Angus (Rory) Finlay, based in Chicago, leads Egon Zehnder’s global Consumer Practice. He advises global consumer companies on leadership development and talent strategy in a sector experiencing dynamic change with evolving demands on senior marketing executives and general managers. In addition to executive search, Rory counsels across a range of leadership development areas including management appraisal and accelerated integration of transitioning leaders. He is active in the firm’s Chief Marketing Officer, CEO, and Human Resources Practices.
Rory’s consumer business experience covers a wide spectrum, from navigating and driving global brand strategy across geographies to launching new brands such as Orbit chewing gum at Wrigley; re-igniting iconic brands such as Canadian Club; and driving new category-breaking innovation, such as Red Stag by Jim Beam and Altoids dark chocolate dipped mints. Prior to joining Egon Zehnder, Rory was Senior Vice President and Global Chief Marketing Officer at Beam Global Spirits & Wine Inc. Previously, while based in Munich, he led European marketing operations across 30+ countries for the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, then served as Vice President & General Manager of Wrigley’s Confectionary Brands. Rory started his marketing career in the textile industry at Celanese Corporation in New York. He also has extensive experience in successfully implementing organizational design and processes across geographies to drive innovation and brand impact.
Rory earned a BA (Honors) in Textile Management from the University of Leeds and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.
Most CEOs and boards name succession, both for the CEO and for business unit leaders, as their biggest strategic challenge. While this leadership challenge exists for every industry, it is particularly acute in the consumer sector, where many of the successive waves of disruption first hit.
Egon Zehnder was privileged to be part of the 60th annual Consumer Goods Forum global summit on 15-17 June 2016. Held in Cape Town, South Africa, the summit provided a window onto the energy and opportunity of Africa— the world’s youngest continent and one of the fastest-growing consumer markets.
Brand leaders are beginning to grasp how closely the customer and the employee experience intersect and how both are shaped by corporate culture. In a blog post for Forbes, Scott Davis says it makes sense for marketing leaders to play a greater role in developing the cultural side of brands.
In the past CMOs were mainly responsible for marketing brands to the outside world. Today’s CMOs are also being asked to improve the internal corporate culture that shapes those brands, reports AdvertisingAge.
The news story seems common now. Information about a company – working conditions, political affiliations, government relations, etc. – is made public, and the public’s opinion of the company changes. The change, just like the news, can be detracting or encouraging. Regardless, one thing in clear: in an era of mass information, brand and organizational culture can no longer live in silos.
“Cladogenesis” is a term used by evolutionary scientists to describe the relatively sudden division of an existing species into two or more separate lines – thus creating new species – often in response to radical change in the environment.