Thursday, February 28, 2013
Temping at the Highest Levels: Meet the Interim Executive.
John M. Collard quoted in the Huffington Post.
By Robert Jordan
Fifteen years ago I ran into a friend at a conference who was about to hand me yet another business card. As I took the new card, I tried to crack a joke, asking him "Can't you hold down a job?" Then I read: Philip Monego
Yes, the card actually
read Yahoo and Philip really
was the first CEO.
But what did "interim" CEO mean? Phillip explained that he had a team of executives that could parachute into a new company to help the founders. Philip rode in alongside the VC investor's funding as CEO for the first 90 days of Yahoo's life as a company. In that short period of time he brought in the first managers, incorporated the company, located and built out office space, outlined a business plan, identified and secured new business and investment partners and recruited his replacement -- the first permanent CEO.
Fast forward 15 years: more executives are choosing short-term, fast-results assignments and more companies are embracing interim executives as a solution. Private equity funds sometimes need help with portfolio companies lacking management resources. Venture capitalists see promising technologies from young entrepreneurs, but want experienced veteran management to help guide the teams. Corporate boards struggle when senior managers fall short and there is no backup or relief in sight. Company owners almost by definition are overloaded and need help so they can focus on what they do best. These situations are just calling out for a plug-and-play executive.
There are highly visible cases of big companies in crisis like Enron and Krispy Kreme bringing in an interim executive, but these days more and more middle market companies are utilizing this new type of supertemp without adding to permanent overhead.
When Country Kitchen restaurants faltered and was placed into receivership, Walter Simson was brought in as interim CEO to ready the company for sale.
"The bank had no knowledge of our functions. Senior management was tied to the past," Chuck Mocco, current CEO of Country Kitchen International says. "Walter saw things through a clear window. He didn't have to deal with history, just the going forward. He brought clarity."
That clarity included focusing on core services and products, giving a new focus to the breakfast menu. Under Simson's leadership, sales which had been declining for 27 months hit break even.
Like Simson, most interims stay clear of political agenda or bureaucracy because they are measured on one thing: results. This focus allows them to bring a unique perspective that many companies are missing when they get in too deep.
Companies call on interim executives outside of crises as well. InRoads Technologies, a California based company specializing in enterprise software, wanted to shift from a service company to a product company. Owner Tom Burton brought in interim executive Mark Palmer to strategize and execute the transition. "He kept us focused and accountable," Burton said. It took Palmer to lock down key partnerships with Salesforce, Sun Microsystems and IBM, significantly increasing revenue and profits. Eventually financial-software giant Intuit purchased InRoads.
"Interim executives are highly qualified, experienced and able to produce upon arrival," turnaround expert and chairman of the new Association of Interim Executives, www.interimexecs.org
John Collard says. "Our skill level and expertise means we can be productive in a matter of days." Collard, who leads Strategic Management Partners, Inc. Strategic Management Partners, Inc.
and has participated in 45 M&A transactions, has been called into companies at the final hour on more than one occasion.
The interim specialty runs the gamut from CEO to CFO, COO, CMO and beyond. Dominic Luzi was called in by a European manufacturer of luxury goods to serve as Interim CIO and dive into software and human resource challenges. Utilizing a wide-ranging skillset, Luzi wore multiple hats to tackle a myriad of problems. By the close of his stint the company had a new, defined strategy for their global business; and had consolidated IT, manufacturing, supply chain and product line offerings.
While interim management is not yet a household phrase, some companies are already getting the best of both worlds: temporary and expert. ### Principal:
John M. Collard is a Certified Turnaround Professional (CTP), and a Certified International Turnaround Manager (CITM), who brings 35 years senior operating leadership, $85M asset and investment recovery, 43+ transactions worth $780M+, and $80M fund management expertise to run troubled companies, serve on boards, advise company boards, litigators, institutional and private equity investors, and raise capital. John is Chairman of Strategic Management Partners, Inc. (410-263-9100, www.StrategicMgtPartners.com
) in Annapolis, Maryland. John is inducted into the Turnaround Management, Restructuring, and Distressed Investing Industry Hall Of Fame
, Past Chairman
of the Turnaround Management Association (TMA), and Chairman
of the Association of Interim Executives (AIE)
. John is 2012 winner of Corporate Intl Magazine Global Award for Corporate Recovery Specialist of the Year. Firm: Strategic Management Partners, Inc. (www.StrategicMgtPartners.com 410-263-9100)
is a turnaround management firm specializing in interim management and executive CEO leadership, asset and investment recovery, corporate renewal governance, board and private equity advisory, raising capital, and investing in distressed underperforming troubled companies. The firm has been advisor to Presidents Bush (41 & 43), Clinton, Reagan, and Yeltsin, World Bank, EBRD, Company Boards, and Equity Capital Investors on leadership, governance, turnaround management and equity investing. SMP is celebrating 25 years of service to its clients. SMP was named Maryland's Small Business of the Year, and received the Governor's Citation, Governor Martin J. O'Malley, The State of Maryland
as a special tribute to honor work in the areas of turning around troubled companies and saving jobs in Maryland. Turnarounds & Workouts Magazine twice named SMP among the 'Top Outstanding Turnaround Management Firms'
. American Business Journals named SMP among the Most Active Turnaround Management and Consulting Firms
in Baltimore, Washington, and the Mid-Atlantic Region. Global M&A Network Turnaround Atlas Awards named SMP as Boutique Turnaround Consulting Firm of the Year
. SMP is 2012 winner of Corporate Intl Magazine Global Award for Interim Management Specialist Firm of the Year. Strategic Management Partners, Inc.
: turnaround managers ready to run troubled companies, recover assets from investments gone bad, advise boards of directors and investors on company viability in distressed situations, and raise funding. We provide strong interim and operational leadership, strategic planning, financial, defense conversion, sales and marketing acumen developed building organizations in large and small companies, including President of public & private middle-market companies providing solutions to Commercial, Federal, International markets. Enterprises range from start-up to $250+mil. Industry expertise: Manufacturing; Job Shop; Engineering Services; Defense Electronics; Aerospace; Federal Government Contracting; Systems Integration; High-Tech; Computer Processing/Services/Software/Integration; Communications; Finance; Marine Services; Real Estate Development; Construction; Fabrication; and Printing. Association: InterimExecs.org
an association for interim C-Level Execs around the globe. InterimExecs.org
is the home base for C-level executives who dive into companies to create superior results. The association is a resource for interims and companies seeking instant improvement. The Association of Interim Executives is the voice of interim executives globally, a professional association with the mandate to educate the business world about the expanding specialty being practiced by many thousands of executives. We provide a forum for increasing knowledge within the profession and bring together interim executives and the companies that need them.
End ### Reference: www.StrategicMgtPartners.com Turnaround Managers www.StrategistLibrary.com
or Strategic Management Partners, Inc. Library Benefits of Interim Management Managing Turnarounds in Times of Crisis Is Your Company in Trouble? Published by Corporate Board Magazine Collard on NewsReleaseWire
Interviews: Why Join an Association? John Collard on the Launch of InterimExecs.org It's Not the Economy, Its Mismanagement - John Collard, Chairman of Strategic Management Partners What is an Interim Executive? – Robert Jordan, CEO of Association of Interim Executives Launch of the Association of Interim Execs! – Olivia Wolak, President of Association of Interim Executives Association of Interim Execs: Mission – Olivia Wolak, President of Association of Interim Executives Social Media: John M. Collard on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JohnMCollard John M. Collard on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/JohnMCollard John M. Collard on Twitter at http://twitter.com/JohnCollard Association of Interim Execs: InterimExecs.org Huffington Post Piece: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-jordan/temping-at-the-highest-le_b_2725761.html
at the Huffington Post Firm: www.StrategicMgtPartners.com Turnaround and Interim Management Experts
John M. Collard
Strategic Management Partners, Inc.