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President Executive Search Case Study

Case Study of Executive Search for President

Case Study Scenario

A case study of a President Executive Search. Intellerati was retained to help an advertising agency recruit its next President. Our client was one of the leading marketing communications agencies in the world. It needed to find a President to lead its digital marketing team based in Detroit, Michigan. The location was a turn-off to many candidates. The Rust Belt city was under significant economic duress with the highest foreclosure rate in the Nation.

Moreover, the ideal executive had to be capable of managing a team of more than 200 professionals, as well as spearheading the digital marketing initiatives for one of our client’s most important accounts — one of the big 3 automakers. The executive had to be capable of providing the agency’s largest Detroit client with the vision needed to turn its struggling automobile manufacturing business around.

The Challenge

It was far easier to entice most top executives to move away from Detroit than to commit to packing up and making the Motor City their family’s new home.

Actionable Intelligence

Intellerati uncovered a critical piece of intelligence from several candidates: we learned of a great digital marketing firm under duress. The firm was experiencing significant growing pains at its offices across the country. As a result, the company’s executives felt overworked and unappreciated, assigned too many client accounts as the firm scaled in size without the necessary manpower. Executives there told us that they didn’t feel they had the opportunity to make a real difference for their clients because they lacked the time and resources. In other words, it wouldn’t take much to convince one of their executives to leave. Intellerati then applied a cultural filter asking, “Which executives from the target company might be more willing to make a move to Detroit?” As we examined the backgrounds of executives working at the newly prioritized target company, we found our answer – an ad executive who grew up in a similar industrial city: Buffalo, New York.

The Results

The Winning Candidate in Just 16 Business Days.  In just four weeks, Intellerati developed six screened, qualified and interested candidates for the President role, one of whom was subsequently hired into an alternative role at no additional cost to the client. In addition, Intellerati delivered comprehensive research profiling 130 executives in the digital marketing space, which our client could leverage to build out their internal search function.

Performance Metrics

  • 2 Business Days: Target candidate profiles
  • 5 Business Days: First candidate Presented
  • 16 business Days: Presented winning candidate hired as President
  • Bonus Hire: 2nd hire at no additional cost of a strong successor to the President
  • Bonus Research: 130 Senior Executives Profiles

Presidential ROI: $30 Million+

  • Selected to lead a team that saved a $25 million luxury automotive account. Created innovative marketing ideas and effectively pitched ideas to executive management.
  • Delivered a 2-year, $30 million project for a leading US automaker on time and within budget. Project heralded as a key contributing factor in the company’s turnaround and profit growth during a tough economic climate.
  • Implemented a new Delivery Services department responsible for taking the agency’s net profitability from 15% to 22%+ during a 2-year period and delivering $8+ million in new service-line revenue (Social CRM).
  • After 3 years as Ad Agency President, promoted to Country President where his successes continue.
Krista Bradford

Krista Bradford

Founder and CEO of Intellerati | The Good Search. Retained executive search headhunter. Former investigative journalist. Wife of saxman. Mama of MD. Co-worker of Hamlet the Corgi. TikTok addict.View Author posts