PierceGray Seeks Chief Procurement Officer for Cornerstone Chemical

April 14, 2023 – PierceGray has been retained by Cornerstone Chemical to lead its search for a chief procurement officer. Director Vince Sanchez is leading the assignment. To support the professionalization of their procurement function, Cornerstone is seeking to hire a chief procurement officer with global responsibility for $600 million in spend across all external vendor spend and internal procurement operations. This executive will focus on transitioning the existing tactical procurement organization to a best-in-class strategic sourcing group as well as the optimization of current logistics and warehousing teams. The chief procurement officer will report to the COO and lead a team of 10, including sourcing and procurement, and logistics and warehousing teams.

PierceGray is looking for candidates with 12-plus years of professional experience in manufacturing organizations with well-respected procurement functions, including five-plus years leading teams. They should have expertise in strategic sourcing and leading multi-category sourcing teams for both direct and indirect spend as well as experience sourcing volatile commodities, ideally chemicals, and packaging.

Candidates must also have expertise in negotiations and contracting, including should-cost models, leveraged agreements, multi-year contracts, complex terms and conditions, performance incentives, E-sourcing, and management of corporate risk, according to the search firm. They need to have experience developing and implementing effective counter-measures that address unfavorable market conditions as well as expertise leading and extracting measurable value from value analysis and value engineering initiatives.

In addition, candidates should have an expert understanding of purchasing policies, procedures, practices, and the value and use of ERP/P2P systems with demonstrated ability to work with suppliers and internal constituencies to develop solutions that reduce costs while maintaining quality and service.

Cornerstone Chemical has about 500 employees and annually produces 2.5 billion pounds of product tied to an attractive set of end markets including water treatment, carbon fiber, building and construction, transportation, and others. Since its carve-out from Cytec Industries in 2011, Cornerstone has focused on leveraging its North American petrochemical advantage to grow its global customer base and expand its product offering. The company is headquartered in Waggaman, LA.

PierceGray is a specialized, retained executive search firm focused on building leadership teams in investor-back environments. The firm is functionally-focused, hiring executives and building teams in the following disciplines: operations and supply chain, sales and marketing, finance and transformation, and general management. PierceGray’s clients include private equity firms and portfolio companies as well as publicly-held companies across North America. PierceGray has been operating since 2006 and serves clients in nearly every industry sector in North America.

Mr. Sanchez is a director with PierceGray in the Chicago office and specializes in recruiting senior operations and supply-chain executives into investor-backed environments. He has worked extensively in consumer products, food/beverage, healthcare, technology, and industrial manufacturing.

Chief Procurement Officers

Globalization, compliance pressures, supply market risk and procurement automation have simultaneously boosted visibility of the procurement discipline within companies and increased supply management challenges. In response, procurement executives have established agendas for organizational transformation. These plans incorporate activities to bring more spending under management, enhance the procurement organization’s skills and visibility, and increase both internal and external collaboration.

Chief procurement officers typically are responsible for the management, administration, and supervision of a company’s acquisition programs. Their responsibilities may include being in charge of a firm’s contracting services as well as managing the purchase of supplies, equipment, and materials. The chief procurement officer is often responsible for sourcing goods and services, and negotiating prices and contracts.

Whether the organization is a healthcare services provider, a CPG (consumer purchased goods) company or a financial institution, they tend to be looking for the same skills in procurement officers – a strong leader, an effective communicator and negotiator, and possessing an analytical mind.

Many see the position as having taken on increased significance in corporations. In recent years, the role is thought to have grown more strategic. CEOs have also increased their demands on the procurement team. They want a leader who can deliver revenue growth, innovation, speed and increased velocity, as well as cost and value improvement.

Exceptional interpersonal and negotiation skills are typical requirements of the chief procurement officer role. Excellent oral and written communication skills also tend to be necessary. Fluency in other languages can be considered an asset, since vendors may be based in other parts of the world.

Related: DHR International Places Chief Procurement Officer at Tata Motors

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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