Madison MacArthur Executive Search - Human Resources Assignments


VP/Country General Manager

Global consumer products and healthcare company

Due to the recent acquisition of this healthcare company by a global giant, the existing President, who had founded the business in Canada elected to depart to pursue more entrepreneurial endeavours. The US head office, in addition to inviting pitches from a couple of firms they used regularly, asked the new parent company for an additional referral. As Madison MacArthur had successfully placed a number of executives in their various divisions over the years, we were referred to participate in this pitch and subsequently were awarded the assignment.

The business, a leader in its field, was extremely well run and highly profitable. The outgoing President was very effective and charismatic and had built the business and the team to this success. The acquisition by the larger entity would open up significant new opportunities for product and service synergies and growth. However, the acquisition and subsequent announcement of the pending departure of their leader was very unsettling to the organizations staff. It was critical that the new VP/Country General Manager be successful in quickly winning the trust and support of the staff to ensure the stability of the business.

The challenge is often greater in finding someone that can take a very well run and profitable business to the next level than to find someone that can resuscitate a poorly run business. The candidate in this instance would require significant leadership skills, strong general management skills and a depth of marketing experience, preferably in service based businesses. The candidate would also have to fit into a uniquely caring culture and have a very high customer service sensibility.

The consultants at Madison MacArthur developed a comprehensive search strategy involving looking at not only comparable companies in the healthcare space, but also, all other types of service focused companies that would offer up candidates with the requisite transferable skills and experience. Within four to five weeks, Madison MacArthur was able to provide the Client with a shortlist of candidates that included two CEO’s from large international service companies, one CEO and one General Manager from Canadian based service companies and a VP, Marketing from a global bank.
The Client prioritized the candidates that they would meet and invited the first candidate to the US for interviews. The result of this initial meeting was a quickly orchestrated series of follow-up meetings and an offer being extended. Unfortunately, having multiple offers, the candidate elected to assume a different position. The second candidate was subsequently invited to the US for interviews and similarly was invited back for a series of meetings and was on track for receiving an offer. In the interim, the Madison MacArthur consultant made the suggestion that the Client should invest the time in meeting with the candidate from the global bank as we felt very strongly that they were a very solid cultural fit. Despite their reservations of someone from the banking industry being an appropriate candidate, the Client agreed to meet with the additional candidate. The Client ultimately found our counsel to be right and offered the position to this candidate instead.

The successful candidate brought a wealth of marketing and management experience accumulated from a number of diverse industries. He possessed a Commerce undergrad and an MBA, has a track record of building strong teams and has a very engaging and charismatic style about him that the staff readily gravitated towards.

BThe US head office subsequently thanked us for pushing them to meet with this additional candidate.   While it may have been a bit risky to push for the additional interview with a candidate the Client had no initial interest in meeting – especially when another candidate was already on track to be hired – we felt that it was the right thing to do. While the candidate they were ready to hire was also very strong, we felt that the stronger marketing skills and cultural fit that the additional candidate offered would serve our Client better for the long term. Madison MacArthur has already been awarded two additional searches from this Client.

Quickly seen to be a high performer, the candidate was put into a leadership development program and has since assumed the key leadership role for the Americas. Madison MacArthur continues to partner effectively with this Client company and its affiliates.