May 12, 2021 – Executive search firm ZRG has placed Ciarán Long as chief financial officer of a.k.a. Brands, a global platform that is pioneering a new approach to driving growth in digitally native fashion brands. Mr. Long will report directly to chief executive officer Jill Ramsey. Brian Meany, ZRG’s global head of consumer in New York, led the assignment.
“I am excited to welcome Ciarán as our new chief financial officer,” said Ms. Ramsey, a.k.a. Brands’ chief executive officer. “His unique and comprehensive understanding of the retail industry serves as a strong complement to our team of veteran executives. Throughout his career, Ciarán has demonstrated a proven track record in driving growth in high performance businesses, and this experience will play a pivotal role in supporting our ongoing efforts to identify significant opportunities with synergistic brands, and position a.k.a. for sustainable, long-term growth.”
Mr. Long is a strategic leader with over 20 years of experience developing and managing high performance, cross functional teams geared toward driving organizational growth and change. Most recently, he was CFO E-commerce and vice president of finance for membership, marketing and supply chain at Sam’s Club. He also held several leadership positions with Walmart’s E-commerce division including vice president finance – retail, vice president finance – merchandising, and vice president of finance – supply chain, customer care and payments. Previously, he served as CEO and co-founder of CleanGrow, a company that developed new sensor technology to measure key water quality parameters.
Prior to that, Mr. Long held several leadership positions at CBS Interactive/CNET Networks, Inc. including VP, financial planning and analysis, VP of financial, controller and director of revenue. He started his career at KPMG as a senior manager.
A Unique Platform
“I am thrilled to be joining a.k.a. I believe that a.k.a. has a unique platform in which to drive accelerated growth in digitally native direct-to-consumer brands,” said Mr. Long. “I look forward to drawing from my experience to help achieve the growth objectives of existing brands as well as to evaluate and integrate potential new brands as we expand the portfolio.”
Established in 2018, a.k.a. Brands is a global platform that is pioneering a new approach to direct-to-consumer fashion. Comprised of four digitally-native fashion brands that are culturally rooted and maintain their founder-led authenticity, each brand offers a curated assortment of on-trend, affordably-priced fashion apparel and accessories. The company’s unique approach infuses science into the art of fashion to help emerging brands grow and achieve their full potential by leveraging scale, and deploying an asset-light, data driven playbook of best practices across their brand portfolio. The a.k.a. portfolio includes four compelling yet distinct brands, Culture Kings, Princess Polly, Petal & Pup and Rebdolls. Each brand serves their customers in a different way with a product assortment that empowers self-expression and unique style.
A Fast-Growing Firm
ZRG, founded in 1999, is a progressive mid-sized global executive search firm and one of the fastest growing in the search industry. It provides a full suite of executive, middle-management, and customized search solutions through its offices in North America, Europe, South America, and Asia. The firm finds leaders across a broad spectrum of business markets, including aerospace, consumer, education, healthcare services and solutions, industrial, life sciences, non-profit, private equity and venture capital, and technology.
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Mr. Meany, a managing partner at ZRG, leads the firm’s global consumer practice. Based in New York, he specializes in the recruitment of CEOs, boards of directors, and C-suite leaders. His consumer and retail client work includes global CPG, middle market consumer, omnichannel retailers, pure play digital, restaurants, food and drug, hospitality, and leisure. Mr. Meany’s clients include publicly held, private, private equity-backed and founder-led models. In his 30-plus years of executive search, he spent 25 years as managing director with Herbert Mines Associates, focused on retail and consumer client work. He also led their globe search group partnership, working with international partners and clients. He began his career at Korn Ferry and Norman Broadbent.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media