October 12, 2018 – Finding qualified C-suite sales executives continues to be an issue for companies. According to the ManpowerGroup Talent Shortage Report, sales positions have been some of the most difficult to fill in recent years. And it has not been an attractive role to new generations of workers.
New York City-headquartered executive search firm Battalia Winston recently recruited Robby Speights as chief sales officer of Clean Harbors Inc. in Norwell, MA. Terry Gallagher, president of the search firm, led the assignment. The successful candidate was identified in nine days.
Most recently, Mr. Speights was senior vice president and chief sales officer at Aegion Corp., a $1.4 billion global infrastructure company that serves the downstream, midstream and upstream sectors. He led a cross-functional sales group of 206 globally, developed strategic growth plans; implemented a CRM system that rewarded cross-selling; established key account planning for the largest 25 global clients resulting in record sales and backlog, and increasing the proposal and marketing team’s win rate from 18 percent to 52 percent.
Prior to joining Aegion in 2015, Mr. Speights served as SVP of business development and marketing and SVP operations for safety at Transfield Services, a $5 billion Australian publicly-traded infrastructure company. Earlier in his career Mr. Speights worked at Aquilex-HydroChem, advancing from VP of operations to SVP of business development, as well as MPW Industrial Services and Dowell Industrial Service, where he started his career as a field engineer.
Clean Harbors is a provider of environmental, energy and industrial services. Founded in 1980, it operates four businesses: Technical Services; Safety-Kleen; Industrial and Field Services; and Oil, Gas and Lodging Services throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico with revenues in excess of $3 billion. The company serves a diverse customer base, including a majority of the Fortune 500 companies across chemical, energy and manufacturing as well as numerous government agencies.
Currently in its 55th year of business, with offices in Atlanta, New York, New Jersey, Boston and Chicago, Battalia Winston is noted for servicing the senior management talent needs of its clients, from start-up organizations to members of the Fortune 500. Its partners possess deep industry knowledge in one or more of the firm’s eight practice areas: consumer & retail, diversity & inclusion, family business, financial services, healthcare, industrial & manufacturing, life sciences and non-profits & associations.
Mr. Gallagher joined Battalia Winston in 1991 and was promoted to EVP in 1994 and president in 1997. His primary focus has been in recruiting CEOs, presidents, division general managers, CFOs, CIOs, board directors and all C-suite executives for Fortune 500 as well as middle market companies and private equity firms as well as partners, practice leaders and rainmakers for consulting firms. He has consulted for a broad range of industries including: industrial products, insurance/financial services, professional services, technology, business services, consumer goods and healthcare.
New Officer Level Roles
A handful of new C-suite titles have been cropping up at businesses around the globe, according to leading search consultants. A recent report by Odgers Berndtson found that executives climbing the corporate ladder are in hot pursuit of titles that include the words “chief” and “officer.” Among them: chief happiness officer, chief privacy officer, chief people officer, chief digital officer, chief knowledge officer, chief customer officer, chief luminary officer, chief innovation officer and chief observance officer.
Kodak and Dell a few years ago appointed chief listeners; Facebook has chief privacy officers; Microsoft has a chief people officer; Coca-Cola has a chief quality and product integrity officer. Steve Jobs called himself chief know-all.
Here is an overview of unique officer-level positions being filled by leading recruitment firms from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:
The Onstott Group placed Christina Van Houten as chief strategy officer of Mimecast Limited, an email and data security company. Managing director Scott Tucker led the assignment. Ms. Van Houten is charged with driving corporate development, product management and market strategy as part of building out Mimecast’s email security, archive and cyber resilience cloud platform.
Beverly Hills, CA-based executive recruitment firm Ventura Partners has placed Courtney Gruber as the new chief retail officer for drybar, a blowout hair salon chain. Ventura founder and partner Julie Ford led the search. The chief retail officer role, more commonly known as vice president of retail, encompasses running all retail operations.
Higher Education Leadership Search has been selected by the University of Texas of the Permian Basin to lead in its search for a chief compliance officer. Consultants Geralyn Franklin and Alan Medders are leading the assignment. The University of Texas of the Permian Basin is a general academic university of the University of Texas System.
Executive search firm McCormack+Kristel has been retained by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) to lead in its search for a chief program officer. Managing partner Joseph McCormack and partner Michelle Kristel are leading the assignment. LAHSA is committed to ending homelessness through leadership, advocacy, and management of program funding.
Freehold, NJ-based Prodigy Sports, a nationwide leader in top-level sports recruiting, has placed Gord Lang as chief growth officer with Engine Shop. Founder and chief executive officer Scott Carmichael led the search. Mr. Lang had been chief growth officer at Octagon Marketing, which he joined in 2001.
The housing group Win, formerly Women In Need, has been transforming the lives of New York City’s homeless families for more than 30 years. The organization recently enlisted executive recruitment firm Bridge Partners to find a chief program officer. Partner and co-founder Tory Clarke is leading the search along with partner Janet Albert.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media