Carlos F. Cata

Carlos F. Cata

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About Carlos

Carlos F. Cata is the managing partner of Caldwell’s Chicago office and the Modern Marketing and Growth Officers practice, as well as a leader in DEI efforts both at the firm and client level. He is often asked to advise on strategies to unlock growth in the areas of marketing modernization, ESG/DEI and digital transformation. Download vCard.

Carlos excels at advising clients at the intersection of talent, growth and innovation where companies and brands seek to play a more relevant role in enhancing customer experiences. His search practice spans across the spectrum of commercial leadership functions for financial services, consumer, fintech and PE-backed companies. He also brings a special focus on coaching and developing Latino leaders as they embark on C-suite and board roles.


​Prior to joining Caldwell Partners, Carlos enjoyed a 14-year executive search career in which he led the CMO and Marketing Practices at both Heidrick & Struggles and DHR Global. As an executive, he spent 18 years as a marketing leader, entrepreneur, and consultant working for some of the world’s premier companies including Procter & Gamble, Kraft Foods, and as a founding partner of Frontera Foods which was later sold to Conagra Brands.


Carlos earned an MBA, with distinction, from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, as well as a B.S. in finance, magna cum laude, from Miami University.

More About Carlos

Carlos currently sits on the Board and Executive Committee for the American Cancer Society for Illinois. He is a founding member of the firm-wide DEI Council. He previously served on the National Board of the Make-A-Wish Foundation as Chair of the Nomination and Governance Committee as well as on the Executive Committee. He previously served on Duke’s Fuqua School of Business Minority Advisory Board and Ann & Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago’s Foundation Board.

In addition to his non-profit board work, Carlos is on the Advisory Board of the Hunt Club, a high growth tech enabled recruiting platform. He has published numerous articles on the role of marketing and diversity as a contributing editor for Forbes, Hispanic Executive and Advertising Age. In addition, he was featured in Crain’s Business for his work on recruiting Latino leaders and was a Distinguished Guest Speaker for the Goizueta Latinx Business Association.

Recent Feedback

“Both Carlos Cata and Jay Millen quickly formed a deep understanding of our company’s structure, culture, and needs, and were spot-on in their assessments of potential “fit” of the candidates they presented. We look forward to partnering with Caldwell again on future executive searches.” – Maggie Yontz, Vice President, Human Resources

Working with Carlos and Georgia was a pleasure. Excellent partnership and process. Search moved with speed and candidates presented were high quality and strong potential fit for the role. Would highly recommend.” – Vice President of Talent Acquisition, Executive Recruitment, international financial services company

“The team treated me with respect. They communicated clearly, coached me through each step and genuinely seemed to care about what I wanted out of a job at this point in my life. They were also clear about what the company was trying to solve for to ensure that I would be a fit and happy for the long term.” – Vice President, Brand and Communications, American venture capital firm

Recent News

The Role of Marketing in Professional Services Firms. When skills, knowledge, and expertise are already expected by clients, how can professional services firms differentiate themselves? We (virtually) sat with Michael DeCosta and Carlos Cata recently to talk about marketing and branding in professional services. Both have 25 years’ experience in executive search and marketing, making this a perfect pairing. Learn from experts on how to market your professional services firm, how to attract top marketing talent and more in this recent conversation.  -read more-

Marketing in the Age of COVID-19. COVID-19 has had a far-reaching effect, and brands and marketing approaches have not been immune. In the past several weeks our own Carlos Cata has taken note of a number of insights that can help leaders play stronger offense in this defensive world. -read more-

Forbes: CMO Next 2019: 50 Game-Changing Marketing Leaders. Chief marketing officers sit at the forefront of change within their organizations, driving technology investment, innovation, customer experience, new-product development, and the shaping of purpose, values, position and culture. -read more-

Waterman Hurst: 96% of Corporate Leaders Agree: Gender Pay Gap Must Be Fixed. The momentum is building, you read and hear about it almost daily. More board, CEO and top-level jobs are going to women in almost every industry and the drumbeat about the gender pay gap is loud and clear. But is this more of a media movement than a real fix? Will the momentum die before 50/50 leadership is achieved and before women and men are paid the same? -read more-

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