Excerpt from:
City By The Bay
A History of Modern San Francisco
1945 - Present

by Charles A. Fracchia
Executive Direction, Inc.  


Executive Direction fills a special niche in today’s business environment – the recruitment and consulting services of high-tech professionals in the information technology and software development fields. This need for specialized search services in building a technical work force extends not only to computer firms but virtually any business which is technology dependent.


Fred Naderi, 
CEO and President of 
Executive Direction


Rick Decker and Fred Naderi founded Executive Direction in 1979. Rick Decker, a computer analyst, had moved from the East Coast in search of better career opportunities. Fred Naderi had emigrated to the United States at the age of 17 to pursue a college education. The computer revolution not yet a reality, Naderi, fascinated by its potential, obtained a Master’s degree in Computer Science. Then, assisted by Rick Decker, who had moved into recruiting immediately landed a job with a local software firm. 

When Rick Decker decided to set up his own recruitment business, he offered Naderi a partnership. Decker subleased a tiny office on the corner of Pine and Sansome streets. Naderi worked standing up, in an adjacent kitchenette with only a wall phone and a telephone directory at his disposal. With dedication, hard work, and by word-of-mouth, their business grew steadily, as did the size of their office. Located on the same Financial District corner for over 18 years, the firm now occupies the entire 4th floor of the prestigious Pacific Stock Exchange Building. 

Executive Direction prides itself on having established a trusting relationship with the best of corporate world the city has to offer.


They count among their clients such established San Franciscan names as Wells Fargo Bank, McKesson Corporation, Levi Strauss, The Gap, and Pacific Bell. Neighboring Silicon Valley leaders such as Sun Microsystems, Oracle and Yahoo have also recognized Executive Direction as the best source for locating talented individuals. To meet the increased demand for qualified high-tech staffing, Executive Direction plans to open a second office in Silicon Valley in early 1998.



The philosophy of Executive    Direction is: Don’t try to be    everything to everyone, the    department store model, be the best  at what we can offer, the   boutique approach. As one of the   few recruitment firms to remain   independent, their emphasis has   consistently been on quality work,   not just big numbers.  

"Executive Direction, Inc. has the expertise in understanding how we work and is remarkably efficient in sensing our needs. They are exceptionally adept at working, partnering, and targeting very key individuals for our specific requirements
-Michelle Rittenburg,
VP Corporate IR, Sun Microsystems


This sharp focus has led to a 90 percent referral-based business and 30 percent to 100 percent growth in the last three years alone.

Executive Direction’s commitment to finding talented professionals starts with the industry expertise of their highly trained staff in all areas of technology. These employees are themselves veterans of the high-tech industry. They are intimately familiar with the type of talent sought by their clients. Striving to stay current, the staff regularly attends computer shows and studies the latest development trends in the high-tech marketplace.



"Executive Direction was a life saver for me some years ago at Pacific Telesis when I needed to put a top notch technical team together from scratch to go after an emerging market in a hurry."
-Scott Teissler,
Chief Technology Officer

Due to the influence of Silicon Valley, Bay Area companies have become highly computerized. Clients from around the globe are now looking to San Francisco and Executive Direction, having discovered that business today is increasingly dependent on technology personnel to stay competitive in a demanding marketplace.



Founder Rick Decker, now retired, is credited with the implementation of Executive Direction’s database system, developing unique software to house a revolving list of over 50,000 professionals. This sophisticated system not only tracks potential employees in all ranks of technology, but the ever-changing corporate personality of the client companies as well. The database provides a complete profile of a prospective candidate, not just listed skills and employment track record, but the non tangibles in the corporate culture, such as character and personality. This emphasis on recruiting “know-how” and “fit” has become an Executive Direction trademark.

As a result of corporate restructuring and downsizing, an increasing number of companies contract with high-tech professionals on a temporary basis to augment their permanent staffing needs. Combining contract and full-time employees has helped companies to achieve higher output per worker and greatly improve their productivity and competitiveness. Highly-specialized consultants are “warehoused” by Executive Direction and delivered to clients “just-in-time” for the duration of projects necessary to complete the job.




Among the advantages of contract hiring are built-in efficiency, eliminating the need for costly re-training of staff, keeping permanent staff at a manageable size, diminishing the threat of downsizing and/or wrongful termination suits and providing a smart way to excel in a technologically escalating society.


“Executive Direction is a customer focused organization that understands the personality of its clients and delivers qualified, compatible candidates.

James A. Pappas,

VP & CIO, SBC Directory Operations



This “just-in-time” temporary employment concept has become an integral component of Executive Direction services.

Fred Naderi discovered a need for career counseling after teaching computer courses through Berkeley’s University of California Extension program where he found an alarming number of computer science students floundering in their careers, unsure of how to advance, or so confused they were at risk of losing their careers altogether. What Naderi calls “career architecture” is a service of Executive Direction which provides career counseling and planning for a wide range of professionals from fresh MBA graduates to seasoned executives.




"Executive Direction recognizes the fine line between 'experience' and 'aptitude;' they focus on filling specific positions with the best talent in the industry."

Zod Nazem,VP Engineering,Yahoo,Inc.


Clients have found Executive Direction’s use of technology combined with focused recruiting expertise exceeds expectations, and saves crucial time and costly mistakes in staffing. 




The search process of Executive Direction provides clients with research, consulting, recommendations, and negotiations at the final stage of selection, all with the highest standards of objectivity and confidentiality. Executive Direction’s consulting service compliments full-time hiring and assists clients with the concept of “just-in-time” talent for greater productivity.




Over 500 major corporations have relied on Executive Direction to guide them to the brightest minds in the Bay Area.