May 15, 2020 – New Providence, NJ-based executive search firm BrainWorks recently assisted in the placement of Chris Armstrong as the new CEO of lawn and garden manufacturer The Jobe’s Company. CEO Andy Miller led the assignment.
“Chris brings the perfect blend of operations experience in addition to a strong growth background,” Mr. Miller said. “His pedigree in management consulting and deep operations experience combined with a unique ability to drive growth will provide a great benefit to the business.”
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“He will be integral in optimizing the company’s operations while they will be shifting the go-to-market strategy on its well branded fertilizer stake and ground covering products,” Mr. Miller said. “We look forward to watching this business evolve and grow as the lawn and garden sector has seen a tremendous resurgence amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and people spending more time at home.”
Headquartered in Waco, TX, The Jobe’s Company specializes in home and garden products with a commitment to giving consumers better products that deliver better results. The company is the nation’s No. 1 organics fertilizer brand and produces over 1 billion square feet of consumer and commercial-grade landscaping fabrics, annually. The Jobe’s Company is owned by Centre Lane Partners, a private investment firm focused on making credit and equity, control and non-control, investments in North American middle-market companies.
Mr. Armstrong brings a wealth of experience within operations, sales, marketing, finance and go-to-market strategy. He was responsible for leading several private companies which resulted in successful sale transactions. In his role with The Jobe’s Company, Mr. Armstrong will be responsible for driving efficiencies throughout the organization as well as continually looking for new marketing opportunities including E-commerce initiatives.
“Chris is a tremendous addition to the business and has a demonstrated background in operations and growth strategy,” said Ken Lau, a co-founder and managing director of Centre Lane Partners. “While keeping a keen eye on driving the KPIs in the business, we look forward to working with his team in driving an omni-channel strategy and continue to build the Jobe’s brand in the lawn and garden sector.”
Trusted Search Firm
Since 1991, BrainWorks has been providing executive recruiting services in the practice areas of private equity, consumer products, decision sciences and analytics, market research and relationship marketing. The firm focuses on the recruiting needs of C-level and sub C-level management specifically within private equity and Fortune companies.
Mr. Miller founded BrainWorks in 1991 and has led the firm’s consumer products practice for two decades. He is known to be a stickler for process and has been the driving force behind the firm’s proprietary talent acquisition profile and talent evaluation process. His passion and experience from competitive sports combined with his psychology background provide a unique blend of competitiveness and people skills which has influenced his work with both clients and candidates. Mr. Miller is a member of the Pinnacle Society, a consortium of the top 75 recruitment professionals in the country.
BrainWorks also recently assisted in the placements of James Hill and Kim Mattoon as chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Hollander Sleep Products, a Centre Lane Partners backed company. Eric Frickel, leader of the recruitment firm’s private equity search practice, led the assignment.
“The engagement started in August 2019 as Centre Lane Partners was looking to acquire the business out of Chapter 11 proceedings,” said Mr. Frickel. “It was a competitive process and they were not sure they were going to win the deal. Given our business-partner-first directive, and there being no guarantees that the deal would be completed, we put together a detailed search strategy and scorecards for what a great COO and CFO would look like in the business in partnership with Centre Lane.”
“Getting out in front of this before the actual closing of the deal was critical from a time standpoint, allowing Centre Lane to search for their eventual CEO,” said Mr. Frickel. But that also presented another challenge: not having the CEO in place. “So we really needed to do a significant amount of due diligence and assessment given the situation to drive a targeted process that would produce the types of candidates with deep operational and transformation experience to drive the value creation strategy.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media