About Us

We get to excellent faster.

Toft Group is a global executive search firm fully devoted to life sciences, with a special focus on innovation-driven companies at the intersection of biotech and high tech. Our track record shows we quickly fill highly specialized leadership and Board roles with an incredible sense of cultural fit.

Toft Group’s targeted, accurate searches translate into exceptional return-on-investment for clients in all of the three major U.S. biotech hubs we serve: San Francisco, San Diego and Boston. We know these talent pools like no one else, and bring a unique understanding to the hiring needs for key management and Board roles — because we’ve been there ourselves.

The life science industry is always in motion, adapting to new technologies, government regulations and pricing pressures. Toft Group navigates the fast-moving talent pool to build the strong, inspired and diverse team you need to excel.


Nearly 60% of placed candidates are identified within two weeks and presented to clients with the first slate of candidates.


92% remain at their company for at least two years.

“There’s a struggle for talent in the life sciences. To find and keep the best, you must look in the right places for those who are both a technical and cultural fit, and be diligent about providing career progression. We follow the same rules for our own company.”

— Robin Toft

WE CAN: The Executive Woman’s Guide to Career Advancement By Robin Toft

Toft Group is passionate about changing the future of health care, one relationship at a time.

We understand how critical it is for life science companies to have the right people in leadership roles. Many of us, including founder and CEO Robin Toft, have worked in-house as executives or hiring managers at leading biotech and pharma companies — and each one of us has seen first-hand the enormous impact that a single person can have on the course of a life science company’s short- and long-term success.

Robin Toft
Founder, CEO

Ron Giannotti
President & Chief Operating Officer

Lynnette Dillen
Chief Financial Officer

Lisa McCann
Executive Vice President, Recruiting

Heather Burns
Senior Vice President

Larry Hansen
Senior Vice President

Raul Lamas
Senior Vice President

Mark Soufleris
Senior Vice President

Angela Brooks
Vice President

Dani Gavson

Dani Gavson
Vice President

Steve Merwin
Vice President

Linda Sierra

Linda Sierra
Vice President, Customer Experience

Scott Jackson
Vice President

Tyeara Shelly
Executive Director

Sarah Cueto
Director, Executive Search

Maria Hargreaves

Maria Hargreaves
Director, Executive Search

Rachael Thor
Director, Customer Experience

Robin Snyder
Customer Experience Specialist

Dolly Bauer
Sr. Executive Assistant & Office Manager, San Francisco

Audrey Nimura
Executive Office Manager, San Diego

Our Approach

Toft Group ensures we understand your company culture and values so we can present you with the most promising candidates early in the process. Placed candidates are usually identified within the first two weeks.

Day 10 – 14

Targeted research and initial reach to candidates

Generate referrals from our network

Week 2

Present first slate of 4-6 candidates for “calibration”

Week 2 – 4

Client screens initial candidates

Toft Group continues interview process, meets candidates face-to-face

Week 4 – 6

Present finalist slate of top 4 – 6 available candidates

Week 6+

Finalists identified

Schedule on-site interviews for top 3 – 4 candidates

Continuous contact with client and candidates until hire

Transition Coaching

Maintain contact for years

Step 1: We identify the qualified candidates that best demonstrate organizational alignment, or “cultural fit” — a factor that strongly influences the success and longevity of a new hire.

Step 2: Next we focus on assessing “technical fit” to the expected qualifications, making exceptions for some “out-of-the-box” candidates that fit incredibly well on a cultural level, but may lack certain technical requirements.

Step 3: Interviewing begins. Within a 30-day period, we help clients conduct interviews as efficiently as possible to preserve the best candidates, who are in high demand by other employers.

Step 4: We communicate with detailed weekly reports and shared insights as the search progresses. Upon selection, we perform reference and background verifications, and prepare a recommended hiring package.

Step 5: An effective onboarding plan is crucial to accelerating a winning candidates’ impact within the first 100 days. We provide transition coaching to our placed candidates to ensure they can make an immediate impact.

Building Diverse Teams

The life science workforce of the future includes a greater share of women, ethnic minorities and millennials in leadership roles. Companies and Boards that can recruit and retain a diverse workforce will prevail.

Greater gender diversity is particularly valued among life science companies. A recent cross-industry study shows that while women make up about half of the workforce, they only represent 24% of the entire C-suite, 10% of the Board seats, and 5% of CEOs. This trend is particularly pronounced in the biotech sector.

While Toft Group always shares in our clients’ ultimate goal to find the best-possible candidates — regardless of gender, ethnicity or age — we feel that our relationships and networks enable us to present more highly qualified and diverse candidates than our clients would otherwise see.

“I’m going to say something about the life science industry that might come as a surprise, based on the very real numbers presented: It’s one of the best sectors around for women to land top executive roles.”

— Robin Toft

An Insider’s Guide to Bridging the Biotech Gender Gap

Network of Advisors

Through our ongoing collaborations with businesses that encompass all aspects of the life science industry in the markets we serve, we remain in-the-know about trends in the boardroom and beyond. We are always happy to provide clients with our recommendations for a broad spectrum of services they may need as they expand their organizations.

Gaylene Xanthopoulos

President and Founder
Leadership Edge

Carin Canale-Theakston

Founder, Chief Executive Officer
Canale Communications Inc.

Maggie Osburn

Executive Vice President, General Manager
HUB International Insurance Services Inc.

Katie W. McCarthy

Managing Director
Halloran Consulting Group, Inc.

Annette Winn

Senior Compensation Consultant

Carrie Corless

VP of Business Development
Ace Relocation

John D. Frager

Executive Managing Director

Dan Negroni

Founder, CEO Coach, Consultant, Speaker, Chief Launch Officer

Marco Rosa

Executive Coach, Simplified Coach, Inc.