W3C Request for Proposals (RFP): W3C Chief Executive Officer (CEO) search

Publication date: 11 January 2023
Due date: by 23 January 2023
Project Management:
Personnel Committee of the W3C, Inc. Board of Directors
Document & access level:
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1. Summary

The World Wide Web Consortium Inc. (W3C) is issuing this Request for Proposals for the services of an Executive Search Firm (Firm) to assist in the recruitment of a Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The Firm shall assist the Personnel Committee of the W3C, Inc. Board of Directors in attracting, interviewing, and hiring a Chief Executive Officer.

Requested services include the development of a position description and terms of employment, development of recruitment plan, conducting a global search, vetting of qualified candidates, and decision assistance in final selection. The Firm will coordinate its efforts with the Chairs of the W3C Personnel Committee.

2. Introduction to W3C

W3C celebrated its 25th anniversary in October 2019. W3C’s mission is to lead the World Wide Web to its full potential by developing protocols and guidelines that ensure the long-term growth and sustainability of the Web. The Web provides social value by enabling human communication, commerce, and opportunities to share knowledge. W3C's standards define key parts of what makes the World Wide Web work including horizontal efforts to develop standards in support of accessibility, privacy, and internationalization. One of W3C's primary goals is to make these benefits available to all people, whatever their hardware, software, network infrastructure, device, native language, culture, geographical location, or ability.

Historically, four institutions partnered to "host" W3C: MIT (in Cambridge, MA, USA), ERCIM (France), Keio University (Japan), and Beihang University (China) with staff members distributed around the world and a consolidated operating budget of approximately US $9.2M. W3C incorporated in Delaware in 2019 and formed its inaugural Board of Directors in October 2022. W3C filed with the IRS in December 2022 for recognition of exemption as a 501(c)(3) non-profit which will continue to work with the distributed staff while consolidating financial and administrative functions.

You can read more on W3C's organizational structure.

3. Services Requested

The W3C Personnel Committee seeks the following services to assist in the process of identifying a new CEO:

It is desired that the entire search process be concluded in four to six months from execution of the contract.

4. RFP Submission Requirements

Proposals should be no more than 15 pages, not including references, and cover the following:

  1. Organization Description: Brief history and summary of your firm and expertise.
  2. Recruitment Approach: Describe the process to be used to find a successful candidate for the W3C CEO role. Detail how you will accomplish the above scope of work, including a clear delineation of the firm’s responsibilities and the expectations of W3C. Include any networks to be used on behalf of this search.
  3. Deliverables: Delineate how success will be measured throughout the process.
  4. Proposed Timeline: Estimate the start and end dates for each phase of the search process.
  5. Budget: Proposed cost along with narrative description of what is included in this cost.
  6. References: Provide two references:
    1. A successful CEO search, where the CEO has been with the organization more than three years. Please provide contact information for both the CEO and, if possible, the board member contact with whom the firm contracted.
    2. A recent (within the past 12 months) CEO placement. Please provide contact information for the CEO as well as the board or staff contact with whom the firm worked most closely.

Please note that the W3C Personnel Committee and the W3C Board of Directors include people with visual disabilities and people for whom English is not their first language. You should take this into consideration when preparing your proposal.

Proposals must be sent electronically in a single file to: ceo-search-rfp@w3.org with subject line: W3C CEO Search.

By submitting a proposal, the firm authorizes W3C to contact references to evaluate the firm’s qualifications for this project.

5. Evaluation Criteria

All proposals will be evaluated based on the following key criteria:

While the order of these factors does not generally denote relative importance, W3C acknowledges that selecting best value providers primarily requires a balanced combination of (1) reasonable rates, (2) strong experience and demonstrated expertise in providing Executive Search Services, and (3) a demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion through ownership or existing collaborative relationships.

Disclaimer: This RFP does not commit W3C to select any firm, award any work order, pay any costs incurred in preparing a response, or procure or contract for any services or supplies. W3C reserves the right to accept or reject any or all submittals received, cancel or modify the RFP in part or in its entirety, or change the RFP guidelines, when it is in the best interests of W3C to do so.

6. RFP Selection Process

  1. W3C distributes request for proposals Wednesday, January 11, 2023. Note: Members of the W3C Team and Personnel Committee will be available for informational discovery and clarification.
  2. Interested parties must respond by Monday, January 23, 2023.
  3. The W3C Personnel Committee will review all proposals and select the top 2 candidate firms. Target date is Monday, February 6, 2023.
  4. The committee will set up meetings with the final candidates and key W3C personnel. Target completion date of these meetings is Monday, February 20, 2023.
  5. contract will be finalized with the selected firm. Target kick-off date is early-March 2023.