Herbert Mines Expands Search Staff, Redoubling Efforts to Find Retail Leaders

February 8, 2017 – Executive search firm Herbert Mines Associates has expanded with the addition of recruiting veteran Russell Boyle as managing director. He joined the search firm late last year.

Mr. Boyle has over 27 years of experience leading senior management and board of director searches as well as recruiting C-suite leaders and, in particular, chief financial officers. He is an expert in management assessment and development and has worked with a range of private and public companies within the retail, consumer goods and financial services industries.

Prior to joining Herbert Mines, Mr. Boyle spent 22 years at Egon Zehnder where he helped launch and lead the firm’s global financial officers practice as a senior partner. Additionally, he contributed as a member and leader in several other practice areas, including private equity, industrial, and financial services.


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Before to joining Egon Zehnder, Mr. Boyle managed M&A activities and investor relations in North America for WPP Group and later became a vice president for the Ogilvy & Mather subsidiary, participating in the financial management of O&M North America. Earlier in his career, he was an executive recruiter at a boutique firm and was also an investment banker and corporate financial manager.

Herbert Mines is a specialist search boutique focusing on the retail, luxury, consumer products, hospitality & food service, fashion / apparel, and e-commerce industries. The firm is noted for its C-level recruiting work, placing presidents, chief operating officers and CEOs at a number of branded retailers, including Fred’s; Neiman Marcus; Payless ShoeSource; Ulta Beauty; Mama Rosa’s Pizza; Oregon Ice Cream Co.; Fender; Black Diamond; and Bare Snacks, among dozens of others.


Winning Traits of Transformational CEOs:

How does behavior impact performance at the executive levels and in the C-suite? According to Jeff Christian, CEO of RevenueNOW and head of executive search firm Jeff Christian & Co, there are 10 traits exhibited by transformational CEOs that he and his colleague, behavioral assessment expert Dr. Tom Janz, have assembled. They include honesty and intergity, strong intellectual horsepower, a contagious work ethic, a nose for great talent, and humility ….. You can read more about these traits and others – here’s some further reading from Hunt Scanlon Media.

Herbert Mines Associates Lands CEO for Coach Brand
Last fall, Herbert Mines Associates recruited the chief executive officer and brand president of Stuart Weitzman, a high-end shoe company owned by Coach Inc. The search is one of many the firm has conducted at the CEO level, including Pier 1, Abercrombie & Fitch, Iconix Brand Group, Tuesday Morning and Chico’s.


Aside from Herbert Mines’ consultants, a number of other top recruiters dedicated to recruiting the best and the brightest across the sector continue to report in about the increased pressure from retailers to find new leaders in recent months.

Transformational chief executives, to be sure, are seen to be innovative leaders with a world view. And they are clearly in high demand. Herbert Mines says 31 percent of incoming retail CEOs are focused on international expansion as a key strategic priority, making that global mindset a competitive differentiator. Many of the search firm’s short lists now include executives with this background.

In recent years, 47 percent of public retail companies with revenues exceeding $1 billion experienced a chief executive change (up from 34 percent during the previous three years). During the past 10 years, 71 percent of retail companies have experienced a switch in CEO. That’s good news for recruiters mining the space for search work.

According to Korn Ferryretailers are facing major shifts in their businesses that call for ‘unprecedented responses’ by CEOs who can effectively lead through change, intuitively and analytically understand the evolving consumer, and respond to ambiguity. According to the firm, developed markets, excess retail capacity, rising prices, the shift to omni-channel retail, and the unpredictable pace of change in consumer shopping habits all affect the type of leader retailers now need.

There is significant evolution, innovation and disruption in the retail market right now and both are therefore poised as growth sectors for our industry,” said Margaret Gramann, managing director and leader of the consumer and retail practices at executive search firm Harvard Group International (HGI). “The consumer experience is at the heart of business success (or decline) – we need to delight them with what they want, what they need and what they (yet) don’t know they want and need. And we need to deliver an integrated experience so they have the agility to engage from home, at stores or mobile.”

How Search Firms are Responding

Search firms have responded over the past several months by taking on important searches and filling several top leadership posts for major players in the retail sector. Here is a look at a few from the Hunt Scanlon archives:

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

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