The Client: A globally-renowned retailer with several popular brands under its umbrella.

The Challenge: The organization sought Ampersand’s help in selecting the right candidate for President of Retail, after a run of three who had been viewed as ineffective. Ampersand helped the organization recognize that these were not simply individual leadership problems, but instead were indications of systemic issues. The scope of the project thus broadened to include an examination of the organizational and leadership challenges that were hindering success.

Our Findings: As with many organizations, what got the company “here” was not what was required to lead it into the future. Ampersand’s Organizational and Executive Diligence processes revealed that limited strategic direction and micromanagement by the executive team was eroding the culture that had long been a part of the winning corporate formula. Additionally, there was a great need for a scalable “people strategy” to support the potential growth of the company. Finally, a number of new functional capabilities were also required. Based upon assessment recommendations, Ampersand helped plan and create a new path forward, with a focus on strengthening talent across functions.

Our Contributions:

  • Supporting the succession of the CFO to CEO and helping to enable his transformation of the company.
  • Determining the leadership “success profile” required to achieve the organization’s vision.
  • Designing and implementing an upgraded executive assessment process.
  • Creating high-impact leadership development programs.
  • Delivering one-on-one coaching for selected executives.
  • Offering talent recommendations to support acquisitive and organic growth into new and international markets.

The Outcomes: Instituted a complete makeover of the management team, with new hires and promotions across all major roles. “A players” have been developed or hired into each of these roles.
Improved selection and development has yielded record retention levels (97% director level and above), a 200% increase in internal promotions, and significantly higher employee engagement.
Revenue doubled from $1.4 to $3B over six years with an 8-10% growth forecast for the coming year. Significant shareholder value has been created and maintained under the watch of the new CEO.
Transformed from “wholesale only” to more balanced revenue streams. Retail continues to grow, eCommerce has launched, and International is burgeoning.

Our commitment to confidentiality prevents us from disclosing the identity of our clients and other confidential information. The information contained in this case study is not intended to serve as advice.