hospitality industry with the same unique values imposed on candidates by corporate America. This led to substantial expectations for unique talent and experience for Club Managers and staffing requirements. High standards influenced revenue and membership for the Private Clubs in America.
Sibbald’s firm placed more than one thousand Club Managers and staff in prestigious Private Clubs. He founded The Platinum Clubs of America/World which helped establish the highest standard of excellence to which Private Clubs aspire. Club Leaders Forum was the first published informational guide and is today, an online source of inspiration for Club Managers and Governance.
John Sibbald published four editions of The Career Makers (Harper & Row) as well as articles on the old West and the Seventh Cavalry, (one with his own illustrations of drunken soldiers on the frontier). He was featured on Chicago television business reports with Terry Savage, and was recognized with various awards by The Board Room Magazine and a variety of Who’s Who publications. Articles by or about Sibbald often appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Cranes, St. Louis Business Journal, Business Week, and Time (“. . . one of the 10 best executive search firms”), along with articles which strongly opposed some of his ideas, notably the article “Bring Me the Head of John Sibbald” by John A. Byrnes, Business Week. Mr. Sibbald had “Maverick” emblazoned on his business card.
John Sibbald was an avid fisherman, on land for a trout in a swift rushing stream, or
in the fast and stormy corporate world for the most talented candidate.
The Sibbald Family will hold a small memorial service on August 11 at 10:00 a.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church in Reno, Nevada, the church his father built and served as rector at for many years. Sibbald is survived by John W Sibbald of Atlanta, Allison J. S. Tribble of Chicago, Wright Sibbald of New York City, and his sister, Jean Sibbald Ward of Santa Rosa, California.
The Sibbald Family appreciates the good wishes from Club Managers whose remembrances of John Sibbald have been special, and will continue preservation of the legacy.