Professional Profile:Senior Executive with broad experience in sales, lean manufacturing and general management across several industries and continents.
• Diverse industry expertise in wine packaging, petroleum services and automotive parts, building products, professional lighting, wine retail, and transportation.• Enterprise-wide expertise in general management, sales & marketing, manufacturing and operations. Directly accountable for businesses with up to $150 million turnover, 550 employees, and 5 manufacturing sites. • Experience leading big change initiatives including mergers, acquisitions and integrations.• Proven ability to adapt to different cultures and apply solid management principles in new, diverse settings: Worked in Denmark, USA, Canada, Australia, Indonesia, Czech Republic, and Belgium for Swiss, American, Canadian, Indonesian, British, Dutch, French, Czech and German managed companies. • A steady hand during turbulent or difficult periods, matched with a curious attitude and appetite for innovation.• Successful growth in sales, market share, and margins through strengthening marketing, capturing new channels (including OEM/private label), and new product development.• Areas of responsibility ranged from national to regional to global markets.• Skills in leading organizational change and identifying & developing high level staff.• Tenacious, reliable, and team-oriented, but a terrible golfer.
MBA, with Distinction 1990-1991
BACHELOR OF COMMERCE (Marketing) 1982-1986
ESSENTIALS OF LEADERSHIP, Executive Education, 2003
• English, French & Czech – All Fluent
• Dual Canadian and EU citizenship
2015-2016, Vice President Group Projects (based in Belgium)• After the private equity exit of previous company (see below), was re-assigned to work on the growth strategy of the new holding conglomerate.• Designed and negotiated a deal to become the sole distributor of premium glass closures in North and South America, China, and several core European countries. Improved selling margins with a shift up in the product mix and developed inroads into the premium closure market.• Worked on mergers, acquisitions, and integration projects which expanded the core synthetic closure business.• Smoothly integrated a company with a very independent mindset into a larger corporate structure. Worked hand-in-hand with the acquired CEO and management team to implement a governance structure, financial reporting, and controls. Regularly reported on progress and roadblocks to all stakeholders. Developed a business plan which increases group EBITDA by 7% and which utilizes innovative materials in idle injection moulding capacity.
2008-2015, Vice President; General Manager Europe/Middle East/Africa (based in Belgium) • Managed the European headquarters and plant, with profit and loss (P&L) responsibility for 2/3 of the total company turnover, and a team of 220 people spread throughout Europe. • Leaned–out and cost-optimized the business in advance of private equity exit. Coordinated regional implementation of global production and sales initiatives to ensure cost competitiveness and customer satisfaction. Eliminated approximately $1 million of costs (2-3%) every year. Participated in the company pitch to prospective new shareholders.• Lead a pilot diversification project to print and finish screw caps at the Belgian factory; negotiated terms with the Czech supplier of raw caps.• Was the sole European representative on the executive management team (reporting directly to the CEO); participated in board of directors meetings. Successfully reversed the drift of the European region away from the company’s collaborative culture back into one global team.• Implemented a talent tracking and succession planning system, and several personnel and team development plans including one which aligned and improved communication amongst the 12 departmental heads from all functions. • Grew plastic extrusion production capacity by 2.5x through efficiency improvements and to optimize global supply chain economies.• Reversed decline in average selling price through product innovation and expansion, and increased share of direct sales to key accounts.• Founding member of working group to establish a European Synthetic Cork Producers association in Brussels.
2007-2008, Chairman of the Board of Directors and C.E.O. (based in Czech Republic) • Took over the operating control and daily management of the company in a turn-around situation.• Refreshed the brand, restructured the company into two separate divisions, and moved the commercial strategy from manufacturing towards trade and services.• Expanded into China (both sales and sourcing); established a representative office in Shanghai. Evaluated a potential JV partner in India for the manufacture of low-cost woven seals.• Developed and promoted innovation. Expanded product range into new materials and price segmenting. Benchmarked product specifications with partners and OEM customers.• Regained key accounts’ confidence in the company.• Built a marketing department to increase internal & external brand awareness.• Identified and developed talented managers to higher levels of authority.• Discovered and capitalized on export leads; top line increased by 10%.• Improved working capital situation by focusing on collection time of receivables.
2006, Country Managing Director Czech Republic (based in Prague)• Was appointed to manage the new multi-site business with turnover of $150 million, 550 employees, 5 factories and a head office. • Responsibility for the local integration of the newly acquired company; our merger was considered to be one of the smoothest in the unit.• Led the development of shared services and growth opportunities between the gypsum & insulation businesses. Realized 25% reduction in admin costs. • Consolidated logistics and other purchases for load optimizations and negotiations leverage under a central manager. • Started a distribution channel review to optimize selling margins.
2005-2006, Managing Director (based in Prague) • Total P&L responsibility for the Czech subsidiary of a British multi-national manufacturing company; turnover of $60 million, 200+ employees, 3 factories.• Introduced innovation management and led the launch of a 3rd major product category (powders) which grew by 200% annually. • Gained share in core plasterboard business by 3-5% when it had been even with the global number 2 competitor for years. • Won investment approval for and initiated a 4th factory to increase sales in the insulation business.• Fine-tuned the first-line management into a) a team, of b) high performers through regular meetings and goal-oriented team assignments.• Developed the marketing department to become the benchmark and source of innovation within the central and Eastern Europe region.
2001-2004, Sales Manager Central &Eastern Europe (based in Prague) • P&L responsibility for a business unit in 27 countries with $90 million revenues, 150 commercial staff, and encompassing 3 production sites. • Lead a full regional head office team of various nationalities across all functions, as well as sub-region and country managers in the field.• Focused on maximizing profitability and growth:• grew the business from $70 million to $90 million• grew share of direct project sales and developed the marketing approach to architects in order to improve the margins and product mix• Developed and implemented a commercial strategy for gaining market share in Russia, including the establishment of a local assembly operation.• Created a regional catalogue specific for the markets of the region (ensuring the required logistics, certification, and packaging behind the product offer of >3000 SKUs).• Adjusted the demands of the headquarters in the NL to the realities of the local markets, thereby gearing the business for optimal growth sustainment. • Served annually as a high-potentials assessor in the talent development process.
President of the College of Administration JV Company, Romania (This position was part of the duties of the Sales Manager position). • Managed majority interests as the head of the board of a joint-venture production & sales company. Stabilized and then improved the relationship with a demanding/problematic venture partner.• The Managing Director of the company reported to me.
2001(Jan-Jun), Marketing & Sales Manager Luminaires • Directed 8 countries of Central Europe with $20 million revenues and 65 staff.• Strengthened growth curves in core countries and developed new sales channels in the countries of former Yugoslavia.
1995-2000, Commercial Director / Product Development Manager, Czech & Slovak (based in Prague)• Built a revenue base of $20 million, with 35 people including purchasing and customer service. Created a marketing & sales process in newly emerging markets for a recently acquired company traditionally selling economy and basic ceramic ware. Launched a new brand and luxury product ranges in the bathroom markets.• Enjoyed compounded growth of approx. 200% across all product lines, 300% in brass fixtures.• Developed a positioning strategy, sales team, distribution network, and export sales to Switzerland.• Worked in the European product development team on new designs and ranges.
1995 (Jan-May), Marketing Services Manager• Created new marketing and sales support materials to support the new brand.• Prepared the newly acquired, post-communist manufacturing company to participate in trade dealings and exhibits as a “modern” company.
Early Career History:
1992-1994, Assistant Manager (based in Calgary, Canada) SELF EMPLOYED, (Project Consultant) 1991-1993, Toronto, Canada; Jakarta, Indonesia; Phoenix, USA
GRADUATE STUDIES and TRAVEL1988-91, MBA studies in USA, and Travel in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji
1987-1988, Market Development Officer, Food Products (based in Toronto) 1986-1987, Marketing Representative (based in Calgary) Summer 1986, Project Coordinator (North Carolina, USA) Summer 1985, Marketing Trainee (Copenhagen, Denmark)
• Married, one daughter Interests:
• Professional - Team building and people development, product innovation • Personal - Mountain biking, skiing, travel