January 5, 2021 – Reston, VA-headquartered executive search firm NorthWind Partners has assisted in the placement of Jean-Francois Blanc as chief growth officer of Akima. He will be charged with leading the company’s corporate development efforts, growing revenue, and expanding market share. Partner Hunter Murray led the assignment.
“Jean-Francois is a hands-on leader with experience winning large contracts in both the Department of Defense and civilian agencies,” said Bill Monet, president and CEO of Akima. “We are pleased to add him to our leadership team, and we expect his knowledge of the market and his past success winning strategic contracts will serve him well in this growth-focused role.”
Mr. Blanc previously served a 17-year tenure with IBM, holding a variety of leadership positions, increasing in responsibility. Most recently, Mr. Blanc served as sales leader of IBM’s U.S. federal division. In the role, he led U.S. federal sales efforts for large and strategic contract pursuits. Mr. Blanc was responsible for supervising the entire deal process, from competitive analysis and win strategy to solutioning, teaming, pricing and proposal development. In Mr. Blanc’s previous roles with IBM, he served within the defense and intelligence markets, with a strong focus on the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy. He was trained as an industrial and nuclear engineer and began his career in the shipbuilding/repair industry. Mr. Blanc held a nuclear engineering position with the Norfolk Naval Shipyard before providing consulting services to Navy commands.
“Akima has rapidly achieved a significant status in the federal market, with excellent customer and partner relationships,” said Mr. Blanc. “I am thrilled to be joining the company at a time when it is poised to build on a record of driving superior outcomes to expand into new customers and markets.”
Akima is a global enterprise with more than 7,500 employees, delivering solutions to the federal government in the core areas of aviation, construction, facilities, and logistics, IT and mission support, protective services and detention management, and systems engineering. As a subsidiary of NANA, an Alaska Native corporation owned by more than 14,000 Iñupiat shareholders, Akima’s stated mission is to enable superior outcomes for its customers’ missions while simultaneously creating a long-lived asset for NANA consistent with Iñupiat values.
Veteran Search Consultants
NorthWind Partners is a global, strategic executive search advisory firm. The prime concentration of its work is with business and professional services, systems, solutions, and product companies spanning the aviation, aerospace and defense, healthcare, industrial and technology sectors. The firm also has deep experience and relationships in the government contracting arena. NorthWind Partners’ success rate on engaged assignments is about 96 percent with 99 percent of executives placed maintaining a minimum tenure of one year.
Over the past two decades, Mr. Murray has had deep interest in all facets of technology. He has broad experience in both commercial and public sectors and is often called upon by clients and industry associations to bridge the gap between these two markets. Mr. Murray has completed searches at the board, C-suite and all tiers of vice presidents for SaaS, data analytics, cloud and cybersecurity companies.
Chief Growth Officer
Chief growth officer is currently a hot C-level role as companies of every stripe navigate in a pandemic environment. And while not every company has one, more of these positions are likely to emerge. According to recruiters, the CGO role itself is expanding and its popularity is rising, especially among professional services firms that understand client needs and who want to be front and center to achieve long term revenue growth and stay competitive. The CGO, they report, is free to challenge the status quo in order to discover new pathways to growth. But the position holder also leads their organizations to a heightened sense of responsibility and purpose.
NorthWind Partners Recruits Chief Growth Officer for NT Concepts
NorthWind Partners has recruited Brandon Ginsburg as senior vice president and chief growth officer at NT Concepts, a leading national security solutions provider. Brian Thomas, partner and practice leader for industrials/aerospace and defense, government services, led the search.
Recruiters focused on finding C-suite leadership for their corporate clients say that CEOs have created the position of chief growth officer to drive revenue growth during periods of slowing economic activity. But leaders are now seeing advantages to having growth leaders on board much earlier, when business is booming, or when business is under stress like it is now, to help establish organizational rigor.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media