Recruitment of a CEO for an SME

Recruitment of a CEO for an SME

Following the sudden death of the CEO, the Sales Director – a family member – took the helm in the interim period, but did not have the experience or the motivation to continue the role in the long term.

A family manufacturing business in the agri-food industry for more than 100 years.

A small/medium-sized business based exclusively in France, the leader on its market.

Involvement of Exec Avenue

Exec Avenue was asked to recruit the new CEO from outside of the family, for the first time:

  • We looked for a suitable candidate: someone with recognized experience in the agro-food industry and at an international level (Director of various companies in the same sector, on a larger scale than our client), which would give the business the status and experience to enable it to expand. The family’s plan to continue to develop the business convinced this person to accept
  • The Interim Executive Director approved our choice and agreed that the new CEO from outside the family could quickly become a shareholder in the business. This entrepreneurial aspect was a key factor in recruiting a CEO of the necessary caliber
  • We redefined roles and delegated powers to enable the new Director to deploy the strategic plan
  • Working with the new Director, we replaced almost all of the Executive Team (Manufacturing, Human Resources, Sales and Marketing, etc.)
  • We kept in regular long-term contact to ensure the new Director integrated well


  • The Director is still in place after 10 years
  • The company has doubled in size
  • Its revenues have increased substantially
  • It has made several acquisitions in France and overseas