May 14, 2021 – Irvine, CA-based search firm McDermott + Bull has placed Lane Tobiassen as president of Buck Knives Inc. USA. The assignment was led by McDermott + Bull co-founder and managing partner Chris Bull, managing director Jake Vander Zanden, director Anne Terry, and senior executive recruiters Quyen Doan and Sara Pizarro. “We loved working with the board and the Buck family on making this critical transition from a family-led organization to a professionally managed company for an iconic American brand,” said Mr. Bull. “We are proud to be a partner of Buck Knives and to be a part of this exciting new chapter.”
“The final piece of the puzzle was to bring in outside expertise to lead the daily operations,” said CJ Buck, chairman and CEO of Buck Knives. “This is the first ‘nonfamily’ president in the history of our company. It is a testament to the commitment of making our company more robust and less vulnerable to fluctuations in our marketplace and the broader economy. We will continue with the strategies we have been implementing over the last three years with a renewed clarity on flawless execution.”
Ms. Tobiassen has a proven track record of transitioning a family-operated company to a professionally managed organization. He also has significant experience managing the process of creating operational improvement with a focus on product development and engineering. He has played a role in critical aspects of brand restructuring, resulting in category and revenue growth with the creation of new product lines. Ms. Tobiassen most recently served as president for the firearms division of American Outdoors Brand and previously served as president and CEO of Crimson Trace Corp.
Buck Knives is an American knife manufacturer that creates top-quality combat knives, hunting knives, pocketknives, and several small pocketknife models. The company was originally founded in San Diego, CA and was moved to Post Falls, ID, in 2005. Buck Knives has a long history with five generations of the Buck family from 1902 to the present day. The company primarily manufactures sport and field knives and is credited with inventing the “folding hunting knife” and popularizing it to such a degree that the term “buck knife” has become synonymous with folding lockback knives, including those made by other manufacturers.
McDermott + Bull provides mission-critical permanent executive placement and interim solutions for a range of domestic and global clients. The firm serves private and public companies, private equity firms, and their operating companies across multiple industries, including technology, financial services, biotech and life sciences, and professional services.
Mr. Bull is a co-founder of the firm. He has over 20 years of experience in retained executive search. He has a track record of partnering with client organizations to deliver senior talent with private and public companies, private equity firms, and their operating companies.
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McDermott + Bull has placed Jessica Greer Morris as the new chief executive officer of Prince’s Trust. She will help launch the U.K.-based youth charity organization in the U.S., serving as its first CEO. The search was completed by McDermott + Bull managing director Sue Waterbury and executive recruiter Allison Cox. Ms. Morris will guide the organization through a critical stage of growth as the charity responds to the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on unemployment around the world. In establishing the U.S. location, she will create a conduit for American citizens to support the organization’s work on a global scale and will implement the program to transform the lives of unemployed youth in the U.S.
Mr. Vander Zanden serves as a managing director and leader of McDermott + Bull’s technology life Sciences practice. He has spent over 25 years as a turnaround and growth leader completing business transformations as a senior executive at companies like Allergan, Medtronic, and more. Mr. Vander Zanden has lived and worked throughout Asia, Africa and Europe, and managed businesses in all the major regions of the world.
Ms. Terry works alongside Mr. Bull assisting in business development, marketing strategy, research and search execution. She joined the firm with over three decades of diverse roles, which include manufacturing sales, corporate volunteer recruiting, corporate management, corporate training and corporate events.
Ms. Doan serves as a senior executive recruiter for McDermott + Bull where she works alongside the principal consultants on executive-level searches. Most recently, she was a marketing associate at BDO USA and collaborated with the business development team within the Bay Area market.
Ms. Pizarro directly supports Mr. Bull. In her role, she collaborates with top private and public organizations, as well as private equity firms and their operating companies. Her responsibilities include candidate research and recruiting, pipeline management and candidate flow, as well as performance feedback.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media