November 16, 2017 – Executive search firm E.A. Hughes & Co. has appointed Bob Marchant as vice president and director of its Los Angeles office.
“Patience pays off, and after knowing of Bob and his unique consultative abilities for many years I am very happy that he decided to join the E.A. Hughes family,” said Elaine Hughes, CEO of E.A. Hughes & Co. “Our consultative search practice has inspired the trust and confidence in those who have worked with us, both clients and candidates. Bob has always conducted his projects the same way. As a former competitor, I have observed that, which is why I know he is such a valued addition to our team.”
Mr. Marchant brings more than 20 years of experience and leadership to the retail, fashion and consumer industries. He shifted from a 15-year career in retail to executive search based on his depth of expertise across the retail enterprise and his consultative approach. He has extensive experience recruiting across a broad range of disciplines including marketing, supply chain, merchandising, finance, operations, creative and sales. Mr. Marchant also brings a depth of functional experience in the digital world in both e-commerce extensions of brick and mortar companies and pure-play organizations.
Prior to joining E.A. Hughes & Co., he was a partner in the retail/consumer practice at DHR International. Before that, he was a principal at Korn Ferry and worked with two other Los Angeles-based boutique search firms. Prior to his career in executive search, Mr. Marchant held leadership positions in the retail sector with Cost Plus World Markets and Mervyn’s Department Stores.
Mr. Marchant’s clients are based throughout the U.S. and include both public and private equity-sponsored retailers and consumer-facing brands that range from leading Fortune 500 multi-channel organizations to mid-tier companies and start-up enterprises. His track record in executive search is built upon maintaining long-term client partnerships. Mr. Marchant’s clientele has included Disney, PetSmart, Zulily, Family Dollar Stores, the Finish Line, NYX Cosmetics, MGA Entertainment, Focus Brands, Floor & Décor, Vans, Westfield Corporation and Forever 21.
“I have known Elaine for many years as a respected leader in the executive search community and a formidable competitor,” said Mr. Marchant. “Their success is based on integrity, access to the best talent in the market and providing outstanding client service with attention to detail. I am really pleased to be joining the talented E.A. Hughes team.”
Founded in 1991 by Ms. Hughes, E.A. Hughes & Co. serves clients in the retail and consumer apparel, home furnishings, beauty, digital, e-commerce, footwear and other industries. The firm is based in New York City.
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According to Korn Ferry, retailers 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. 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, said Korn Ferry.
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 Associates, a recruitment firm that specializes in the retail and consumer areas, recently reported that 31 percent of incoming retail CEOs consider international expansion 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 underwent 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.
“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. “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.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media