President, for Fast-paced Digital Tech Company

A leading, global technology company has retained Kincannon and Reed to recruit a President to lead a new line of business. This role is critical in consolidating the result of a series of recent acquisitions by establishing a unique culture fostering teamwork, realizing growth ambitions across the units, and setting up the business for a potential IPO or other monetization event.

The Company

As a new division of the Company, the mission is to create better food outcomes by feeding the world and improving the quality and safety of our food by leveraging technology innovation and human compassion. As our food needs evolve, so will our need for information. They are making a commitment to everyone from seed growers to grocers, to leverage the power of connection and technology, to build trust, to link systems together, and to use resources and information in new ways. They want to build something stronger, for everyone to share the responsibility, by cultivating partnerships that drive the industry forward in harvesting ideas as transformative as the first horse-drawn plow.

They have acquired eight companies over the last 18 months and are in the process of aligning businesses and cultures while aggressively continuing to pursue growth ambition. The company currently employs over 1200 people in 10 countries, serving customers in more than 50 countries, and has strong growth ambitions over the next 3 years

Connecting the global food chain is both a noble goal and massive challenge. They are in the process of designing the organizational structure with Crop Agriculture, Animal Agriculture, CPG/Retail, and Technology as separate yet connected platforms to capture the synergy across the entire food chain. The Company’s vast depth and experience in digital technology and communications is a resource for the new President to leverage as the Executive Leadership Team further refines and implements its strategy.

Position Overview

The purpose of this role is to lead the growth program while simultaneously integrating the existing businesses to strike the balance between local ownership and efficient leverage of common infrastructure and processes.

The President will provide strategic and hands-on leadership that will leverage synergies across the agricultural platforms, guide the Company’s product and service mix to focus on profitable products and markets, enhance strategic relationships with key customers, and boost the capabilities and performance of direct reports and possible acquisitions.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Lead the integration of separate yet connected platforms consisting of 8+ companies resulting in cooperation and buy-in towards a common vision and mission across the board.
  • Develop a high-performance culture and executive team which leverages past individual strengths and networks while gaining synergies across companies.
  • Develop and implement a strategic plan to advance the platform’s mission and objectives that drive revenue, profitability, and growth. Deliver strong and consistent revenue and EBITDA growth return year-over-year on a sustainable basis.
  • Mutually establish goals with each member of the senior leadership team that aligns with the platform’s strategy and goals. Monitor performance to ensure goals are achieved.
  • Oversee the continued improved product mix to higher-margin products, services, and market segments.
  • Oversee development and implementation of an effective organizational structure, operating procedures, policies, and standards, along with the development of reliable operational metrics.
  • Establish and enhance relationships with key customers and suppliers to generate new business opportunities.
  • Lead, build and motivate to support genuine empowerment, teamwork, and unification across the organization.
  • Build and maintain a solid balance sheet.
  • Collaborate with the Company team to acquire and profitably integrate companies that leverage the platform.

Other important parameters for this position include:

  •  Reports to the EVP, Presidents, and several others.
  • The position is supported by a team of 7-10 direct reports and a total staff of over 1200.
  • Location is flexible, as long as it is close to one of the hubs in North America or the UK.
  • Percent Travel: Significant short term, anticipated to be less than 40% long term.

Candidate Profile

We seek a high-energy, fast-paced, extraordinary leader who has the ability to corral and direct the currently 8 portfolio companies and create an agile high-performance culture. A strategic doer with strong interpersonal skills that are equally effective in a boardroom, engaging team members around the world, customer meetings, and in a grower’s field.

Experience and Education

  • Minimum of 15 years experience in agricultural tech information, equipment, insights, and/or crop inputs industry at the manufacturer and/or distribution level, with at least 10 years in management roles – precision ag product experience is a plus. IPO experience is a plus.
  • Management experience in a mid-sized entrepreneurial company that grew to a larger one via integration with extensive improvements in operations, logistics, and sales processes and structure.
  • Success in developing empowered, high-performing teams and unifying a work culture.
  • Extensive P&L experience for a size-appropriate business unit.
  • Direct experience or oversight in sales and marketing of information.
  • Experience in transitional leadership—adding structure and processes to transform and professionalize the team and enterprise. 

Skills & Personal Characteristics

  • High level of integrity and physical/intellectual energy. A collaborative leadership style that demonstrates confidence, assertiveness, sound judgment, and a straightforward tenor to relationships.
  • Able to quickly generate trust with employees and stakeholders.
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to communicate to the Board how new initiatives and capital investment translate to EBITDA growth.
  • A data-driven, process, and action-oriented mindset.
  • Moderately high-risk tolerance—willing to push the edges, make big moves, and take chances.
  • Technically curious.
  • Holds self and others accountable. High energy with appropriate sense of urgency.

Education

  • A bachelor’s degree is required, preferably in an agricultural, technology, or relevant business discipline.
  • Graduate degree in business or agronomic field is a plus.

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