January 10, 2017 – Executive search firm ChampionScott Partners has placed Charles Cioffi as chief financial officer and chief operating officer of Bambeco, Inc. Founding partner and CEO Geoff Champion led the assignment. Mr. Cioffi brings three decades of expertise to his new roles. He will oversee Bambeco’s financial growth strategy and continue the company’s recent momentum.
“Chuck is a proven financial and operating leader with extensive experience in driving enterprise value and efficiencies,” said Susan Aplin, CEO and co-founder of Bambeco. “His financial and operational expertise and leadership is invaluable as we continue to expand our existing business channels and into new markets.”
“We were searching for a proven operational CFO to be the strategic business partner and finance expert to the CEO and investors, and who possessed success growing online retail businesses,” said Mr. Champion. “Bambeco anticipated rapid growth requiring strong financial management as well as the ability to drive value creation to fund the business’s growth as it continues to expand globally.”
“Chuck checked off these boxes and brought more to the table, bringing senior leadership experience in top financial and general management roles spanning technology start-ups to large scale multi-channel retailers,” Mr. Champion continued. “Most importantly, it was his strong cultural fit with the CEO Susan Aplin, the team and the investors at ABS Capital that created an exceptional outcome for our client and an outstanding opportunity for our candidate.”
Previously, Mr. Cioffi served as SVP, COO and CFO of The Robert Allen Group, a private equity owned fabric house that works with global brands such as Hobby Lobby, Jo-Ann Fabric, and Ethan Allen. There, he improved the company’s operations and financial position through a number of innovative measures. Prior to that, he held the role of VP, chief performance officer for HDA, Inc., a category manager of books and magazines for major internationals. Over the course of his 30-year career, Mr. Cioffi has also held senior positions at Home Decorators Collection, a subsidiary of The Home Depot, as well as Knights Direct and StreamSearch.
“I’m thrilled to be joining Bambeco, especially at such a critical stage in the company’s evolution. With strong operational and financial strategies in place, I expect Bambeco’s next five years to be marked by significant growth and success,” said Mr. Cioffi. “I look forward to working closely with Susan and the rest of her management team to realize Bambeco’s goals.”
Launched on Earth Day 2009, Bambeco is a premier brand for sustainable home goods. Every product of the company is designed to ensure it is made using responsible processes and materials that are reclaimed, repurposed, renewable, recycled, natural, or organic.
ChampionScott Partners is an executive search firm focused on the technology industry and related sectors. With offices in Atlanta, Boston, London, Naples, New York, Silicon Valley, Shanghai, Tokyo and Washington, D.C., the firm has an established record in recruiting CFOs for companies, including Payspan, Nintex, World Air Holdings, Sonus Networks, LookSmart, and Gadzoox.
Mr. Champion’s industry experience entails working at the most senior C-levels for large scale and middle market companies in the U.S., Europe and Asia. He has conducted board, CEO and senior executive appointments for leading edge companies in the digital media, business to business services, telecommunications, consumer, educational services and financial technology sectors. His extensive international experience has allowed him to successfully develop client and firm wide relationships based on a comprehensive and unique understanding of the critical success factors for building and growing businesses globally.
Fast Track to CEO
According to executive recruiters specializing in financial officer search mandates, CFOs are fast-tracking into CEO roles with increased frequency and predictability.
“Boards tend to see two people with regularity: the CEO and CFO. Boards want people with outstanding external communications skills, strategic orientation and comfort with the balance sheet to become CEO — all skills possessed by great chief financial officers,” said Peter Crist, chairman of executive search firm Crist | Kolder Associates. It might be why, he said, that many really strong CFOs now aspire to become CEO.
“The CFO is, in the vast majority of public companies, viewed as the No. 2 executive to the CEO,” said Mr. Crist’s colleague, Scott Simmons, a Crist | Kolder managing director. “The CFO has a unique vantage point to see the entire enterprise and interact with the board of directors. If a CFO has operational knowledge and truly understands the underpinnings of the business, not just the numbers, then he or she will and should be seen as a legitimate CEO succession candidate.”
“If a CFO truly wants to become a CEO, he or she must have the right motivation for doing so,” Korn Ferry CEO Gary Burnison told CFO Magazine recently. “The ambition shouldn’t be driven by ego or by an assumption that moving up is the next logical step in a career that has been marked by continual advancement.”
Mr. Burnison said the process begins with the self-awareness needed to move beyond what is comfortable and develop a requisite broader array of leadership strengths. Mr. Burnison served as CFO at Korn Ferry before taking the CEO reins.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media