Top 10 Lessons Learned in Selling Your Company– Private Equity-backed CEOs Share Their Stories

PE Exits Dinner photo, Dane Estate 2015-02-26 20.01.12

In March, 2015, at the height of this winter’s snow fall that ultimately landed the year as “worst on record” for Boston, we at BSG had the opportunity to convene a panel of 3 CEOs to talk about exits. In common across these captains of industry?  All had been running private equity backed companies, all were located in the Northeast, and all had led their companies through successful exits, returning significant capital to their PE investors.

The differences between the 3 CEOs? Two exited to financial buyers (other PE firms), and 1 to a strategic. One was in the medical devices industry, another in building products, and the third in SaaS software.  One was a microcap, (sub 15M in revenues), one lower-middle market (25-50M in revenues), and the third north of $200M.

The setting for the panel?  The picturesque Dane Estate in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.  The format?  Fireside Chat.

The audience?  Other PE-backed CEOs and private equity investors intent upon sharpening their saws of learning in preparation for their opportunities for exits and liquidity.

After cocktails and over dinner, the conversation began in earnest.   Each CEO shared their stories around the company they inherited, the lead-up to exit, and the sales process that ensued.

Although the below does not comprehensively capture all “a-ha” nuggets, we offer here the aggregated top 10 lessons learned across these CEOs and their exit experiences.


#1: Companies usually have more hair than you thought before you joined as CEO: Make sure not to underestimate how much work needs to be done before a company is ready to enter a sales process.  If you’re joining from the outside, be cautious of overly aggressive exit time lines.  It’s a bit like that vacation traveler adage, “double the money and take half the clothes you packed.”

#2: Ensure alignment within ownership, board and management:  A smooth process requires upfront alignment among these parties on process, valuation, proceeds, timing, ideal partners and other factors. Once established, regular and thorough communication is required to maintain alignment.

#3: Be ready to capitalize on market conditions They are many elements that enter into making the decision of when to sell.  Because many of these are beyond one’s control, it is important to prepare the company early in the ownership cycle so that when conditions are right you are prepared to act to take advantage of the window.

#4: Sell the upside–growth potential for the future:  In attempting to capture maximum value, it is important to answer the question/create the picture of what the business will be like under new ownership.  For many financial buyers they need to believe that EBITDA under their ownership can double or better as a threshold condition of interest.

#5: Start the process early:   Hire an investment banker (and other advisors) and start the preparation process months before you think you want to go to market. This time is needed to educate the advisors, refine messaging/positioning, create marketing documents/presentations, financial statement and forecast preparation and to start to populate the data room. In one transaction, the CEO spent as much time preparing (5 months) as he did in the entire sales process (5 months). It all paid off. This deliberate approach also allowed CEO and CFO to focus on running the business during the preparation process.

#6: Pitch Book:  Have it ready, practice a lot, refine based on feedback.

#7: Be inclusive when shopping the company:  Include more prospective buyers (both financial and strategic) initially to find the right partner.

#8: Investment bankers:  Interview more than one investment bank. It will let you see who’s talking up the deal to get the business.  Don’t tell the investment bank you know how much you would be willing to sell the business for.  Let them price it.

#9: Beware of impact created via internal communication across the employee base: There were two schools of thought on whether to share M&A process more broadly than on a “need to know” basis.

PRO-sharing: More disclosure is better than less disclosure.  In a larger enterprise with many potential buyers it is difficult to ensure the sale process will remain confidential and it is better if customers, employees and other stakeholders hear the message from management and are kept apprised of key milestones along the way.  Openness may require that a key employee retention program be put in place or to ensure the contract addresses how employees will be treated post-closing to ensure the team is retained and focused until closing.

CON-sharing:  Keep the management team who are in-the-know small. Hard work but keeps the rest of the team focused and not distracted on transactional “what if’s.”  Keep the overall timeline very condensed. Keeps the momentum moving.

#10: The highest bidder isn’t always the best buyer: 2 out of 3 CEOs talked about how they ended up selling to bidders who were not top bidder.  In each case, there was good reason to sell to the 2nd highest bidder. One reason was because the high bidder was a direct competitor, and they felt it would put the health of the future business at risk.  The other CEO felt that the financial investor they ultimately selected conveyed a more compelling picture of growth for the company if they acquired it.

BSG Team Ventures successfully completes Silicon Valley search for venture capital-backed connected car company delivering innovative automotive software solutions



BSG Team Ventures has recruited Mahbubul Alam to join the leadership team at The Movimento Group. Alam joins Movimento after successfully creating and leading Cisco System’s strategy in IoT and M2M. A 17-year industry veteran, Alam will work with Movimento customers to maximize the potential of secure over-the-air (OTA) updates and enable new connected services for the vehicle. His extensive experience in security, mobility, wireless, product management, ecosystem strategy, and business development will help drive Movimento’s technology roadmap to give customers a competitive advantage.

“Mahbubul’s deep understanding of mobility and security comes at an ideal time given the automotive industry’s increasing reliance on software and concerns with cybersecurity,” said Ben Hoffman, Movimento CEO. “His Silicon Valley roots combined with a new Movimento office in California will help merge rapid software innovation with automotive expertise to support today’s new software-focused car paradigm.”

Before joining Movimento, Mahbubul Alam grew Cisco’s M2M business from the ground up to $350 M in four years. In addition to pioneering and developing the IoT/M2M vision, strategy, platform, and execution plan, he helped initiate the company’s Smart Connected Car roadmap. Prior to this, he defined, developed, and delivered Cisco’s flagship 4G LTE router, IoT edge-cloud gateway, and next-gen integrated services router (ISR G2), successfully driving customer engagement and sales.

“Movimento is already transforming the automotive industry through secure OTA technology and firmware reflashing, and it is my job to continue this success by helping our customers build the vehicles and services of tomorrow,” Alam said. “These are exciting times for innovation and growth in automotive – the opportunities are endless – so long as the starting point is secure vehicle communications and guaranteed reliable firmware updates for all modules within the car.”

Movimento’s Silicon Valley office, located in Mountain View, will open on March 16, 2015.

For the official press release, see here!

BSG Team Ventures successfully completes Ft. Worth search for privately owned retailer of outdoor and shooting sport products


Cheaper Than Dirt

BSG Team Ventures has recruited Matt Burgener to join the leadership team at Cheaper Than Dirt. He will be serving as President with an initial focus on the company’s eCommerce business. He brings 18 years of experience in marketing and management, most recently serving as Chief Marketing Officer of Copart, a Texas-headquartered publicly traded $1B+ leader in auto auctions. Prior to Copart, Burgener was Senior Vice President, Digital Marketing with Bank of America. He also has experience with Regen Biologics, Dell and Accenture.

Burgener graduated cum laude with a BA in Economics from Colby College and earned his MBA from the Darden Business School, University of Virginia.

Cheaper Than Dirt is “America’s Ultimate Shooting Sports Discounter.” Through on-line, catalog and retail outlets, they sell firearms, ammunition, weapons gear, survival equipment and hunting materiel. For nearly 20 years, Cheaper Than Dirt has been meeting the needs of outdoor and shooting enthusiasts with their full range of products. For more information, please visit their website or call 800-421-8047.


EXECUTIVE SEARCH | Executive Director, Pre-College | NYT EDUcation

istock image, org chart drawing woman (from Clark-waterfalls-macbook-air)

Parent Company: Cambridge Information Group
Reports to: President, CIG Education Group
Location: New York City
Websites: Cambridge Information Group


Bach to Rock Music School Franchise Expands to Boston Suburbs

Sotheby Art Institute Announces Historic Global Partnership

The New York Times and CIG Education Group Collaborate on New Education Initiative


Reporting directly to the President, CIG Education Group, the Executive Director, Pre-College, is responsible for creating, leading, and managing a team that will build an innovative new program providing supplemental curriculum for grade 7-12 students, especially gifted and talented youth, developed through an exclusive partnership with the New York Times. This program will serve students both in the US and internationally.

The Executive Director, Pre-College, will manage all activities related to building out this unique program, including but not limited to market opportunity assessment, strategic planning, course development/design, hiring and evaluation of staff and faculty, and growing and operating the program once it is established. The number one priority of the Executive Director will be to produce courses—for delivery onsite and online—that can be delivered in the summer of 2015.


About CIG
CIG is a family-owned global investment firm with a focus on information services, education, and technology. The CIG team has completed over 30 investments during the 2002-2013 period and are continuously expanding the company’s areas of investment expertise across other industries. Currently, the CIG family of companies employs more than 2,000 people in 26 countries.

CIG builds companies for long-term success by reinvesting in the growth and development of existing portfolio companies as well as acquiring new businesses with sustainable growth and profitability. CIG’s long-term investment perspective and commitment of personal time and resources differentiates the company from traditional sources of private capital.

CIG seeks to build a strong and growing group of operating companies which are led by world-class executives. The company’s primary goal is to expand and grow existing operating companies through strategic acquisitions. CIG concentrates on businesses of any size, location, and technology structure that can leverage their existing platforms. The company has a long history of growing operating companies through acquisitions, and a proven ability to integrate companies successfully.

About CIG Education Group
CIG Education Group (CEG) is a division of Cambridge Information Group (CIG). With Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Bach to Rock, and now NYT EDUcation in its portfolio, CEG continually seeks to invest in and build unique educational models founded on academic rigor and real world practice that provide access to exciting careers.

About the New York Times Company
The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT) is a global media organization dedicated to enhancing society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news and information. The company includes The New York Times, International New York Times,, and related properties. It is known globally for excellence in its journalism, and innovation in its print and digital storytelling and its business model.

About NYT EDUcation
The New York Times and CIG Education Group have come together to launch NYT EDUcation, a new education initiative. NYT EDUcation marries The New York Times’s premier content and award-winning journalism to the educational expertise of CIG Education Group, a leader in the development of branded academic institutions.

NYT EDUcation will provide innovative courses and programs covering a wide array of subjects, including communications and media, which reflect the authoritative content and intellectual breadth of The New York Times. Courses will be offered on a wide variety of topics, ranging from pre-college level to higher education, continuing education and executive education by incorporating the skills, knowledge and experience of The New York Times.

CIG Education Group will build NYT EDUcation by leveraging a team of proven institution builders who have been pivotal in the development of Sotheby’s Institute of Art, today’s foremost leader in graduate-level study of art and its international markets.

“This is an important milestone in The New York Times Company’s brand extension strategy. NYT EDUcation provides our readers and other like-minded individuals in the U.S. and across the globe an opportunity to learn across a wide range of topics on which The Times has world-class expertise,” said Michael Greenspon, General Manager News Services & International, The New York Times. “We are proud to be working with CIG Education Group who have a strong track record in building corporate- branded education programs, and our relationship will highlight the history, depth and breadth of The New York Times.”

“We’re connecting students to an innovative and relevant curriculum that has, at its heart, the content, creativity and wide-ranging knowledge of one of the greatest media companies in the world,” said Michael Chung, CEO of CIG Education Group, COO of Cambridge Information Group. “We will focus on curricula that will be developed and taught by some of the finest practitioners in their respective fields while maintaining The New York Times’s highest level of quality standards. We believe that by bringing this extraordinary resource into a formal educational context we are creating a new model and a major milestone in the development of 21 st century education.”


Based in New York City and reporting directly to the President, CIG Education Group, The Executive Director, Pre-College will be responsible for building and operating the newly formed NYT EDUcation venture.

This is a true entrepreneurial challenge and not for someone who does best in a big company environment. It takes an Executive Director who knows how to identify market needs and leverage the New York Times partnership to create innovative, cutting edge programs and curriculum that will address the supplemental needs of talented and gifted and other groups of pre-college students in the US and internationally.

Core responsibilities include the following:

  • Contribute to the success of the Pre-College program as a whole
  • Work collaboratively with the President of CEG Education and others at CIG to establish the strategic plan for the overall business
  • Develop and implement the annual operating plan for the business consistent with the strategic plan of the overall business
  • Define product offerings and work with the leadership team to create, package, price, and promote these offerings to parents
  • Oversee curriculum development, evaluation, and revision
  • Hire and motivate a world-class team
  • Ensure faculty are trained on all designated curriculum, instructional design, and institutional assessment initiatives
  • Participate as an integral part of the budget process and manage the program within established budget guidelines
  • Identify and lead ongoing operational and process improvements that result in academic excellence, efficiency gains, and financial success
  • Execute and achieve annual growth targets while gaining increased leverage on costs and operating expenses
  • Maintain an up-to-date perspective on established and emerging 7-12 supplemental education programs and learning technologies
  • Develop and maintain partnerships with professional organizations, industry partners, etc.
  • Participate on committees and attend meetings as required
  • Manage special projects as required
  • Establish and report on milestones to the President of CIG Education
  • Demonstrate the capacity to serve customers while building a great place for NYT EDUcation employees to work

Does this sound like the opportunity for you? Read on… here!

Executive compensation highlights–VP e-commerce, B2C e-tailer

$ dollar sign

As executive recruiters, we are often asked about executive compensation.

When we complete an assignment, we aggregate the compensation data we have collected across the search, and share it with the executive talent community from which it came. In this case, in Q1, 2015 we finished a President search for a ~$200M e-tailer client located in the South Central region of the US.

Our search strategy focused on the target talent pool comprising titles including: VP e-Commerce, Chief Revenue Officer, VP Merchandising, VP Retail, VP Marketing, VP Omnichannel Marketing, and General Managers of Global e-Commerce and similar. The goal was to identify an executive who had extensive experience and a successful track record in online consumer customer acquisition, conversion & retention using a deep toolbox of SEO, SEM, social, mobile and linear advertising methods (TV, print, radio).

Here is the snapshot of compensation highlights from our search—

Copy_of_Compensation_highlights_VP_Ecommerce-Chief_Revenue_Officer_B2C_ecommerce_retailer_numbers 2


Some other statistics that were relevant to the above numbers include the following:


Two areas of additional compensation are not captured in the above data but are worthy of note:

  1. A large majority of executive candidates had equity–either in stock options if privately held companies, or in RSU’s (restricted stock units) if in publicly traded companies
  2. At least a third of executives had an LTIP (long term incentive plan) structure that added another 100-200K in annual compensation, with a 3 to 5 year rolling vesting schedule. In simple terms, the LTIP structure had an annual bonus on top of standard bonus structure that would be granted with a vesting schedule, where if the annual bonus grant was 90K with a 3 year vest, 30K would vest at the end of 1 year since grant, the second 30K at the end of the year 2, and the final 30K at the end of the third year. If this occurred 3 years in a row, every year from the fourth year and beyond would have at least 90K or more vesting and paid out to the executive on top of salary, and annual performance bonus.

Finally, it is important to note that while the sample set of data was between 25 and 50, it is not a definitive study, but more directional in nature.


BSG Team Ventures completes CFO search for Sound Seal


Sound Seal

BSG Team Ventures has recruited Gerald Maloney to join the executive team of Sound Seal as Chief Financial Officer. He is both a CPA and an alum of Ernst & Young.

Most recently, Maloney served as Vice President of Finance for Marmon Utility, a subdivision of Marmon Engineered Wire & Cable and a multi-site manufacturer of power cable and systems for the utility energy industries based in Milford, NH. There he assumed leadership of company procurement and commodity negotiations and performed due diligence and integration on foreign manufacturing operations. Prior to Marmon Utility, Maloney served as Vice President of Finance at Aetna Insulated Wire, another subdivision of The Marmon Group, located in Virginia Beach, VA. Throughout the years, he has served in similar leadership and financial roles for several companies, including Ortronics, C&M Corporation, and W.R. Grace & Company.

A New England native, Maloney holds a BSBA from the University of Massachusetts and an MBI from the University of Rhode Island.

About Sound Seal
Since 1978, Sound Seal has been a leading manufacturer of acoustical noise control products offering the widest product selection in the soundproofing industry with innovative solutions and outstanding customer service. Sound Seal consists of three product divisions: the Industrial Division that addresses in-plant noise control and environmental noise control; the Architectural Division that handles interiors and finishes, including an award winning line of WoodTrends products; and the Impacta Flooring Division that offers floor underlayments. For more information, please visit their website or call 413-789-1770.


EXECUTIVE SEARCH | Senior Vice President, Client Engagement | The Yacobian Group

org chart, new executive search

The Yacobian Group

The Yacobian Group - Blueday

The Company

The story of The Yacobian Group starts and ends with an unparalleled passion for retail. Twenty plus years from inception, The Yacobian Group holds the biggest unlock for the retail industry’s brick and mortar stores. With its intellectual property, patented methodology, enterprise wide software, and coaching curriculum, The Yacobian Group is the de facto (and only) leader who has engineered the people side of retail to help clients achieve Blueday TM results*. With direct access to Fortune 500 and top tier retail CEO’s, plus strategic partnerships in the works with premier retail consultants and technology partners, The Yacobian Group is poised to shape the future success of the retail industry.
(*a Blueday is when a store blows away its daily sales plan and, by the way, is the name of our robust platform.)

The Yacobian Group Blueday Platform

The Yacobian Group enables leading retailers to improve their same store sales and corporate profits in dramatic and measurable ways. They have unparalleled expertise in what makes customers buy (or not buy), earned over 25 years while working with the world’s best known retailers to improve conversion and transaction size. Using ”big data” and predictive analytics, the improvement is scaled across retail enterprises through a simple, but powerful platform called Blueday. Blueday makes it easier and faster to align the organization and drive individual performance. For large retailers, this is the light at the end of the brick and mortar tunnel. The Yacobian Group is proud of its diverse portfolio of clients, including Staples, Advance Auto Parts, Destination XL Group, Lord & Taylor, Ann Taylor, among many others.

The Opportunity

Robust growth has created the need to recruit a Senior Vice President, Client Engagement to work with Fortune 500 retail leaders to successfully implement The Yacobian Group’s proven and proprietary Blueday methodology that systematically drives long-term higher profits, within a retail context.

Working with retailers from the storefront to the boardroom, this position is the key point of contact responsible for ensuring client deliveries and meeting contractual agreements and is accountable for overall Blueday results. This client-facing role will serve as the “relationship executive” throughout the project, as well as serve as the “internal client” for the brand. Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the opportunity here is to successfully lead a compelling and impactful transformation for clients through the successful implementation of the Blueday methodology. This is very much a “builder” role position.


  • Owns the relationship with the client throughout the entire project implementation and beyond. Mobilizes both client and the firm’s project teams, in order to maintain a viable partnership.
  • Responsible for managing clear and consistent communication with both the client and internal teams.
  • Ensures that all key project deliverables are met.
  • Resolves most issues that could impact a project’s success and would invoke senior executive involvement, when necessary.
  • Informs and educates client stakeholders, ranging from “C-suite executives” to store managers, in conjunction with company principals and service delivery partners, regarding Blueday concepts, philosophy, methodology and implementation plans.
  • Directs internal Program Managers in developing master program plans and implementation strategies.
  • Represents the company in client presentations and meetings in matters related to the implementation of the program.
  • Identifies and develops organic growth opportunities with clients.
  • Manages overall profitability of the project.

The Candidate

1. Experience

  • Expert understanding of retail operations in a large-scale chain environment, likely gained from either 10 years of either strategic consulting or retail management roles.
  • Successful implementation of technology or performance improvement solutions in the retail industry.
  • Strong business acumen and must be able to discern and demonstrate how key elements of the Blueday package will drive respective client business forward.
  • Bachelor’s Degree, preferably in Business Administration. MBA desirable.

2. Key Attributes

  • Extraordinary organizational and communication skills, highly persuasive.
  • Perseverance, resilience and ability to Get Things Done (GTD) within a small company, highly entrepreneurial, fast-paced context.
  • Passion for retail, highly empathic to the needs of retail leaders.
  • Big picture orientation, balanced with a highly detailed and structured approach to project implementation.
  • Ability to engender trust and loyalty in relationships with clients and business partners at all levels of an organization.
  • Strategic thinker.
  • High energy, positive and self-motivated individual.
  • Business maturity and self-confidence, with proven leadership and customer relationship management skills.
  • Motivated by the desire to ensure quality delivery and maintain high professional and ethical standards.
  • Ability to work as a flexible and highly committed team-member in a small, but rapidly growing business.
  • Ability to collaborate and communicate effectively, both internally and with clients.
  • Unwavering commitment to professionalism and possesses sound judgment, initiative, creativity and is a team player.

For more information…

Please contact:
Susan Hawkins, BSG Team Ventures
Please also submit your resume here.


2015—10 Realities of the Executive Talent Market: The Good & The Bad

Blue Sky, landscape - blog post 01-07-15

Companies are in “blue sky” hiring mode—

10 reasons why that’s both good and bad

“Blue sky” hiring mode? Is that an industry insider phrase? Not exactly, but it does serve to describe the current state of executive hiring in which we find ourselves as we enter 2015. Perhaps it may benefit both corporations and executive candidates to offer a brief review. Here’s the meteorological decoder ring:

Companies traditionally slow down executive hiring when they are either experiencing recession, or have recently come out of one. This stage we can refer to as either “clouds overhead” or “in the rear view mirror.”

Companies behave the same way when there are worries about an economic slowdown—“clouds visible ahead through the windshield.”

When companies see neither clouds in the rear view, nor through the windshield, we can call this the “blue sky” phase. This is the phase many industry sectors are experiencing today.

The good in the blue sky hiring phase?

  • Unemployment drops: More are earning, and the trickle-down effect for the economy benefits all.
  • Compensation & promotions increase: Employees can improve their compensation, the opportunity for promotion, or both
  • Employees are easier to woo to another company: For employers, employees are less conservative about switching employers, feeling emboldened by stronger economic conditions
  • New positions are opened up that didn’t exist prior: Completely new positions that require new hires materialize: New executive positions are created for the first time due to corporate growth and expansion into new markets, new geographies, and new products.

The darker impact of the blue-sky hiring phase includes the following:

  • Increased job volatility: Many positions are put out to search, and these bidders drive up the volume of job changes, generating greater attrition of those who are more often the “A” talent
  • Increased compensation packages: These bidders also drive up the cost for talent due to the strain on demand for it and the increase in bidders for that talent
  • Higher search fees: Executive search firms get busy, also driving up the cost of talent acquisition as search fees are driven up by pressure created by the ensuing imbalance of supply and demand
  • Shorter hiring windows: Decision times for companies to evaluate individual executives often drop because talented candidates are presented with multiple simultaneous opportunities and offers
  • Longer searches: Length of searches often increases, because it is harder to find a deep slate of finalist candidates who all remain available in parallel
  • More new employment offers get counter-offered: These counter-offers are put forth by employers who are pressured by employees who seek to resign for better opportunities in an effort to reverse their decisions to resign and remain in their current roles

There is no doubt that the blue-sky hiring phase is symptomatic of a healthier economy and greater prosperity for many. However, it does come with a parallel set of challenges of which we might all benefit from being reminded as corporations continue to grow in the New Year.

Watch this instead, below!

[CLOSED] EXECUTIVE SEARCH | President | America’s Preeminent Outdoor Sports Enthusiasts’ Gear Discounter

org chart, new executive search

The Company

The Company is the premier online marketplace for outdoor sports equipment and supplies, specializing in shooting and survival gear. The Company offers an unparalleled section of approximately 95,000 products through its website and catalog, selling products from every manufacturer within the industry and directly purchasing from nearly 300 vendors. More than 95% of The Company’s SKUs are inventoried by third-party distribution partners. In addition to featuring one of the web’s widest arrays of shooting equipment and accessories, the Company’s website offers unique content and community features. The Company’s website and brand name are extremely well-known to its target market.

Founded in 1993 by its CEO and two partners, The Company began as a mail order-based retailer of ammunition and firearms accessories. With the growth of the Internet and electronic commerce, The Company began selling its products online in 1999. Online sales now represent the majority of The Company’s revenue, followed by retail and catalog. The Company mails more than 10 million catalogs annually to customers and prospective customers in its target market.

The Company also has a small but growing retail storefront presence in several major cities in Texas.

The Market

The market for hunting and shooting equipment is more than $5 billion according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, with firearms and ammunition representing the largest segments of the market.

Firearms sales are regulated at the federal, state, and local level. In addition to legal restrictions on sales, major online and offline media outlets restrict advertising of firearms, ammunition, and other shooting related gear. While these restrictions serve to increase the complexity of the market, they also create barriers to entry and give established, experienced retailers a competitive advantage.

The Company has expanded into outdoor sports enthusiasts’ gear and equipment, further expanding the size of The Company’s addressable market.

The Company’s Competitive Advantage

The Company is profitable, rapidly growing, and financially solid with a long and successful operating history. The Company pursues an attractive, scalable merchandising and fulfillment model that supports rapid growth, yet keeps capital expenditures and working capital at modest levels. This strategy is highly valued as evidenced by financial markets’ valuation of similar ecommerce models used by Amazon, eBay and other drop-ship e-tailers.

Company Highlights

  • Over the last five years, the Company’s revenue and EBITDA have grown at CAGRs of more than 25% and 35% respectively
  • Attractive and scalable business model provides high return on invested capital, more than 60% over the last several years
  • 20+ years serving their vertical market, building brand, reputation, and loyalty
  • Longstanding, deep and trusted relationships with manufacturers and distributors
  • Proprietary data sets of customers, products, related enthusiast content, and detailed state and local regulations and SOPs
  • High website traffic volume often topping more than 10 million visits each month

x281 - competitor revenue growth and margin comparison, 2011

The Company’s Product Offerings & Channel Mix


The Company offers a vast array of shooting sports products and accessories on its website and in its catalog. Currently, The Company sells approximately 165,000 SKUs and offers firearms, ammunition, and other products from approximately 300 different vendors.

Ammunition is the largest product category sold through The Company’s website and catalog. However, as the table below illustrates, The Company’s website and catalog generate significant product sales from a wide range of categories geared towards the shooting sport enthusiast.

x281 - state-specific revenue, 2011

x281 - percent of product sales by category, 2011

To offer the greatest breadth and depth of products, while minimizing inventory and therefore working capital investment, The Company has formed partnerships with third-party distributors that will fulfill and ship non-firearm products directly to The Company’s customers and ship firearms to Company’s warehouse for shipment to the customers. Products are featured on the The Company’s website alongside The Company’s inventoried products, and in some cases, identical products are shown with different price points from different vendors. This implicitly communicates to customers that there is no need to look elsewhere to compare prices or selection. Approximately 98% of the SKUs that The Company offers are inventoried by third -party distribution partners.

Channel Mix

The Company’s go-to market channels include website, catalog, and retail. Revenue is split across these 3 channels with the largest being website (75%+), catalog (10%+), and retail store presence (10%+). In most recent year’s data, website represented more than 85% of all revenue.


All of The Company’s website and catalog sales, marketing, and fulfillment operations are housed in its Ft. Worth, Texas, headquarters facility where The Company has approximately 125 employees including seasonal temporaries as needed. The Company’s corporate functions are also based at this location.

When The Company receives an order via its website or call center, the order is processed and fulfilled (pulled, packed and shipped) from The Company’s warehouse or a distribution partner warehouse based on the specific item ordered. Orders for products warehoused by third-party partners are electronically transmitted to the partner’s inventory system. The partner completes fulfillment of the order using packaging and invoices carrying The Company’s brand.

The Position

The President, in conjunction with the CEO and COO, serves as the executive core of The Company’s team. This core team is charged with determining and realizing The Company’s strategic vision and with delivering world-class shareholder/investor, customer, employee, and strategic partner satisfaction.

The President has full authority and day-to-day responsibility for planning, implementing, managing and controlling all activities of the company. The key mission of the President is to accelerate revenue and profitability growth and transform The Company’s business from its current focus revenue, profitability and scope of offerings to a larger and more profitable enterprise meeting virtually all the needs of its consumer base.

The President also has executive leadership responsibility for all the company’s operations and staff.

Highlights of the new President’s track record and experience will include the following:

  • Strong commercial leadership experience, with a focus on US revenues generated primarily from Internet channel
  • Previous experience in senior roles in entrepreneurial organizations
  • Team-building, with particular emphasis on e-marketing, customer acquisition, retention, loyalty and click-and-mortar channels
  • Proven track record of motivating teams
  • Experience taking companies from $200M to $400M+
  • Experience with expansion, customer identification and development
  • Building and nurturing upstream and downstream ecosystem relationships that help both increase enterprise value, as well as map the ecosystem of potential strategic acquisitions and acquirers

Detail of Responsibilities
The Company is seeking a seasoned and accomplished sales executive with an unusual combination of skills. However, there is no question that the most critical skill is a proven ability to build, top-grade, and expand the functional teams responsible for delivering The Company’s products to their customers. The President will have a passion for and experience working with marketing team members and ecommerce experts to increase market penetration.

Key skills, experience, and segment background include the following:

  • FUNCTIONAL Prior Experience
    • B2C ecommerce marketing (acquisition, loyalty, retention, life time value)
    • P&L experience
    • Revenue forecasting & budgeting, pipeline management & tools — managing revenue-to-plan at both board & team level
    • Acquisition including both SEO and SEM, social ecommerce, community & content
    • Mobile commerce
    • Affiliate marketing
    • Clicks & mortar retailing
    • Domestic US multi-state customer marketing
    • Strategic list buying, lead gen, lead optimization, lead conversion
    • Insourced call center sales and customer service management & optimization
    • Pick/pack warehouse & inventory management
    • Linear & nonlinear advertising/marketing/PR
    • Mapping target partner ecosystems
    • Education: BA Marketing, or BS Computer Science + MBA
  • STAGE of Company Experience
    • Experience working with founders in closely held companies
    • Building & scaling brand recognition off of passionate verticals of brand loyalists
    • Growth phase of company development and rapid revenue growth, $200-$500M+
    • Marshalling cash resources, “doing more with less” in scaling business
  • MANAGEMENT and Leadership Experience
    • Remote/multi-location retail team management of 200+
    • Building scalable management processes without suffocating innovation/speed
    • Success as player/coach
    • Track record hiring/upgrading to A players for A team
    • B2C e-commerce/e-tailing
    • Catalog retailing
    • Specialty storefront retail
    • Outdoor/hobby/sporting enthusiasts

Finally, this individual should have as many as possible of the traits required to succeed in this leadership position:

  • High levels of intelligence, analytical strength and conceptual ability.
  • The ability, and willingness, to set and communicate demanding standards for professional staff and to hold people accountable for their performance; at the same time, sensitivity to, and insight into individuals’ capabilities and development needs.
  • Decisiveness when necessary, coupled with a willingness to seek input and build consensus as much as possible.
  • Unquestioned honesty and integrity; also, loyalty to colleagues and to the organization, and the ability to inspire loyalty. This person should have the ability to identify and focus on the Company’s best interests, rather than the agenda of any individual or group within the firm.
  • A very high level of energy and commitment, combined with enthusiasm and a positive attitude.
  • Excellent writing and speaking skills; this individual must be able to communicate complex ideas and information clearly and concisely.
  • Outstanding planning and organization skills.
  • Good strategic instincts and long-term vision; the ability to address both big-picture issues and detailed, day-to-day management concerns.
  • In general, the business and personal skills, and the absolute commitment, required to make a major contribution to The Company during the coming years.

Ideal Candidate Profile
The diagram below illustrates the intersection of competencies critical in the position:
x281 - heatmap


Compensation is competitive with the position’s requirements. In a performance-based environment, this will include base salary, bonus structure based on corporate qualitative and quantitative business development targets, and a stakeholder position in the company.

For more information…

Please contact:
Clark Waterfall, BSG Team Ventures
Diane Amador, BSG Team Ventures
Please also submit your resume here.


EXECUTIVE SEARCH | Senior Vice President, Global Services | CRM leader in talent recruiting services

org chart, new executive search

The Company

The Company is an international recruitment software company with solutions for premier firms. A turn-of-the-millennium company, they were among the first to apply the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model to staffing and recruiting software, with significant innovations in open API access and social recruiting. Headquartered in the eastern United States, with offices across the globe, The Company’s recruitment CRM and social recruiting products serves hundreds of thousands of users in hundreds of countries.
Originally launched as an online marketplace, the founder and CEO discovered the system was parallel to that of online staffing agencies. After soliciting feedback from recruiters, the founder wrote the code to implement their desired functionality. Ever since, The Company has focused on delivering dynamic and secure recruiting solutions with an eye toward user-oriented design.
This passionate, entrepreneurial approach has enabled The Company to lead the staffing software industry for over a decade.

The Position

Detail of Responsibilities
The Company is seeking a seasoned and accomplished global professional services executive with an unusual combination of skills. However, there is no question that the most critical skill is a proven ability to build, top-grade, and expand the delivery teams servicing enterprise-class, Global 2000 customers. The SVP Global Services will have a passion for and experience working with customers, sales, support, and development team members to deliver world class customization, deployment, training and customer success.

Key skills, experience, and segment background include the following:

    • Client services team leadership of > 40 (hiring, training, measuring, motivating)
    • Track record of translating client needs into project business requirements and desired outcomes
    • Client facing project management expertise (in-person scoping & assessment, requirements gathering, timelines, deliverables milestones management) for consulting, systems integration & services delivery
    • Internal team project management expertise (project team selection, resource loading, KPIs, etc.)
    • Creation & optimization of customer training & success program
    • Client Satisfaction: proven success in setting, measuring & managing
    • New customer implementation & onboarding: best practices embedded as SOPs in professional services team
    • Setting up global network of 3rd party professional services partners–selection, training & management
    • Partnering with sales, support, and application development leadership and teams to deliver new customer satisfaction
    • Global 2000 client relationship & account management working with B2B C-level customers
  • INDUSTRY—B2B CORPORATE SOLUTIONS [SaaS powered services]
    • Applicant tracking software systems (PeopleSoft Staffing, eRecruit, WorkDay, etc.)
    • ERP, non-staffing related (Oracle, SAP, NetSuite, PTC)
    • SaaS CRM software (SalesForce, SugarCRM, MS Dynamics, SalesLogix, etc.)
    • Working with Board of Directors comprised of founder and investors
    • Sales growth from $100—> $250M+
    • Builder leader vs. optimizer leader
    • Building processes and best practice without suffocating speed, innovation, and client satisfaction
    • Driving creation and buy-in to KPIs, goals, metrics within own team and cross-functionally where appropriate/necessary
    • Remote/multi-office team management (US & OUS)
    • Track record of hiring/upgrading to A players for A team
  • MARKETS & CUSTOMERS (Global 2000)
    • Staffing services companies
    • Professional services companies (consulting firms, law firms, etc.)
    • services firms (other)
  • GEOGRAPHIC (in order of preference)
    • MA-based, commutable to South Boston/Innovation District
    • St. Louis-based
    • London-based
    • Northern CA-based
    • Elsewhere in US

Finally, this individual should have as many as possible of the traits required to succeed in this leadership position:

  • High levels of intelligence, analytical strength and conceptual ability.
  • The ability, and willingness, to set and communicate demanding standards for professional staff and to hold people accountable for their performance; at the same time, sensitivity to, and insight into individuals’ capabilities and development needs.
  • Decisiveness when necessary, coupled with a willingness to seek input and build consensus as much as possible.
  • Unquestioned honesty and integrity; also, loyalty to colleagues and to the organization, and the ability to inspire loyalty. This person should have the ability to identify and focus on the Company’s best interests, rather than the agenda of any individual or group within the firm.
  • A very high level of energy and commitment, combined with enthusiasm and a positive attitude.
  • Excellent writing and speaking skills; this individual must be able to communicate complex ideas and information clearly and concisely.
  • Outstanding planning and organization skills.
  • Good strategic instincts and long-term vision; the ability to address both big-picture issues and detailed, day-to-day management concerns.
  • In general, the business and personal skills, and the absolute commitment, required to make a major contribution to The Company during the coming years.

Ideal Candidate Profile
The diagram below illustrates the intersection of competencies critical in the position:
x284 - heatmap


The global services team currently consists of approximately 40, with plans for additional growth. The services team is comprised of directors and managers heading key areas including project management (~10), business analysis (10), development (~15), and training and success (~10). The total Company team numbers approximately 350.

Financial Backing

Originally venture-backed by a number of investors including General Catalyst, The Company has recently been bought by well-respected private equity firm Vista Equity Partners. Vista Equity has an investing thesis whereby they find promising platform companies in which to invest – and then help to grow those companies organically and via strategic acquisitions.


Compensation is competitive with the position’s requirements. In a performance-based environment, this will include base salary, bonus structure based on corporate qualitative and quantitative business development targets, and a stakeholder position in the company.

For more information…

Please contact:
Clark Waterfall, BSG Team Ventures
Carolyn Musznski, BSG Team Ventures
Diane Amador, BSG Team Ventures
Please also submit your resume here.


« Older Posts