Dear Valued Friends and Partners,
It is no surprise that with the strong economic momentum, C-Suite recruiting has been booming this year with retail and consumer being one of the sectors with the most growth and innovation. It is an exciting time for companies and executives alike - solid company earnings and enhanced consumer optimism has opened the door for strategic hires; simultaneously, executives are being presented with multiple opportunities – allowing them to be more selective. As we celebrate our 40th year as trusted advisors to the retail and consumer-facing industry, we have also experienced a year of growth and prosperity and continue to thrive within this ever-evolving sector.
With our specialization in consumer-facing businesses, we have a unique perspective on the industry and in the spirit of partnership, we wanted to share some of the trends we are seeing in 2018 thus far.
New Wave of Executive Positions/Titles
We have seen many successful corporations aggressively moving to align the C-Suite around the customer as the leadership needed to activate the change agenda has also evolved. New roles such as Chief Customer or Chief Experience Officers did not even exist a mere five years ago.
Retirements & CEO Succession Planning
Almost one-fifth of the S&P 500 CEOs have left their positions since the start of last year. With such significant turnover at the top of the house, it is more important than ever to have a succession plan in place. Even if a board does not expect to replace its Chief Executive Officer in the near future, having a proactive succession plan will enhance the odds that the organization will be ready for whatever happens. How the Board of Directors proactively prepares for leadership transitions is ultimately one of the best measures of a company’s future.
Private Equity Acquisitions Up
Private equity is hot. Investors have allocated more capital to private equity over the past five years than at any other time and average deals in the U.S. rose dramatically this past year. Yet as many founders and senior leaders who created these respected private equity firms begin to retire, the changing of senior leadership creates an unprecedented opportunity for firms to bring in a new generation of leaders. With increasing competition and digital disruption, the ability to modernize will allow private equity firms to sustain long-term growth.
Expansion of Pure Play into Brick & Mortar Retail
As we reported earlier this year, retail is not dying but it is changing form. We are excited to see that many online retailers continue to open physical locations, expanding from a pure play model to an omni-channel play. Many digitally native companies recognize that brick and mortar locations are where customers can immerse in brand culture, and the in-store atmosphere has proven to be a key differentiator for brands to create lasting impressions and returning customers. With traditional brands and digital-first retailers converging, the true omni-channel strategy will win.
At Herbert Mines Associates, 2018 has been a time of reflection on our four decades of service to this ever-changing industry. Despite the transformation retail and consumer has seen since 1978, we are proud of our ongoing commitment to quality and our role as partners and thought leaders within the space. As we celebrate the past 40 years, we look forward to the next 40 and all the change to come!
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer