Chief Operating Officer - HBC - HH17042

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Hunt Executive Search Announcement

Our client is a privately owned, rapidly growing, best-in-class turnkey contract manufacturer, innovator and distributer of fast moving consumer products. Promoting cross-functional collaboration, customer communication & excellence in service, flexibility & adaptability, and innovation, we seek a strategic Chief Operating Officer to lead our client’s tactical and strategic operations management. The COO will oversee the technical and supply organizations within the rapidly changing high-volume FMCG/CPG environment.

Our client has a strong track record of profitability and superior client retention while generating revenues of >$300M annually with net sales growth at ~15% CAGR and an excellent EBITDA margin. The Chief Operating Officer is expected to play an instrumental role in guiding the PE-owned organization toward continued success and a 3x+ growth objective in the next five years; driving operational efficiencies, organizational effectiveness, profitability, client growth & retention, and executing future growth plans.

The objective of the Chief Operating Officer is to serve as a trusted partner to the Chief Executive Officer to effectively assess, continuously evaluate, plan and execute against the company’s operating plans, talent development goals, and aggressive growth objectives. Overseeing the multi-site operation, he/she is expected to ensure the overall effectiveness of the company’s operations; focusing on revenue growth, cost savings, quality improvement, and maintaining a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Position:      Chief Operating Officer

Reports to:   Chief Executive Officer

Location:     Greater Chicago Area

Required:    COO, CSO or similar experience within FMCG or Contract Manufacturing

Position Purpose

The Chief Operating Officer will be a key contributor to corporate strategies supporting robust growth objectives over the next several years. This role will hold responsibility for leading all operational and technical aspects of the organization focused on Manufacturing (Compounding, Production, Engineering, Maintenance), Supply (Procurement, Forecasting/MRP, Master Scheduling, Customer Service/Sales, Supply & Demand Planning, S&OP, Warehousing, Inventory), and Technical (Quality, Product Development).

The appropriate candidate will serve as an influential leader and strategic business partner for the previously family-owned company, which is now under the guidance of a top-flight PE firm with an exceptional track record with mid-market companies. He/she will lead by engaging, coaching and developing an energetic team of ~500; ensuring all programs & priorities are aligned to drive improved capabilities, end-to-end supply harmonization, competitive customer service deliverables & industry best practices.

The COO must possess the ability to build his/her team towards continued functional excellence, but also to collaborate exceptionally well in a small, dedicated, hand-on, cross-functional leadership team focused on results, accountability and team-development. The incumbent will be expected to instill a fast-growth mindset, and building a culture of “one team pursuing one dream.”

He/she must have experience in a high-SKU/high-volume CPG environment and customer facing to ensure the customer service/sales, supply, manufacturing and technical organizations continue to operate as valued business partners. Financial and ERP/system competencies are required to measure, communicate & drive results, and to improve information flow internally & externally. The COO will serve as an inspirational & influential leader; infusing the organization with new thinking, adaptability, and improved ways of operating, while providing a sustainable & competitive advantage for the organization.

Job Description & Responsibilities Include:

  • Initiate key strategic initiatives across the non-union sites to continually improve working capital utilization and operating cash flow. Focus areas of opportunity include leading operations, supply, engineering, NPD/R&D/quality, and contributing to sales objectives.
  • Assess available data and establish key metrics to measure success including: Supplier Performance Management (Quality, Cost, Delivery, Service), Manufacturing Metrics (OEE, Throughput, Capacity Utilization, Rejects, Production Attainment, Downtime to Operating Time, Rate of NPI, Changeover Time, Manufacturing Cost Ratios), Supply Objectives (WIP Inventory & Turns, MRP, Customer Fill Rate/On-Time delivery/Perfect Order Percentage, Inventory Management, Customer Service), and other key metrics and SMART goals (EBIDTA, CAGR, Market Share, ROI, Target Achievement.)
  • Develop strategic plans to drive step change improvements in areas of opportunity within the company’s inventory portfolio, and in meeting/exceeding customers’ needs for improved communication, quick turns & on-time delivery related to promotional products, year-round products, new product launches, and seasonal demands.
  • Continuously develop costing and timelines for RFPs, maintaining customer service levels and interfacing with customers as needed, while overseeing items quoted though turnkey partners.
  • Effectively utilize financial statements, sales and activity reports, along with other available performance data to identify areas for cost savings, increased efficiencies and capacity, and new areas of revenue generation.
  • Backstop manufacturing and technical (R&D, Quality, Product Development) team members on challenges or issues providing the necessary resources or support as required.
  • Represent the organization in key customer meetings providing insight into the overall supply and technical capabilities as it relates to innovation, delivering finished products, and in identifying new ways to better serve customers.
  • Benchmark and establish targets for forecast accuracy, inventory turns, inventory obsolescence and monitoring results to ensure targets are met/exceeded.
  • Establish and implement short- and long-term objectives, initiatives, procedures and policies in collaboration with the CEO & Board’s objectives.
  • Partner with the commercial group to develop annual sales forecast and growth strategies, incorporating these into operational plans, initiatives and objectives.
  • Assess and implement global sourcing strategies focused on meeting quality, financial and timeline objectives.
  • Create and maintain an environment focused on development, training & growth. Ensure reports have active growth plans and are coached to strengthen developmental areas of opportunity, while also ensuring his/her own succession/growth.
  • Lead the transition from a top-down and family-led culture, to a more progressive and inclusive environment under the new PE leadership committed to taking the company from good to great.
  • Adhere to the company’s values regarding loyalty, transparency, inclusiveness, meritocracy and collaboration in daily activities, interactions and communications.

Education/Requirements Include:

  • 10+ years of progressive leadership roles within Operations and Product Supply in a CM/CPG/FMCG/Food/Bev industry. FMCG is required, Contract Manufacturing experience is a plus.
  • Experience in a High Volume, High SKU, Fast Moving Regulatory Environment. Customer Interfacing required.
  • Track record of Strategy Setting & Deployment, Change Management, & Large-Scale Time-Compressed Growth Projects.
  • Ability to work in a growing, entrepreneurial, and small- to mid-sized organization poised for significant growth.
  • Proven growth & cultural awareness in fast-moving organizations. Upwardly mobile, self-driven, adaptive leadership style.
  • BS in Finance, Business, Purchasing or Operations related field. MS/MBA, ISM, APICs & major ERP preferred.
  • Key Competencies: leadership & development, impact focused, adaptability, project management, strong influencing skills, and high-level communication/negotiation/problem solving.

If you or anyone you know are qualified and meet the requirements outlined in this announcement, please send your resume to for consideration.

Please Note: this is intended to provide a brief overview of the position and is being shared with numerous potentially qualified individuals and organization leaders within our network.

We receive hundreds of referrals and inquiries daily from multiple sources. Regretfully, we are unable to respond to every individual. Please know we will give careful consideration to all email inquiries.  

All candidate communications will be held in the strictest of confidence. For ethical reasons, we are unable to represent individuals currently employed by any of our protected clients without the client’s written authorization. Please feel free to contact us with your recommendations.