Case Study

Chief Executive Officer – Genius Foods

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Genius Foods Logo

Chief Executive Officer

The Business

Genius are a revolutionary Gluten-Free brand sat predominantly within the bakery sector of the Food Manufacturing Industry. The Edinburgh based free-from brand has become a leading light in the Gluten-Free bread and pasta sector in recent years, having grown from being based in Lucinda’s own kitchen in 2009 to securing multi-national retail contracts and astronomical growth up to now.

Genius’s growth, from baking one loaf at a time to becoming one of the best loved Gluten-Free companies in the UK, is no fluke. The growth is testament to an incredibly knowledgable, experienced and adept board who have helped to guide the business to where it stands today.

Positioned extremely strongly, Genius find themselves amidst a thriving free-from boom period, with the UK’s free-from market growing around 43% from 2015 to 2020, leading to a very impressive forecast when looking at the coming years.

The Brief

With a number of allergen breaches reported in the business and within the wider free-from industry, every aspect of free-from manufacturing and production was set to become even more heavily scrutinised than it had been previously.

This in turn led to the business’s Chairman and the investment holding company’s advisor instructing Circle Select to acquire a Business Consultant to complete a holistic business review in order to find the root of any potential threats to the business.

The Circle Select Solution

After an initial in-depth discussion surrounding the business need, it became apparent that a full-scale review would need to take place to be able to decide on the best approach and the next steps that would need to be taken.

Included in these conversations were topics such as the business’s challenges and what responsibilities any new hires would need to inherit.

The decision made by the Genius board and the Circle Select Executive specialists was to draft in an Interim Business Consultant to carry out an operational review, alongside the recruitment of the permanent Operations & Supply Chain Director replacement.

Furthermore our solution was to place an Interim Operations Director with a VC pedigree into the business who was able to complete the review.

Based on the results of this review, it was decided on that Circle Select would need to help find an experienced change leader to improve Technical Standards across the business, this came in the form of an Interim Technical Director.

In addition to these operational changes, working alongside Genius’s Chairman and Interim Operations Director, the conclusion was reached that Circle Select would need to recruit for a new Chief Operating Officer.

With an incredible shortlist of highly talented candidates passed to the business, the results of the recruitment process would be music to Genius’s ears.

The Result

Using Interim solutions to great affect, Genius were able to utilise the skills of both the Operations & Supply Chain Director and Technical Director to help stabilise the business.

The Chief Operating Officer role was filled with an exceptional candidate who had previously driven similar sized, and much larger, businesses through transitional phases in their development successfully.

The positive impact and legacy of the Chief Operating Officer was in fact so great that within a 6 month period they transitioned into the Chief Executive Officer role within the business.

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