UK fashion label seeks to hire CEO to drive online business.
Our client is a UK-based fashion label, a manufacturer and retailer, selling women’s clothing made in the UK to the circa 35-year-old professional market; established over 20 years; profitable and with revenues of £10M, mainly through B2B business with the likes of ASOS and Zalando.
It commenced B2C operations two years ago as a separate ‘spin out’ B2C entity (its online or eCommerce business); currently with £2M of annual sales; now looking to drive this to £30M over the coming years.
It is now seeking to raise and invest £10M into our online operation with a new CEO (and CFO) to lead the B2C team to deliver this goal. As the B2C online business grows, the parent business, will retain responsibility for design and manufacture while the spinout B2C entity will take control of online sales, IT infrastructure, fulfilment and customer support.
In addition to the CEO and CFO four other senior management team roles have been identified and the CEO would be expected to play an integral part in the recruitment of those hires.
The business specifically wishes to hire a CEO with CFO experience – who deeply understands the finances in on e-commerce business. Being an online business, the commitment to the data and the numbers is extremely strong. The company believes its “Made in the UK” business will have a high-profile public presence through media, social media, Government and other committees and would like its CEO to be able to represent the company in this public sphere.
It is expected that the partnership between our proposed CEO and proposed CFO will be very close. They are hiring both at the same time.
This is a great and interesting challenge for a CFO considering a move into a CEO leadership role in a new spinout ecommerce business, acting as the public face of the company represents. It will suit an aspiring and ambitious Head of Finance or CFO.
We would the CEO to have the following:
- a current role as CFO or Head of Finance or similar or recent experience as a CFO or a similar senior finance role in a high-profile ‘household name’ online retail business, not necessarily in the fashion industry – the desire is for this role to be a ‘step up’ for CFO into their first CEO role
- strong empathy and understanding with our customer user-base, their lifestyles, self-image and aspirations – initially UK-based women aged around 35, growing to an international audience
- experience in developing and presenting proposals and business plans in support of debt and equity investment, negotiation and ongoing liaison with bank, VC, PE and other lenders and investors
- experience presenting to board meetings, building and leading management teams, providing corporate leadership and representing the company in a high profile public setting – as CEO it is anticpiated that you will deal with TV, print media, social media and public speeches and presentations and that this will form a good part of the role
- comfort with supporting and driving an IT team which runs mission-critical operational infrastructure (and driving customer support, ethics and promotions teams)
- very strong ethical values and opinions, compatible with our own, especially in the area of corporate governance, contribution to the UK economy and the fashion industry as a whole
CEO Key Responsibilities
- deliver the £30M goal at target profit margin
- spend £10M investment wisely, totally accountably and allocate all costs to drive revenue and profit goals
- act as CEO of the business, developing a business plan to reach the £30M revenue goal, accountable to the shareholders for its delivery with all operational business units reporting in to the CEO
- oversee the development of industry-leading and breakthrough policies and practices in all areas relating to Good Company and Good Governance thinking, in support of company values