Case Study

Search Details

Job Title: US President / General Manager
Seniority: Executive level
Search Type: Retained search
Job Location: New York, NY, USA
Link to job description
Manucurist Nailcare from France

Our Client

Company: Manucurist
Company Industry: Beauty (Nailcare)
Company Type: French Private Company
Client contacts: Global Chief Executive Officer, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Angel Investor

Company Description

Our client for this US President / General Manager role is a French beauty company specializing in nail care. The privately-owned company has experienced solid growth in the past few years, especially during COVID, thanks to a product strategy aligned with the Do-It-Yourself trend.

Search Overview

After successfully launching the brand in several European countries and observing strong recent results, the company is prepared to enter the US market. It has decided to initiate an entirely digital strategy, modeled after the distribution approaches of beauty DNVBs (Digitally Native Vertical Brands), which integrate social media and direct-to-consumer e-commerce. The objective of this search was to identify a beauty executive with profound knowledge of the US market and the capability to execute a comprehensive digital strategy, while the headquarters prepares for a subsequent approach to beauty retailers like Ulta and Sephora.

Search Challenges

There were several key challenges in this search. First, the Manucurist brand had almost no awareness in the US. This meant that social media and content creation would be crucial to building brand recognition. Second, we faced the talent shortage and recent significant inflation of salaries in the e-commerce field. The COVID crisis prompted many businesses to either launch or strengthen their online presence, often as the only means of surviving the pandemic. This rush to hire e-commerce executives caused one of the most substantial salary inflations we’ve observed in the 16 years of ACCUR’s operations.

Finally, the company aspired for rapid growth in the US. This meant they sought not just a self-motivated, entrepreneurially-minded individual, but also someone equipped with ready-to-use best practices to structure the business effectively from the outset. We typically translate this classic need into finding someone trained in large corporations, renowned for their processes and best practices, yet who also has successful experience within a much more entrepreneurial environment. In such settings, individuals often need to find creative solutions to offset the lack of substantial budgets and support teams.

Our Executive Search Strategy

  • At least 15 years of professional experience, including 10 in the beauty industry
  • The ability to introduce best practices from large and/or fast-growing medium-sized companies, coupled with the motivation to start a project from the ground up in the US market
  • Solid experience in social media and direct-to-consumer e-commerce
  • P&L management experience

Our Executive Search Process

  • Kick-off meeting with the CEO, the CMO, and their Angel Investor to outline their US development strategy and search criteria
  • Creation of a target list of companies, divided into two categories: beauty companies with a successful online strategy, whether pure DTC or omnichannel, and successful startups linked to the fashion industry with a strong online presence
  • Identification of their Head of Digital and/or Head of E-commerce
  • Selection of candidates capable of stepping up as a General Manager for a brand in the US

Final Outcome

  • “Long-list” of about 130 key e-commerce and digital executives from the beauty and fashion industries
  • 26 internal interviews conducted by ACCUR’s Recruitment Consultant and Managing Partner
  • 9 executive candidates submitted to the client
  • 5 candidates interviewed by the client -> The hired candidate was a veteran of the beauty industry, with experience in both large corporations and successful, nimble startups, as well as foundational experience with several digital agencies.”

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