VP/Director of Strategy/Business Development (MBA)
Combines a passion for strategy with skills in finance, marketing & retailing—working with senior management to:
- Determine the position where the business can win and reach its full potential;
- Identify the key strategic issues which are holding a business back from being its best;
- Define the key opportunities and actions needed to achieve/leverage the winning position; and
- Help the company achieve the plan.
Finance Evaluation/Monitoring Skills: Financial Planning/Analysis, Financial Modeling, DCF, Budgeting.
Strategic: New Ventures, Innovation, Domestic & International Business Development, Startups
Financial: Acquisitions, Divestitures, Strategic Alliances, Bankruptcies, Debt Refinancing, IPOs.
Marketing Skills: Brand Positioning, Consumer Research, Advertising
Management Skills: Cross Functional Teams, Communication, Change Agent, Thought Leadership
Retail Experience: Wide Variety of Store Types & Brands including Best Buy, DSW, Save-A-Lot, Cub Foods, Filene's Basement, Steuben Glass, Shopko, Value City, Tweeter, and Sam Goody.Confidential
Vice President of Corporate Planning & Analysis 2003-2011
Reported to CEO. Key player in all major strategic and financial activity taken by RVI. Was a much sought after leader/member of cross functional teams to improve strategic and operational performance. Go-to person for special projects. Managed the corporate budgeting department; monitored divisional/department performance versus budget; managed financial modeling and analysis for decision-making.
Optimize the performance of the RVI portfolio: DSW ($1.5 Billion Shoe Retailer), Filene's Basement ($.4 Billion Fashion Retailer), and Value City ($1.2 Billion Department Store).
- Spun off minority portion of DSW in IPO, unlocking over $200 million in value while still maintaining control. Spinoff allowed division to more aggressively pursue growth (more stores, new departments). Was a key player in implementing the IPO, developing financial models and articulating strategy.
- Used DSW shares to back a corporate refinancing, raising over $140 million (used to lower debt costs and fund strategic investments in Value City and Filene's Basement). Was a key player on the refinance team.
- Was a leader in creating the repositioned Value City with a new strategy (new merchandising focus, new store design) and new cost structure (saving $20 mil. annually). Sales rebounded, then positioned chain to be sold. Developed financial models and selling documents leading to sale.
- Determined Filene's Basement should be sold (niche too small to cover overhead). Developed financial models and selling documents leading to sale.
- During tenure, company moved from a loss to a net profit, with stock price up 400% and cash flow up more than 500%.
Independent Consultant (Specializing in Consumer Research/Retail Strategy) 2003
Consulted with top retail executives on strategy and business planning issues. Clients included Tweeter ($.75 Bil. high-end electronics retailer, 175 stores at time of consulting). Specialized in developing a consumer research foundation for creation of revised Tweeter strategy.
- Reinvent Tweeter for the changing marketplace, where big-box stores like Best Buy were encroaching into their traditional higher-end stronghold.
- Moved business model from a product-centric approach (selling boxes) to a solution-centric approach (selling fully-designed home entertainment rooms).
- Radically redesigned store prototype and selling experience (less about displaying merchandise, more about showcasing what a great entertainment experience would feel like in one's home).
- The new prototype, based on the revised strategy, proved successful and out-performed the rest of the company.
Vice President of Strategic Planning 1998-2003
Successfully created and managed the corporate strategic planning process that restructured Best Buy from a one-business firm to a multi-business portfolio. Managed multiple departments, a staff of 12, and oversaw annual budget of approximately $10 mil. Was in high demand as a partner for cross-functional projects, a thought-leader whose opinion was sought throughout the organization, and a popular public speaker. Managed engagements with outside consultants.
- Expand the profit potential beyond what is available by just being a traditional big-box retailer.
- Worked on variety of cross-functional teams to shift emphasis from product-selling to more selling of higher-margin related services (examples: Geek Squad, attachment of internet services to product sales, partnering with Netflix, etc.).
- Diversified into multiple retail formats by first setting up list of options, getting executive buy-in, and then working the plan to make it happen (examples: Magnolia high end home entertainment, BestBuy.Com, Best Buy Mobile, etc.).
- Developed master strategy for international diversification and assisted in its implementation (starting with acquiring Futureshop in Canada).
- Convinced management to use retail strength to gain a greater share of the profitability of the entire entertainment ecosystem (converting "vendors" into "strategic partners"; backward integration).
- Set up New Venture Board to create and incubate potential new growth opportunities.
- Contributed to making Best Buy the largest and most profitable retailer in its segment.
- During time at Best Buy, sales increased approximately 150% and net income increased by approximately 275%.
Director of Strategic Planning 1990-1998
- Managed the strategic planning process for Supervalu and its divisions.
- Managed the Corporate Strategic Planning Department.
- Was a major contributor to the $ 1.1 billion acquisition and assimilation of Wetterau, which increased SUPERVALU's sales by over 50%.
- The growth of chains and supercenters were putting the independent grocer—the key customer of Supervalu—out of business.
- Developed portfolio of niche retail concepts (like Save-A-Lot) so that independent grocers no longer competed directly against the chains (successful co-existence).
- Created specialty distribution concepts in areas where the chains were more likely to seek an outside distributor (like the W. Newell & Co. perishables division).
- Developed strategy and plan to become more aggressive at owning retail stores (culminating in the acquisition of Albertsons).
- During time at Supervalu, sales increased approximately 72%.
- Contributed to making Supervalu the largest food wholesaler/retailer in the US, with profits larger than its next six competitors combined.
Various Manager-Level Positions 1979-1990
Repositioned various departments (Apparel, Books). Created new departments (Dental Centers). Created new formats (Twin Valu supercenter concept, used by Sam Walton as a guide in forming Wal-Mart Supercenters). Developed repositioning for entire chain.
Restructured the Shopko print advertising program, which improved sales while lowering costs. Consumer research projects included consumer segmentation and studies of market shares and image ratings.
- How to survive as a regional discount chain against Wal-Mart, Target, and K Mart.
- Repositioned Shopko as a category dominant merchant rather than a traditional discount store and built a category assortment where the chain could win (expanding some categories, shrinking others).
- Leveraged health care strength into related businesses.
- Diversified into Twin Valu supercenter concept (created the business plan and financials).
- As a result of this repositioning, Shopko grew profits at a faster rate than Wal-Mart or Target and was the only regional discounter to never suffer severe financial difficulties in the 1980s and 1990s.