Marketing Director – Global Market Leader (FMCG/CPG)

The Challenge

Our client is a global leader in its category.  The current team were high quality but there was a lack of international diversity in the key global marketing roles.  They had experienced rapid growth in ASIAPAC and South America and they wanted candidates who had both worked and lived in these markets so they could better relate to the local teams.

The Approach

We first needed to understand our client’s growth plans and identify the key countries of interest.  This included flying out for a site visit and meeting and interviewing members of the team who had recently joined to get their perspective on the cultural characteristics successful candidates would need.

We used our knowledge of the top global marketing talent from across the fmcg sector, supplemented by targeted search in related industries.

We had weekly review calls to ensure the client was updated on progress and to gauge the level of interest from the market.  Early on in the process we discovered that the expat package on offer was not sufficient and this was subsequently upgraded to ensure we did not miss out on the best talent.

We interviewed candidates both in London and mainland Europe to assess their fit to the desired profile and agreed a recommended shortlist of 6 candidates.  The shortlist comprised two Germans, one Indian, one Brazilian, one American and one British national.

We provided full client and candidate support throughout the interview process and offered honest and constructive feedback.  We helped with the contract negotiations and offered advice on relocation as the successful candidate was currently based in Asia.

The Outcome

The new employee has made an immediate impact both from a cultural and skill set perspective.  It has helped the current team realise the need to diversify and led to 2 additional briefs.

Commercial Director – UK Based SME (Food)

The Challenge

Our client had gone from start-up to £10 mill t/o after establishing a new niche food category.  Their growth had outpaced both the strength of their management team and infrastructure and they required a Commercial Director to help them with the next phase of their growth.

The Approach

We met with the client to understand their unique culture and specific requirements.  It soon became apparent that the successful candidate would need a broad set of skills and experience which covered both UK multiples, impulse and convenience channels as well as a strong network of International Distributors.  They would also be required to manage a growing sales and marketing team.

Our search focussed on both candidates in corporate businesses who were looking for a new, exciting challenge and established Commercial/Sales Directors who currently worked within other recognised SME/Mid Cap’s.

In one of our early review meetings we advised our client that to land their favoured candidates they would need to offer an equity incentive to draw them away from their current businesses.  After deliberation this became part of the package and helped improve the quality of the shortlist.

We used traditional search methods but fully utilised our strong network within the SME sector.  This two pronged approach worked well and we shortlisted five strong candidates; 2 from corporate blue chips and 3 from SME’s.

We offered extensive guidance and support to inexperienced entrepreneurs going through this process for the first time and helped him land an exceptional Sales Director from a larger SME.

The Outcome

The candidate has made an immediate impact and introduced new systems and processes whilst maintaining the relaxed entrepreneurial culture.  They have also opened up distributor relationships in 16 new countries which will add £5 million to next year’s t/o.

CEO – Pe Backed Consumer Durables Business

The Challenge

Our client was a Private Equity business who had recently acquired a mid-sized consumer company.  The business had shown strong growth in the UK but had done little to expand its distribution to international markets.  The current CEO was stepping down after the acquisition and was recommending the current CCO as his successor.  The new Chairman and PE firm were not convinced that he was ready for the move up and retained us to conduct a thorough external search alongside the internal candidate.

The Approach

In our initial meeting we spent time with the PE firm and Chairman and also organised a meeting with the outgoing CEO to get their perspective on the current and future business challenges. Based on these meetings we helped produce a brief which suited all parties.

We produced a long list from leading executives within the category as well as adjacent sectors paying particular focus to candidates who had PE exposure and had demonstrated strong international growth.  All candidates were initially approached without disclosing our client’s identity and interviewed for their fit with the desired profile.  From here we selected 5 candidates to shortlist and prepared detailed reports on each of them.

In parallel we conducted a detailed assessment of the internal candidate and put him through an identical process.  We submitted his report alongside the others laying out his strengths and weaknesses.

The Outcome

One of the external candidates was ultimately successful but by putting the CCO through such a rigorous process and giving him honest, transparent feedback he was motivated to stay within the business and fully support the incoming CEO.  International growth exceeded 55% in the first 12 months.

CSO – Global Personal Care Business

The Challenge

Our client is a globally recognised consumer business with its corporate headquarters based in Europe.  They had identified significant inefficiencies across the planning, manufacturing excellence, procurement and talent development functions within the business. Subsequently the CEO made the decision to hire a seasoned Head of Supply to focus on taking cost out of the supply chain, without compromising quality and service. The decision was also made to move the reporting line from the CFO directly into his senior leadership team.

The Approach

Meetings were held with the current incumbent, the CFO and the senior stakeholders in order to identify the type of profile required. It was decided that the profile that would best fit the culture of the organisation was someone who had operated under both decentralised and centralised structures.

They also required someone who had come from a manufacturing background and had the ability to work collaboratively across functions (particularly sales and marketing).   This was vital to ensure a sustainable change in systems, processes and culture was achieved.

We produced a longlist of candidates from competitor and associated businesses globally and worked closely with the internal stakeholders to identify and prioritise these potential candidates.

Once these candidates were confirmed, approaches were made and a total of ten candidates were interviewed face to face.  This resulted in a shortlist of five candidates submitted to the client for consideration.

The Outcome

The successful candidate had held senior positions in world class organisations operating under both centralised and decentralised structures. The candidate had a very rounded background having had direct experience in the personal care category but also across a range of consumer businesses.

Since joining, moves have been made to identify and upskill talent across certain areas of the team and a strategy signed off to centralise certain parts of the supply chain. In addition to this, the search also included identifying potential talent for his new team.

VP Supply Chain – Premium Luxury Sector

The Challenge

Our client is a globally listed leader in the premium luxury consumer sector manufacturing high margin products. Their corporate headquarters are based in the US, the European Headquarters in Paris and they have a major distribution centre in the Benelux region.

Our client was looking for a seasoned Supply Chain executive with a particular strength in network optimisation, distribution and order to cash processes as they were re-designing the company footprint and implementing systems to improve their online order fulfilment channel.  Couple this with an emergence in EDI investment across the retail landscape and bringing the customer closer to the businesses there was a significant amount of change to be managed.  The business was also repositioning the supply management position to have a stronger voice within the organisation.

The Approach

Following a meeting with the key stakeholders, it was clear that finding someone with significant experience across the EMEA region was paramount, particularly a person who had operated in a business with a strong online presence and a combination of owned DC structure in Western Europe and an outsourced / distributor model in the Middle East and Africa.

Targets were identified and a shortlist of candidate presented.  From a shortlist of four, meetings were scheduled for the candidates at the EMEA and corporate HQ.

The Outcome

The new Supply Chain executive was hired within 8 weeks freeing up the previous incumbent to move into the new position within the business.  This reduced the internal impact and the new dedicated resource has allowed the strategy to move forward ahead of plan.

Operations Director – PE Owned UK Food

The Challenge

Our client is a branded food business recently acquired by private equity. The company had an extensive manufacturing footprint which was in need of significant review both in terms of location, talent development and investment. The COO was keen to find someone who was familiar operating both in a branded and an own label environment with a strong continuous improvement mind-set.

The Approach

Having targeted much of the UK food market, it was established that there were only a few companies with the footprint and the complexity of our client who had gone through a similar journey.

Although the pool of candidates was small there was a high level of interest in the position as the role was offering equity.

We interviewed 9 candidates and shortlisted five candidates who were presented to the client along with one internal candidate.

The Outcome

The client decided to appoint someone who had started their career in private label and had since moved into an branded business from within food. The successful candidate had also spent time working in an internal consulting position running a global TPM programme and had a strong focus on cost. Since joining the business the candidate has begun to deploy a Manufacturing Excellence programme with tangible results on waste reduction, health and safety improvement and increase in OEE.