DHR Lands CEO for Turtle Wax

February 24, 2016 – DHR International has recruited Gary Walrath as chief executive officer of Chicago-based Turtle Wax. Managing partner Carlos F. Cata led the search along with partner Christine DeYoung.

Mr. Walrath brings over 25 years of finance, operations and general management experience across the technology space within public and private companies. Most recently, as CEO of STATS for 12 years, he led the expansion of the company from $11 million in revenue, breakeven, 68 employees with clients and operations only in the U.S., to $95 million in revenue, and $14 million profit, 700 staff with facilities in 14 countries and clients in 44 countries. He also spent 15 years overseas in Hong Kong and Tokyo and held business development roles spanning India, China, Japan, and Southeast Asia.

“We are thrilled to have placed an inspirational leader who uniquely brings the ability to bring a deep sense of trust and purpose to the private owners of Turtle Wax with the requisite skills to advance a global growth strategy,” said Mr. Cata.

“Turtle Wax is one of those iconic brands with great potential. The search caught the eye of many high caliber consumer products leaders who saw the opportunity to make a true impact. We were delighted to manage a process with a great outcome in less than 90 days.”

Turtle Wax is a global provider of car care goods with sales in over 90 countries. Founded more than 60 years ago, the company is recognized for its continuous innovation in manufacturing appearance and performance car care products for the retail consumer market and the commercial car care and professional detailing industries on a global basis.


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Consultants in DHR’s consumer practice group have extensive experience providing executive search and leadership solutions to a variety of consumer organizations. Clients range from small, emerging and mid-sized companies to leading Fortune 500 multinational consumer goods and services organizations.

Mr. Cata’s search focus extends across the commercial leadership function for financial services, consumer, professional services, and life science clients. Ms. DeYoung has served public and privately clients, including PepsiCo, Abbott, Sears, Starcom MediaVest Group, Walgreens and portfolio companies Swander Pace Capital and Beecken Petty O’Keefe.

In recent months DHR has tapped CEOs for a diverse mix of organizations. Just recently, the firm recruited Guenter Butschek as managing director and chief executive officer of Tata Motors. Frank Smeekes led the global assignment along with Amélie Bonneville, director talent acquisition (Europe), and Lorenz Pestinger, vice president of talent acquisition (Asia-Pacific).

In November, the firm placed Rick Homans as president and CEO of the Tampa Bay Partnership. The search was completed by David Smith, partner – economic development, and Tina Winner, a partner at DHR’s Jobplex. Also that month, DHR recruited David M. Roche as CEO for Phoenix-based Heard Museum. The search was completed by Bill Franquemont, a partner in DHR’s Phoenix office.

DHR was recently awarded six hospital CEO searches from the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HCC); the assignments will be led by managing partner Robin Singleton and principal Dan Carney. The firm has also been retained by Gibson Brands to lead five senior-level searches, including filling the company’s CFO post and CHRO role. Rod Malcolm, managing partner of DHR’s global consumer practice, is leading a team of recruiters to fill these positions.

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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