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President vs COO, and Search Firm Recommendations

First Issue: our CEO is feeling too involved with day to day operational matters at our $30M light mfg and distribution company, and I agree with him (I'm the CFO). We both agree that if we are to reach 100M, we will need to perform at a much higher level in Production and Logistics. The CEO wants to hire a "President", hoping such a hire will have some strength in sales, and I believe he should hire a "COO", in hopes of avoiding candidates with a lack of experience or drive in key operational areas. I'd rather hire a COO with weak sales skills than a President with no operational interest or skills.
Second Issue: Can anyone recommend a search firm to engage for this hire? Thanks.


Len Green
Title: Performance Improvement Consultant and E..
Company: Haygarth Consulting LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Performance Improvement Consultant and ERP Strategist, Haygarth Consulting LLC) |

Re #1. If you and the CEO agree "we will need to perform at a much higher level in Production and Logistics" what's causing him to worry about Sales over Ops?

Do you have a board or outside advisor(s) to help moderate the discussion?

Have you and the CEO looked holistically at how different your $100mm org will look compared to your current $30mm org, and where are ALL the gaps?

Maybe do that before you start a search.

Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

Depending on the quality of your people....I would might (emphasis) be NEITHER!

Involvement means UNDELEGATED duties to capable people on your team. You might be discounting capable people (NO matter the TITLE) on your team. I have seen $100M firms with flat organizations.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

I'll take the second issue as a stand-alone (I happen to agree with Len & Emerson).

What value do you perceive will be achieved by using a search firm (sort of goes back to some of the issues discussed by Len & Emerson)?

Most, not all, search firms will take your requirements (one might say "tantum et tale") and go through resumes and talk to a few candidates. Then provide you with a sub set of resumes.

Some firms will add some value such as discussing your requirements and giving advice; pushing candidates that are outside of those requirements who would add value to your organization,etc. The some firms are very few and very rare in my humble opinion.

Where is the benefit to you, the CEO and the company?


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