Focus Brands is a large, private equity backed developer and franchiser of food service brands, operating over 6,000 locations including restaurants, cafes, ice cream shops, and bakeries. Their most well-known brands are Auntie Anne’s, Cinnabon, Jamba Juice, and Schlotzsky’s.
Focus Brands has a division dedicated to global channels that develops licensing partnerships with other CPG brands or food service companies. The goal in this search was to find a CPG executive with extensive experience in business development from a large food & beverage company, who ideally had previous experience in licensing deals.
ACCUR Recruiting Services was retained for this search thanks to its strong focus on consumer industries, nationwide reach, and experience in senior business development search.
The challenge in this search lies in the unique nature of Focus Brands’ business. Although the food & beverage sector is expansive, the licensing model is still relatively niche, and there are few executives with experience in these types of partnerships. These executives are not selling products or franchise opportunities but rather offering full solutions with a very consultative approach. Additionally, the position is based in Atlanta, GA, which is only around the 40th largest city in the US, yet it is the home of The Coca-Cola Company.
Our Executive Search Strategy
We were looking for an executive meeting the criteria below:
- Strong executive-level experience in Business Development
- A robust background in the food & beverage industry
- Previous experience with licensing agreements and partnerships
- Located in or available to relocate to the Atlanta Metro area.
Our Executive Search Process
- Kick-off call with the VP of HR and President of the Global Channel Division
- Creation of a list of target companies in the Food & Beverage industry with business models including licensing
- Identification of the most current and recent Directors, VPs, and SVPs in Sales and Business Development
- Weekly progress calls with our contacts to calibrate the search and discuss recent and future interviews
- “Long-list” of 150 relevant executives
- 20 candidates interviewed by ACCUR’s Senior Recruitment Consultant and Managing Partner
- 10 candidates submitted to the client
- 8 candidates interviewed by the client -> Final result: The hired candidate comes from an initial foodservice experience followed by over 12 years in various sales and business development roles at PepsiCo and Coca-Cola, including their foodservice sales division.
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