An internationally renowned premium apparel brand, with a strong presence in the European outlet sector, and with whom we have worked successfully over many years.
We were asked to find a VP Planning to be responsible for the creation, development and execution of financial plans, co-ordinate the introduction of new reporting tools, and collaborate with Buying Directors on quarterly financial planning. The person would need to have experience in strategic planning and product alignment and be able to focus on the profit dynamics across all channels. The client also requested candidates who were both commercially and technically strong, whilst being very much a people person.
In executive search, one of the most frustrating outcomes is when, after a long, detailed search, the preferred candidate is persuaded by their current employer not to leave. Typically, this involves a counter-offer – usually promotion and/or more money – and, disappointing as such a result is for us and for the prospective employer, the candidate’s decision has to be respected.
At the eleventh hour in our search the perfect candidate was wooed into staying put so the search had to start again.
Having been closely involved in the assignment for almost a year, we knew better than anyone the professional profile of the ideal candidate: they needed to have a high level of technical expertise, but also have ‘presence’. This time around, we hit the perfect synchronisation of time, people and events. A company was closing, senior executives were open to being approached and, as it turned out, the person we subsequently found matched the requirements of the job even more closely than the original candidate.
The changing needs of the business meant an inevitable restructure, much of it around our successful candidate. Confidentiality was key and we worked closely with just four very senior managers – two in the UK and two in Europe to bring the assignment.