Kincannon & Reed Appoints New CEO

January 4, 2019 – Executive recruitment firms have made a number of top leadership appointments over the past year, many focused on strategy, growth, branding efforts and operations. The latest: Executive search firm Kincannon & Reed has appointed Isvaldo Perez Jr. as president and CEO. He succeeds Greg Duerksen, who will continue to serve as chairman and remain active in the firm’s recruitment services.

Mr. Perez has more than 30 years of experience in the consumer packaged goods industry in the food and beverage sectors, as well as executive search experience. Most recently, he served as president of Britvic North America, the U.S. arm of a leading beverage company in the U.K., Ireland, France and Brazil. While at Britvic, he oversaw the expansion of the company’s leading fruit juice drink across the U.S. Mr. Perez also has held several senior roles at Frito-Lay, including group vice president of sales innovation, group vice president of customer development and region VP for Texas.  In addition, he was general manager of Central America with Kraft Foods and held several marketing positions at Nabisco.

Mr. Perez also brings experience in executive recruiting, having served as a consultant with Spencer Stuart, focusing on placement of senior sales and marketing executives in the consumer packaged goods, retail and hospitality industries.

Welcome Addition

“I’m delighted to welcome Issy as our next president and CEO,” Mr. Duerksen said, noting that the appointment was unanimously approved by the firm’s managing partner group as part of Kincannon & Reed’s ongoing leadership succession planning process. “Issy reinforces our ‘consumer back’ thought process in the food and agribusiness value chain and highlights our commitment to expand our client base close to the consumer in both food and beverages.”

Mr. Perez said he was excited to take the helm of the firm. “I am honored to work with such an experienced and knowledgeable group of individuals who have achieved an impressive track record of success,” he said. “I am looking forward to helping guide Kincannon & Reed into new growth territories and exciting opportunities.”

“Organizations from farm to table are rapidly transforming, and they seek leaders with a strong grasp of the large-scale trends affecting their businesses,” Mr. Perez said. “Kincannon & Reed brings a depth of understanding of the food industry that uniquely positions us for growth along the food value chain.”

Mr. Duerksen said Mr. Perez was the ideal choice for the role. “Issy is the right leader to take the firm to the next level as we continue our commitment to building strong client relationships and providing superior advice, counsel, search execution and team development leadership to our clients,” he said.

Founded in 1981, Kincannon & Reed focuses exclusively on the food, agribusiness and life sciences sectors. The firm, which has offices in the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific, recently placed former Cargill executive Manoj Sahoo as chief commercial officer of Calyxt Inc., a fast-growing, consumer-oriented agricultural company.

Leadership Appointments Rising at Search Firms

Top leadership appointments have been gaining traction at executive search firms over the past year. Here’s a look at several examples taken from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:

Egon Zehnder appointed Edilson Camara as its new CEO. He took over from Rajeev Vasudeva, who stepped down in October after holding the position since 2014. Based in Toronto, Mr. Camara assumed the role immediately, becoming the sixth CEO in the firm’s 55-year history. Mr. Camara, who is Brazilian, began his career in Egon Zehnder’s Sao Paulo office 20 years ago working with industrial clients.

Perth, Australia-based executive search firm Gerard Daniels appointed Alison Gaines as the company’s global CEO. Following a 12-year tenure as the head of its board consulting practice and recently as managing partner of Gerard Daniels’ Asia Pacific practice, Ms. Gaines will now lead the firm to continue to drive growth across all regions and offices.

Spencer Stuart appointed Ben Williams as its new CEO, succeeding Kevin Connelly, who served two three-year terms as the firm’s leader after previously serving six years as its chairman. Mr. Williams previously led Spencer Stuart’s North American business and, before that, led its financial services practice in the region. 

The RSA Group, which is based in London and focuses on the life sciences sector, has appointed executive chairman Nick Stephens as its CEO. Alex Bennett recently stepped down from the top post. Mr. Stephens has been with RSA since 1986 and leads the firm’s board services practice, handling about five or six C-level assignments each year. 

Columbus, OH-headquartered firm Taylor Strategy Partners appointed Mike Gamble as its new president. Mr. Gamble has been instrumental to Taylor Strategy Partners’ growth since joining the firm as vice president of business development in 2015, the firm said. He has more than 20 years of experience designing comprehensive talent acquisition solutions for leading …

TillmanCarlson appointed Kelly Carlson as its president and CEO. Entering its 16th year, the firm said that her promotion sets the stage for growth, innovation and the ability to provide a clear alternative to larger human capital firms. Ms. Carlson joined founder Rob Tillman a year after the search firm was founded. She previously worked with him at Russell Reynolds Associates. 

DRG Search appointed Dara Klarfeld as its new CEO. She is now responsible for leading all aspects of DRG’s work with organizations in the non-profit sector. Ms. Klarfeld worked in the non-profit sector for more than a decade before joining DRG Search. Ms. Klarfeld worked in the non-profit sector for more than a decade before joining DRG Search.

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

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