Finding a new Asia CFO for a legendary musical brand
The US-based market leader in a subsector of musical instruments was looking for a new Asia CFO to oversee its company’s finances in APAC.
The client wanted someone with experience in consumer goods and retail who would be able to support business growth and strategy in the region. In addition, this person should be considered a successor to the Regional President, making strong commercial instincts essential.
While this career progression would be perceived as an attractive selling-point in many markets, it was limiting for this particular search. The CFO would be located at the regional headquarters in Japan – a market known for its relative lack of commercially-driven finance leaders capable of taking on general business management.
Because the candidate would need to speak English fluently and communicate confidently with senior executives abroad and throughout the region. It was agreed that we would likely need to prioritize a foreign individual with APAC leadership experience and already based in Japan.
Finally, one of the biggest challenges of the search turned out to be the extensive travel by the hiring manager throughout the process. This required delicate handling of the candidates’ expectations in order to maintain engagement and avoid premature dropouts.
With a search team of 1 lead consultant and 2 senior researchers we focused on building a map of CFO-level foreigners across different industries to provide the client with a broad picture of the talent available. This exercise helped the client finalize their requirements and decide to ultimately focus on candidates in consumer retail brands.
Within 5 weeks we presented a shortlist of 4 executive-level CFO candidates representing different areas of the consumer industry. Each candidate was highly qualified and taken through the entire interview process by the client.
After 3 months the client offered their preferred candidate, a finance professional with stellar experience in the luxury space including cross border responsibilities, international exposure and a strong commercial mindset. He was also extremely passionate about the brand and considered the role and company a dream opportunity.
Both sides expressed great satisfaction with the process as well as the final result.
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