STAMFORD, Conn. – The Board of Directors of Daymon Worldwide announced today the appointment of Jim Holbrook as Chief Executive Officer of Daymon Worldwide, effective September 1, 2015. Holbrook also joins the Daymon Board of Directors.
Holbrook succeeds Carla Cooper, who earlier this year informed the Board of Directors of her intention to retire. Cooper will actively support the CEO transition process and remain in an advisory capacity until the end of 2016. All of her direct reports will report directly to Holbrook.
“Daymon is truly fortunate to have enjoyed the benefits of Carla’s leadership for nearly seven years, including nearly five years as CEO,” said Ron Daitz, Non-Executive Chairman of the Daymon Worldwide Board of Directors. “Her vision for the company, her global experience, relentless work ethic and unsurpassed customer relationships helped transform the company at a critical time.”
“We are delighted to have found in Jim Holbrook a successor eminently prepared to pick up where Carla leaves off,” Daitz continued. “Jim is a dynamic leader with extensive executive experience in business operations, marketing and brand-building. He is ideally suited to drive further growth and change for Daymon Worldwide.”
Holbrook’s most recent leadership experience was at Post Holdings, which he joined in 2011 when it was spun off from Ralcorp. He was named President of Post Foods, the flagship cereal business, in 2012, and in 2014 was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Post Consumer Brands, which comprised the cereal business as well as Power Bar and other company acquisitions in the nutrition products category.
Holbrook started his career at Procter & Gamble following his graduation from Vanderbilt University in 1981. After three years at P&G, he moved to Ralston Purina (now Nestlé Purina) where he spent twelve years in roles of increasing responsibility in marketing, brand management, sales, and operations management. As Vice President, Customer Development, he was responsible for growing a $300 million sales base, including the design and implementation of an integrated sales and marketing team. For the last two years at Ralston Purina, Holbrook served as Chief Executive of Beechnut and Assistant to the Chairman of Ralston Purina.
Holbrook left Ralston Purina in 1996 to become CEO of Zipatoni, an ad agency of which he was a part owner. He sold the business to Interpublic Group in 2001, where he remained for another three years in an executive role leading a number of IPG’s agencies.
In 2005, Holbrook was recruited for the CEO role at EMAK, a then-publicly traded portfolio of marketing agencies that was going through Chapter 11 restructuring. He engineered the transition to a privately-held company. Before leaving for Post Holdings, Holbrook launched a new agency at EMAK (called Neighbor) that was focused on socially-conscious companies and products.
Commenting on Holbrook’s background, Daitz noted his “strong reputation as a creative business builder who has excellent relationship and team-building skills. Jim knows what it means to lead for results, and he is a proven executive in the consumer sector. I am excited about where he will take Daymon in the years ahead.”
“Daymon is one of the great gems in the world of global retailing,” said Holbrook. “This is a tremendous time to join the company and I am very excited about how we can work together to serve our customers and business partners even more effectively in the future. I cannot wait to meet more of my new colleagues and get started on this work.”
“One of my greatest concerns as CEO has been to ensure my successor can lead Daymon in ways that fulfill the awesome potential of this company,” said Cooper. “I have spent time with Jim Holbrook during the search process and I am excited about what his arrival means for us. He brings new perspectives and experiences that will drive significant value for our customers, partners and associates.”
In assessing Cooper’s impact on the company, Daitz praised her for overseeing a period that included dramatic revenue growth and a sharp increase in the market value of the company. Particular highlights cited by Daitz included:
- Developing a more flexible business model for Daymon, which allowed retailers and suppliers to more easily select from a menu of services offered by the company. This change helped drive significant top-line growth during her tenure.
- Acquiring Omni Pacific and Liss Global, which helped build out Daymon’s ability to provide import and export services to retailers and suppliers.
- Acquiring Warehouse Demonstration Services (WDS), which was the largest acquisition in Daymon’s history. This deal propelled Daymon into the first rank of companies providing in-store customer sampling and demonstration services. Daymon now conducts more than three million consumer interaction events worldwide every year.
- Driving phenomenal double-digit growth at SAS, Daymon’s provider of in-store services to retailers, including resets, store redesigns, and other services. Cooper’s emphasis on cross-selling services to Daymon private brand customers made SAS the fastest-growing part of Daymon’s business portfolio.
- Expanding Daymon’s presence in new markets, and penetrating more deeply into markets where the company already had a presence. Notable successes in this overall growth story include South Africa, China, the Netherlands, Spain, and Daymon’s home market of the United States.
- Investing in people. Cooper led the push to incorporate Miller-Heiman selling skills into a much broader cross-section of Daymon’s employee population. More recently, she championed a program to train all full-time associates worldwide in the Partners in Leadership methodology to create a culture of accountability at the company. Both of these initiatives have helped underpin Daymon’s success during her tenure.
- Investing in systems. Cooper successfully implemented overdue investments in business technology to replace outdated or creaking platforms that were constraining business growth. Under her leadership, Daymon has successfully launched new systems to manage human resources, finance, and other business-critical functions.
- Promoting the brand. By serving in high-profile industry leadership roles, by investing in proprietary consumer research, and by encouraging a robust PR and thought leadership program, Carla spread the word about the Daymon brand and value proposition to new audiences.
“Carla has devoted her full passions to Daymon’s success since she joined the Board of Directors in 2009, and Daymon has flourished under her leadership and care,” Daitz said. “Carla and her husband Steve have long deferred their planned move to the gorgeous mountains of North Carolina so that Carla could continue her work at Daymon; a commitment to the company for which we are grateful. On behalf of Daymon’s Board of Directors, associates, customers and partners around the world, we say a heartfelt thank you to Carla for her time at Daymon.”
About Daymon Worldwide:
Daymon Worldwide is the global leader in consumables retailing. Through our renowned industry expertise in Private Brand building, experiential consumer marketing and innovative retail-driven services, we currently collaborate with more than 100 major retailers and nearly 6,000 manufacturers in 50 countries. Daymon teams work directly with the world’s leading suppliers and retailers to create and market ownable, differentiated brands in the marketplace that deliver exceptional value, drive consumer loyalty and profitable sales growth, and improve people’s lives. We currently handle more than 1,700 brands and approximately 165,000 individual SKUs globally. Founded in 1970, today Daymon has more than 39,500 highly trained and passionate associates worldwide, with offices located across six continents. For more information, please visit www.daymon.com.
Source: Daymon Worldwide