A Latin American industrial conglomerate entered the biofuel ethanol market and needed a team of line directors to execute an ambitious strategic plan.
The ethanol industry in this Latin American country is highly fragmented and populated by insular, family-run firms. A reputable conglomerate saw an opportunity to become a major player by applying both state-of-the-art technology and business best practices to produce a superior product that could be exported to the global market. It established a new firm with $3 billion in financing and one of the country's leading CEOs in charge.
The CEO needed numerous line directors to oversee operating functions from agriculture to safety to production. In addition to technical expertise, they would have to thrive in a high-performance culture that emphasized autonomy, a broad range of experience and innovative thinking. This strong cultural requirement meant that most candidates would need to come from outside the local ethanol industry.
Russell Reynolds Associates assembled a team that included energy, industrial and supply chain experts. The team mapped more than 100 executives in a range of fields and identified those with the competencies, perspectives and transferable skills necessary, as well as those from within the local ethanol industry who could thrive in the client's culture. More than half a dozen key positions were quickly filled, giving the company the human capital it needed for a strong start.