Ventura Partners Finds New CMO for 5.11 Tactical

Ventura Partners CMO 5.11 Tactical

March 22, 2018 – As business becomes more global and complex, and power shifts from producers of goods and services to consumers, the chief marketing officer’s job of planning and coordinating marketing activities has become more challenging, recruiters say. Yet executive search firms are seeing no shortage of assignments for this important C-level position.

Ventura Partners recently recruited Dave Larson to become the chief marketing officer of 5.11 Tactical Inc. in Irvine, CA. Bob Damon, a partner at Ventura, led the assignment.

Encompassing top-tier athletic brands, Mr. Larson’s career includes executive marketing roles with Nike, Reebok, Brooks Running and Under Armour. He spent almost 12 years at Brooks Running, where he led marketing as Brooks grew from $70 million to over $500 million. Mr. Larson was the key leader behind Brooks’ break-through “Run Happy” campaign. His most recent experience was with Under Armour as the senior vice president/general manager of global running.

“Dave was the perfect fit for 5.11 because at Brooks he partnered closely with the CEO, Jim Weber, to reposition a performance oriented brand and grow it substantially against much larger competitors,” said Mr. Damon. “He also built the marketing department from scratch.”

Tom Davin, 5.11’s CEO, said he was happy with the new CMO. “Last year we announced our plan to further enhance the growth of 5.11 by investing in a chief marketing officer,” he said.  “I’m excited to announce that Dave Larson will join the 5.11 team.”

In his new role, Mr. Larson will work with all 5.11 leaders to enhance the company’s ability to tell stories in ways that engage channel partners/consumers, driving growth across all professional and consumer channels, the company said. He will also provide strategic and creative leadership to capitalize on trends in digital, mobile, social media and the changing retail landscape. In addition, he is charged with helping to build best-in-class customer relationship management, consumer insights and marketing investment analytics/ROI.

Experienced Recruiters

With offices around the globe, 5.11 works directly with end-users to create purpose-built apparel and gear designed specifically to enhance the safety, accuracy, speed and performance of tactical professionals and enthusiasts worldwide.

Ventura Partners, with particular depth in recruiting senior leadership talent for private equity-owned and owner / founder-run companies, and sports management concerns, specializes in recruiting CFOs for private equity-owned companies, C-level executives for consumer and retail companies, and directors of athletics, coaches and administrators in professional sports organizations, colleges and universities. The firm, which was founded in 2010 by Julie Ford, maintains offices in Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta.

With over 30 years of search experience, Mr. Damon has been a senior strategist recruiting for boards and C-suite executives on organization and talent management issues. Although he has recruited CEOs for well-known organizations like Oakley, Under Armour, Levi Strauss & Co., Burger King and the National Football League, he has spent the last 15 years focused on talent acquisition projects in small and mid-sized private equity-backed companies as well as in companies with existing strong founder-inspired cultures. He is a former top executive with Korn Ferry and Spencer Stuart, where he spent 25 years in C-level operating roles.

Chief Marketing Officers

Current business landscape demands have increased the contribution from chief marketing officers, according to the latest research report from Forrester and Heidrick & Struggles. The survey found that CMOs are building strong relationships with the head of product and research & development to prepare the organization for digital disruption.

“We see CMOs moving beyond functional expertise to assume responsibility for driving overall growth within their organizations,” said Sheryl Pattek, VP, CMO executive partner at Forrester. “They are evolving into key strategic partners on the executive team, and know that collaboration with the rest of the C-suite will be instrumental to their success.”

That said, companies continue to turn to executive search firms to fill this vital C-level position. Here’s a look at a few recent assignments taken from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:

Caldwell Partners recruited Lorraine Barber-Miller as SVP and CMO for ADP in Roseland, NJ. Jim Bethmann, managing partner and co-leader of Caldwell’s TMT & IT services and information security practices, led the search along with partner Avo Oudbachian. Previously, Ms. Barber-Miller served as VP for IBM’s global business services, C-suite and blockchain marketing.

Executive search firm DHR International just recruited industry veteran Brad Haley as senior vice president and chief marketing officer of IHOP Restaurants. Managing partner Ken Schwenke and partner Christine DeYoung led the assignment. Before joining IHOP, Mr. Haley served as CMO of CKE Restaurants

Executive search firm MarketPro recruited Tim Surowiecki as the CMO of Sono Bello. The company was looking for a strategic marketing leader who could raise its rapid growth to the next level. That included diversifying and modernizing its marketing strategy to better reach its target audience.

Papa John’s Pizza named Brandon Rhoten as global CMO. Assisting in the search was Hudson, MA-based Pollard Search Group. Founder and managing partner Stephen Pollard led the assignment for the Louisville-headquartered pizza delivery company. The firm completed the search in just 67 days.

PFM Executive Search has placed Paul Hawes as chief marketing officer of destination marketing organization Tourism Victoria. Mr. Hawes has more than 22 years of progressive tourism marketing and sales experience. He arrived in Canada after leading Destination New South Wales (Australia) to expand its presence in the European market.

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

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