Fred Lamster Featured in Total Retail Magazine

Fred Lamster, Partner in Battalia Winston’s Consumer and Retail practice, has contributed an article entitled, “Organization Planning in a Troubled Retail Sector: 6 Keys to Success,” to Total Retail, the go-to source for executives looking for analysis on the omnichannel retail industry.

Co-written with Sharon Tunstall, former VP of Human Resources at Nike, the article shares actionable strategies for impactful organizational planning. In a time when retail is in need of more strategic leadership with greater cross-functional expertise, organization planning is more critical than ever.

Read the full article on Total Retail.

Fred Lamster featured in Total Retail Magazine

Fred Lamster recently contributed an article entitle, “The Changing Role of the Merchant” to Total Retail.

Merchants were once the only critical players in the retail industry. Their ability to drive the business by understanding the customer and predicting customer behavior made them invaluable to their organizations. However, now that “omnichannel” retailing is the new reality, the merchant’s role is rapidly changing. A merchant must now also be able to absorb enhanced analytics and work even more closely with design and marketing applications to understand and adapt to trends that satisfy quickly changing customer tastes.

Executives and HR leaders at retail companies are now asking themselves, “What does it mean to be a strong merchant, and how we can ensure that we retain and develop top merchants into future leaders?” Until recently, most retail CEOs or CHROs thought that augmenting a merchant’s skill set with leadership training was sufficient. Through informal programs — e.g., internal mentoring, coaching, etc. — they helped their merchants develop the capabilities necessary to lead a team of people.

However, in a rapidly transforming retail market, simply leading a team is no longer enough. Now, a merchant must embody a number of additional mission-critical competencies.

Continue reading on Total Retail.

Rahquel Purcell joins L’Oreal as Vice President Supply Chain, Americas

Rahquel Purcell has joined L’Oreal as Vice President Supply Chain, Americas. Terry Gallagher completed the search.

L’Oreal, the world’s largest beauty products company with revenue in the Americas of $16 Billion, creates cosmetics, perfume, and hair and skin care items. L’Oréal USA boasts a host of consumer and luxury brands, including Garnier, Maybelline, Lancôme, and Kiehl’s. It also owns salon professional product makers Matrix and Kérastase, as well as mass market label SoftSheen/Carson and perfume brands Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani. L’Oréal sells its products across 130 countries. Worldwide, the beauty company boasts two dozen research centers and about 15 evaluation centers, 45 factories and some 70 distribution centers, and a handful of development and learning centers with global revenues of $32 Billion.

Ms. Purcell has a 24 year career history working for Proctor & Gamble. She is a supply chain executive with a proven track record of transforming organizations, developing opportunities and delivering game-changing results. She is a strategic thought leader with international business management experience and supply chain breadth spanning global Procurement, Supply Planning, Distribution Management and Customer Service Operations. Most recently, Ms. Purcell was Director of Global Packaging & Design Purchases and led a global team to procure $5.5 billion in packaging materials and design services. She also served as Senior Purchases Leader for the Beauty Sector, supporting $6.8 billion in raw and pack material procurement for Hair, Skin, Prestige and Cosmetics.

Prior to that Ms. Purcell was Director, Global Product Supply Leader for New Business Creation and was on the Special Task Force to deliver $5 billion in incremental revenue in 3 years. As Director of North America Product Supply Operations, she was responsible for $30 billion in finished products and led 1,200 people managing 22 distribution centers supporting 18 consumer goods categories and 2,000 daily shipments.

Ms. Purcell earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Michigan on a full academic scholarship. Ms. Purcell also serves on the Board of Directors for the National Urban League’s Cincinnati Chapter.

Frederick Lamster Joins Battalia Winston as Partner in the Retail Practice

NEW YORK, June 2, 2016 – Battalia Winston International announced today that Frederick Lamster has joined the firm as Partner in the Retail Practice.

Fred is a veteran human resources and staffing professional whose career spans more than 25 years. He has worked across all retail apparel and fashion segments, including department and specialty retail, eCommerce, and catalogue retailing.

Fred has used his expertise in organizational design and efficiency to help a number of major retailors through turnarounds, mergers, acquisitions and transitions. Throughout his career, he has transformed HR teams from tactical and transactional departments to strategic and results-oriented teams.

Before joining Battalia Winston, Fred was Chief Human Resources Officer for Orchard Brands, (recently acquired by Bluestem Brands) a $1.1 billion catalog marketer, where he was responsible for making key hires in merchandising, planning and production. He also served as SVP of Human Capital for Body Central, a Florida-based regional retailer that operated more than 250 stores.

As EVP of Human Resources for Charming Shoppes, parent company to plus-sized brands like Lane Bryant and Catherine’s Plus, Fred focused on aligning five disparate HR teams before developing an overarching hiring strategy that led the company to increased profitability and, later, a successful acquisition by Ascena Retail Group.

Fred was VP of Staffing for L Brands (formerly Limited Brands) for 12 years, an international company that operates a number of well-known brand names, including Victoria’s Secret and Bath and Body Works. At L Brands, Fred was responsible a complete overhaul of the leadership teams across the company’s multiple business units. He made strategic hires at every level and spearheaded the rebuilding of the executive team as well as the merchant, design, production and planning teams.

In all of these roles, Fred built high-performing executive teams and developed an internal bench of future leaders. Fred has a keen understanding of creating HR strategies that align with overall business objectives. He takes pride in helping companies build HR programs that will attract key hires while also retaining and cultivating leadership talent.

“My role is not just to fill jobs, but to build better organizations and better executive teams—so they can get better results,” said Lamster. “Even though I’m working on back-of-the-house operations, I’m always focused on the customer. I am always asking, ‘How can we improve internal functions to ensure greater efficiencies and better results?’”

Battalia Winston’s retail practice specializes in recruiting executives and other senior-level leaders across the entire retail spectrum: from chain, department, and specialty stores to restaurants and food services companies.

“We’re thrilled to have Fred join our team,” said Dale Winston, CEO and Chairwoman at Battalia Winston. “His in-house experience at major retail brands will be a valuable asset to our retail practice.”

About Battalia Winston

Battalia Winston was founded in 1963, and today is one of the world’s largest woman-owned executive search firms. The firm is consistently ranked as one of the top fifteen executive search firms. Battalia Winston has offices in New York, Boston, Chicago, Woodbridge, NJ and Washington, DC. Over the past 50 years Battalia Winston has conducted executive search assignments and established expertise in virtually every major industry and functional area. Clients range from early stage companies to Fortune 100 global enterprises. Each of Battalia Winston’s partners concentrates in an industry group reflecting his or her individual expertise. These practice groups include: life sciences, healthcare services; technology, media and entertainment, industrial products, professional services, financial services, consumer, legal, risk, compliance, family business, diversity and inclusion, retail, and nonprofit.

5 Questions Chief Data Officers Must Answer for Effective Results

Battalia Winston partners Walter McGuigan and Joe Carideo recently collaborated with Roy Lowrance, Managing Director of NYU’s Center for Data Science, to contribute an article to FierceRetailIT, “5 Questions Chief Data Officers Must Answer for Effective Results.”

The authors respond to the most pressing challenges for retailers attempting to leverage big data — among them, Think big: What could we accomplish if we had the right data?

Their response: “Big data initiatives often focus on using existing data–data that companies and their partners already collect–and integrating it in new ways to learn more about customers, processes and products. But the most effective big data leaders will be able to tackle a new challenge that we’re calling applications conceptualization–envisioning what could be done if the right data was available. This forethought requires a keen understanding of the business’s objectives and a thorough understanding of what data is available and how it can be collected. Someone with this strategic vision must also be able to straddle the science/R&D and the marketing/sales functions–a critical skill in the new, big-data powered retail and CPG world.”

Read the full article here. 

Why Retail and CPG Executives Need a New Breed of R&D Leader

Battalia Winston Partner Joe Carideo shares his expertise in an article for Retail Digital entitled, “Why Retail and CPG Executives Need a New Breed of R&D Leader.”

Joe examines the evolving function of R&D within the Consumer Packaged Goods and Retail industry and identifies the core capabilities a 21st century R&D leader must demonstrate in order to be successful.

Download the full article. 

3 Reasons A Former Consumer Packaged Goods Executive is a Great Fit for the Department of Veterans Affairs

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Joe Carideo

by Joe Carideo

Earlier this week, President Obama announced he will nominate former Proctor & Gamble CEO Bob McDonald to lead the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Should we be surprised that the President chose someone outside of the public sector to clean up the VA? I don’t think so. In fact, an executive from the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) sector is a logical fit for a number of reasons:

1. CPG leaders are accustomed to running large, multi-facility, organizations.

Throughout the congressional hearings about the VA’s latest debacles, it’s become clear that structure of the VA – dispersed and hierarchical – created challenges for their leadership. McDonald, and any other executive from the CPG sector or the industrial sector (GE, 3M, for example), have experience operating large companies that span the globe, reaching billions of customers and managing hundreds of thousands of employees. The VA needs a leader that can navigate bureaucracy and make ground-level improvements.

2. CPG Executives Are Focused on Constant Performance Measurement.

In the CPG sector, performance is top-of-mind, as executives receive sales reports on daily basis. A constant stream of performance data can be overwhelming, but successful CPG leaders know how to work with their leadership teams to balance daily performance management with long-term strategic goals. For McDonald, the key will be creating a meritocracy within the VA, cleaning up the performance measurement processes, and fostering a performance-driven culture.

3. CPG Executives Are Accountable to Multiple Stakeholders.

When corporate executives move to the public sector, some can’t handle the red tape and interference by Congress. However, McDonald, and other executives with similar backgrounds, know what it’s like to be accountable to multiple stakeholders with competing interests: shareholders, employees, and customers. McDonald will need to improve the VA’s reputation with taxpayers (his experience with branding will help), meet Congressional demands, and, most importantly, ensure that the VA is providing excellent services to veterans and their families.