June 11, 2020 – London-based executive search firm Grace Blue Partnership has launched TRANSITION, a complimentary online platform providing a place for displaced talent to find practical and inspirational content, a network of industry peers and access potential job opportunities. The move comes as COVID-19 continues to create disruption globally within the advertising, media and marketing industries, among many others, resulting in large numbers of layoffs and furloughs.
TRANSITION is supported by more than 30 global organizations, brands and trade associations including the 4A’s, Amazon, the Marketing Society, the Advertising Association, Headspace, D&AD, 3%, The Female Quotient and NABS. Working together, partners will provide content and support for career development in response to the widespread impact COVID-19 is having on this community, said Grace Blue. In addition, partners will be able to list new job openings and search for talent on the platform at no cost.
“COVID-19 and the events of the past week in the U.S. have completely upended our lives and how we do business,” said Jay Haines, one of the founders of Grace Blue Partnership. “The significant budgets cuts have massively disrupted the industry, and companies now have to rethink everything including their approach to the future, to racial equity, and to caring for their talent.”
Rallying the Industry
“We want to ensure the industry supports our exceptional talent during this time, and TRANSITION is designed with them in mind,” said Mr. Haines. “The goal was to rally the industry, bring us together, and to create a platform that provides relevant content and opportunities by connecting out-of-work talent to agencies and brands directly.”
TRANSITION was born out of the need to unite the talent pool across several industries – marketing, media, advertising – and to create a central hub to bring together critical resources, said Grace Blue Partnership.
“COVID-19 is widening pre-existing gender gaps — especially for women of color,” said Shelley Zalis, CEO of The Female Quotient. “We face the very real risk that gains made for women and girls in recent decades will be reversed. Leaders need to make conscious decisions to elevate their talent and ensure that women continue to have opportunities. That’s why initiatives like TRANSITION are so vital if we are to create a better normal coming out of the crisis.”
Rich Pierson, founder of Headspace, said: “TRANSITION comes at a time when so many are worried about their future, and it is a resource that will bring inspiration and hope to a lot of people,” said “As a company that has well-being at the center of our beliefs, we are proud to support it.”
Peter Sherman, executive vice president of Omnicom Group, pointed to the many people whose lives and jobs have been affected by COVID-19. “This is a time when the industry has to come together, and I am very pleased to be a part of an initiative that is supporting the industry at such a difficult time,” he said.
Claudine Cheever, global chief brand officer for Amazon was also enthusiastic about the platform. “We love leveraging Grace Blue’s services not only because they have a sixth sense for finding awesome talent suited to our needs, but they also take such great care with the talent themselves,” she said. “This humanity and emotional intelligence have never been on display more than now, with the launch of this platform which comes at a difficult time for many and we are proud to support it.”
Grace Blue Partnership focuses on the marketing, media and digital space. The firm has placed senior talent in this space globally, including CEOs, presidents, chief creative officers, heads of planning, chief financial officers and chief marketing officers. With offices in New York, London, Singapore and Shanghai, the Grace Blue team members are experts in their sectors – with many of the senior team having held executive-level positions in marketing and media businesses themselves. The firm’s clients include, Ford, Microsoft, SAP, Spotify, IPG, Omnicom, RSA Films, LEGO, Dentsu Aegis Network, Mother, Havas and Coca-Cola.
Last fall, Grace Blue Partnership appointed David Nobbs as partner and head of consumer as it continued to build out its consumer brands practice across EMEA. Mr. Nobbs reports to Juliet Timms, a Grace Blue founder, and in partnership with its leadership teams in the U.S. and APAC responds to global client requirements, alongside his leadership of the EMEA consumer brands business.
Mr. Nobbs and his team’s partner with consumer brands on a wide range of senior executive roles and support clients with driving transformation and putting the consumer at the heart of their business. This extends Grace Blue’s services beyond marketing and commercial functions into leadership roles where there is a requirement for broader skill-sets and outside category experience.
Mr. Nobbs has almost 15 years’ experience in executive search and research, predominantly working with clients across consumer industries. Most recently, he was a managing partner at Fortune Hill, an international boutique search firm partnering with a portfolio of FTSE/Aim listed, PE & VC backed and privately-owned consumer businesses to support start-up, new market entry, growth, transformation and turnaround activities.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media