Al Thorp is a senior financial executive with a unique combination of CFO and Segment CEO roles in various environments. He worked with Kelleher Associates all the way through the process of voluntarily leaving Globus Medical Products, where he was the CFO, to his position at Storeroom Solutions.
What were your most challenging issues in looking for a new position while you were employed in a very demanding role and how did Kelleher help you work through them?
The most challenging issue was time, not so much for the actual search, but the time spent having the face-to-face networking and interview meetings.
Another challenge was ageism. I found that prospective employers fell into one of 3 categories – those with a bias against gray hair, those with a bias in favor of gray hair and those with no bias, with the majority falling into one of the two extremes. While I did not pursue an active strategy to combat this circumstance, I sought companies (particularly private equity firms) that would have a favorable time frame pursuing liquidity issues that were commensurate with my situation and age.
You interviewed with a number of private equity firms who had portfolio company CFO positions. What were they looking for and was Kelleher helpful in addressing this part of the market?
Mitch was extremely helpful in reinforcing and displaying my strengths and skill set in a way that private equity firms would perceive as relevant.
What were the most difficult parts of the search process and how did Kelleher assist you in getting through them?
I perceived a general lack of respect and courtesy from employers and especially recruiting firms. Mitch’s response was “don’t take it personally - just keep going and stay focused”.
An executive search firm contacted you about the Storeroom Solutions, Inc. CFO position. How did that come about and did Kelleher add value in helping you work with the recruiting firm?
There were 2 sources - one of which was Kelleher, which identified me as a candidate and almost simultaneously issued a recommendation. Kelleher’s reputation in general, and Mitch’s in particular, in the Philadelphia community were instrumental in my moving into my new position.
Negotiating an employment agreement can be tricky as most executives don’t do this very frequently. Was Kelleher helpful in this cycle of the process and what other resources did you use in finalizing your offer?
Both my attorney and Mitch made good and multiple contributions. Mitch’s insights in this area underscore both the justification and necessity of having a career coach guiding job seekers through to the end of the process including complete agreement negotiations.
What advice would you give to others looking for their next position, especially if they currently have a job?
Whether one is currently employed or unemployed, there is a definite disadvantage in not engaging an objective career coach, especially if competing against people who have one.
Are there any tools, techniques, or resources that Kelleher provided or suggested that proved to be especially valuable in your search process?
I thought I knew how to write a resume, but Kelleher proved that the distinctive presentation and formatting of a resume done professionally is a tremendous asset.
Would you recommend Kelleher Associates to others and why?
Mitch helped me more than once in a real and productive way through the complete process. Additionally, the interview practice sessions and contacts from the other consultants were quite helpful to me.
I am also impressed with the exceptional job being done with another segment of the unemployed population. My son, a recent graduate, has been working with Marci Wilf, whose outstanding coaching has already produced a job offer that he probably would not have received without her guidance.