Allen Austin Appoints Consumer Products and Retail Sector Leader

November 18, 2021 – Houston, TX-based search firm Allen Austin, parent company to Gaines International, has named Ken Wilcox as its newest partner and head of the consumer products and retail sectors in the executive search practice. “Ken is a truly exceptional addition to the Allen Austin team,” said Darcie Murray, senior managing partner. “Ken will help us make deeper inroads into the consumer space to complement our existing expertise in other industries. I look forward to collaborating closely with him as the firm continues its growth in the coming years.”

Prior to joining Allen Austin, Mr. Wilcox spent more than 30 years in increasingly senior roles in corporate America. His resume includes lengthy stints with some of the world’s most iconic brands, such as IBM, Campbell Soup, PepsiCola, Frito-Lay, Quaker Oats, Tropicana, Gatorade and Borden Dairy. He most recently led the national sales organization at Interstate Batteries. He has developed, coached and led small, medium and large-sized organizations, providing a balanced approach on people, consultative and business leadership.

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In his role with Allen Austin, Mr. Wilcox’s responsibilities will include overseeing the development of client engagements, by leveraging Allen Austin’s extensive portfolio of services, including executive search, leadership advisory, interim and project consulting solutions and coaching assignments. As a search consultant, he will oversee executive search projects for clients, managing client relationships, candidate research and execution.

“Allen Austin’s purpose, mission and values strongly resonated with me from the very first time I spoke with the leadership,” said Mr.  Wilcox. “I couldn’t be happier about joining the team. I’ve been in the consumer and retail space for most of my career, and I’m eager to partner with this already strong team, and quickly bring unique capabilities to bear at Allen Austin.”

Allen Austin is a top 40 global management consulting firm specializing in executive search and leadership advisory services. Founded in 1996, the firm partners with boards, CEOs and senior leaders of companies small and large, public and private, family-owned, private equity, venture-backed, domestic and international. Allen Austin has more than 30 partners managing client engagements from offices in 20 cities in North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.

New Solutions

Allen Austin recently introduced a new service offering to support leaders in pursuit of a culture of peak performance: Communication IQ. “Other assessments tend to do their best to describe you and build self-awareness, and then they leave it at that,” said Danielle Mairs, managing partner of Allen Austin’s leadership advisory practice. “Communication IQ, on the other hand, is both descriptive and prescriptive. It doesn’t just tell you about who you are – it tells you what you can do to improve, both as a person and as a team. It’s a growth mindset, not a fixed one.”

The Communication IQ methodology identifies seven communication styles, known as life languages, which individuals “speak” with varying degrees of fluency. While each person has their preferred styles, Communication IQ aims to help people communicate in all languages, making collaboration between team members a more positive and effective experience.

Earlier this year, Allen Austin released a new service offering: executive mentorship. The service connects talented new executives with qualified external mentors, providing a confidential space for learning and development. “We practice search as a specialized form of management consulting and are known for helping clients get clear about exactly what they are trying to accomplish and who and what they need to get there,” said Ms. Mairs. “We want candidates and clients to be happy together for many years to come. We match new hires with mentors who have been in their shoes, who know what it takes to succeed. It’s an investment in talent for the long term.”

Allen Austin, in partnership with Executive Springboard, engages a diverse group of more than 80 mentors, representing 15 functional areas, 10 countries and decades of experience in Fortune 1000 companies. Each mentor has a minimum of six years of experience as a senior officer and a long history of service as an internal mentor.

In Allen Austin’s program, mentorship is confidential. Mentees, not mentors, report on their progress. This lets employers understand the return they get on their investment. It also leaves mentees free to ask questions they may otherwise avoid, receiving expert advice from an impartial perspective. Mentorship programs are available at both the vice president and C-suite levels, and it is offered either as an add-on service to a search engagement or as a standalone service.

Related: Allen Austin Launches Interim Leadership Practice

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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