Mal Walker FAIEA Chairman www.ausie.org Direct: 0447 394 247
The Opportunity Mal Walker has been engaged to find an Interim Executive to fill the role of CEO with
the aim for that person to start no later than 1 July 2022, or sooner if possible.
The Chairman will review all initial recommended candidate resumes and select a
short list to interview by phone. From this it would be ideal to have the final one or
two candidates attend the 24 May Board meeting for a final decision and almost
immediate start but, if not, then attend the 23 June Board meeting with a view to
have the selected person start on 1 July. Any negotiations on salary and bonus and
KPIs will have also occurred by then.
Founded 25 years ago, this is a family-owned business specialising in providing text-
books and stationery to the education market. The company leases a large
warehouse and office at Acacia Ridge in Brisbane where the CEO would be located.
It also has a click and collect centre there, for anyone wishing to pick up their order.
The company has a good reputation with customers over many years and has good
supplier relationships for all products.
There is big potential to grow the business under the right leadership. It currently
services 300 Queensland public and private schools out of a total of 1700 such
schools. It is a very seasonal business as most book orders are made between
October and February with the start of a new school year. During the other times it
has relied on some book and stationery orders for revenue, but this has always
placed a strain on cash flow in that period.
Currently there are 15 full time staff, and many casuals are hired during the peak
season to help with packing and delivery. It is important to note that three children of
the owner work in the business now and the CEO will need to manage them without
any concern about family dynamics. The Chair of the Board is a Non-Executive
Director with many years of business and Board experience and will support the
CEO when it is in the best interests of the company.
All staff will report to the CEO and be accountable to him or her. This will include the
National Sales and Marketing Manager even though he is a family member and a
member of the Board.
The CEO will have the authority to hire and fire staff although it will require prior
notice to the Board as a courtesy.
CEO Job Description
The role of CEO will be part time working 3 days a week although expected to attend
to urgent matters during free days if required. The position will be accountable to the
Board of Directors who meet monthly. The CEO will provide a prior management
report for each meeting and attend Board meetings.
While a draft budget for 2023 has been prepared the CEO will be encouraged to
revise this upwards for Board approval once they start in the role. The CEO will be
responsible for the financial affairs of the company. The main purpose of the role of
CEO is to create new revenue sources and profit for the company as soon as
possible and to bring a stronger management function to the business to ensure its
sustainability for the future.
While the role will be open ended for now it may reach a point where the Board
would like to make it a permanent role or full- time role if the CEO agrees to this at
the time. KPIs will be agreed with the new CEO on appointment to measure the
success of the person in the role.
While someone with previous experience as a CEO is preferred it may be the right
person has senior management experience and is ready for this role now. While
some knowledge of the book or stationery industry would be helpful it is not
compulsory as senior management has a lot of knowledge about this to share with
Some experience in sales and marketing will be useful as it is important the person
can quickly see new opportunities for new products or new markets nationally and
then implement action to achieve results for the businesses in the group.
The CEO will develop a Strategic Plan in the first one or two months to set goals to
grow consistent new revenue and profit. The financial skills must be strong to set
budgets and understand cash flow management and Balance Sheet equity for the
owner and be aware of all expenditure and costs. Limits will be negotiated with the
new CEO about any expenditure that will require Board approval.
The CEO will understand HR issues and how to manage people successfully and
engender a team spirit.
They will also need to have a broad understanding of IT and technology to ensure
the company pivots to the right online platforms and social media marketing with
outside contracted assistance.
The CEO will have a sense of urgency to get things done and get results quickly and
will have regular contact with the Board Chair as required. This person will have
autonomy to do the job within agreed boundaries. The Board would like to see
revenue double from $7 million a year to $14 million a year within 3 years if possible
and we are aware there are many untapped opportunities we have not taken
advantage of until now.
We are seeking a CEO who can see those opportunities and take them while
growing the profit of the company at the same time.
The CEO will be expected to foster a good staff culture and morale to ensure the
business meets its goals and to also meet any relevant stakeholders if needed, such
as suppliers or key customers. The Board is seeking a completely new outlook on
the business from the CEO who will make any changes needed to ensure a
business that has a long- term profitable future.
Given this is a part time role for a small family business we are offering a base
salary of $80k pa plus Superannuation, but we are negotiable to an extent. On top of
this we are happy to negotiate other benefits such as a modest car allowance,
mobile phone and out of pocket costs in the role. On top of this we will offer a bonus
incentive to reward improved profitability above current levels and there will be no
cap on this bonus amount.