Recently we have seen senior-level leaders transitioning, which opened new opportunities for internal succession or external job requisition. And with the significant changes in work setups and company culture, The Ropella Group, with its Chairman & CEO, Patrick Ropella, took to a new category with a different set of requirements when profiling candidates, specifically for C-Suite positions in the chemical, consumer products, and technology industries. In this episode, Patrick tells us what Backable CEO means, how it brings value to a company, and what experience or expertise one needs to qualify. He also shares insights on how the chemical industry is doing in executive recruiting or hiring demands after the great recession, how social media platforms have changed the game for job seekers, and how they provided an avenue for the companies to source candidates. So, if you have positions to fill in your company or someone is looking for an available spot, tune in and get tips on what makes a good candidate and how you can stock up on employment history the right way to become the best fit.

Watch the episode here


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Executive Recruiting: Why You Need A Backable CEO With Patrick Ropella

I am welcoming back Patrick Ropella, the CEO of The Ropella Group, one of the premier executive search firms in the chemical industry. Pat was featured on episode three of the show way back at the beginning. If you haven’t read that yet, go check it out. Pat, welcome to the show.

Thank you very much. Nice to see you again.

We’re going to jump right in. What’s been going on and how has the world of executive recruiting been over 2021?

For us, it’s been incredibly busy and fun. A lot of the Baby Boomers that were supposed to retire are finally in huge numbers and many of them are at the highest levels. Within the chemical industry, you’ve got a lot of dynamics that are making the chemical industry profitable. Most companies are having record years. Private equity is extremely excited about that. They’re knocking on doors, looking for acquisitions in the chemical industry like I’ve never seen before.

All of the reports about acquisition numbers are off the charts, but along the lines of that, supporting the executive search business, often when a company has been acquired a lot of leadership changes are taking place. The leaders are saying, “I’m going to take my money and go do something else. I’m not sure I want to work under private equity, but I was okay with being a part of the sale. I’m going to go work for another company.” There’s a lot of movement that keeps us extremely busy.

That’s good for you and for people that are in the market for a new job.

We want to try new opportunities and solve new problems.

You’ve talked about private equity. You’ve been increasing your focus on private equity and board searches. How has that grown and evolved over the past years?

I’ll give you a little history and then dive into the present. For many years, we’ve been specializing in the chemical industry. We’re pretty well-recognized now as the largest boutique firm on the planet focused exclusively on the chemical industry. For the first ten years of the business, we focused on all the big dogs. We wanted to have the dollars, BSFs, and all the large Fortune 500 chemical companies as clients, so we could say on our website that that’s what we’re doing with the best, most well-recognized companies. We’ve done that successfully.

What we found that the next ten years was a lot of neat mid-market leading, mid-size companies that were growing very fast, that also needed our help. We found them a lot of fun to work with, a whole lot less bureaucratic, and often a lot more stable. The larger the company, the more likely people are promoting, moving, and leaving. The smaller, the more mid-sized companies are longer-term focused. We found that there was a lot more value we could create in one place for senior-level executives in those organizations. It makes a bigger impact when you bring in a C-Suite leader or even a director, VP, or presidential type of candidate.

The challenge there was getting them to pay our fees at the level we wanted them to pay. They’re sharpening their pencil on our contracts nonstop and found that was a part of a challenge for us. We were ebbing and flowing between the Fortune 500 and the mid-market firms up until now. We’re many years in going into the last years, the private equity firms start coming into the chemical industry in huge numbers more and more all the time by the year. As they’re coming and saying, “Head hunters are extremely important to the acquisitions that we’re making.”

We want the best search firms working with our holdings with our C-Suite leadership teams. The leadership at these mid-market firms starts taking a whole new look at using headhunters. As a result, in the last years, our business has done a substantial shift from 80% Fortune 500 clients to now 80% mid-market leading firms, but with the majority of them being backed by private equity. As we spent more time working with private equity and started learning a whole lot more about what they need, not only their top leaders but also in their own private equity firms, their own talent requirements inside the firms, and how they go about finding acquisitions and deal flow.


TCSP 58 | Backable CEO

Backable CEO: For an executive used to making hundreds of thousands, if not millions, as a C-suite leader and being able to do that as a sole proprietor entrepreneur from your own home can be a really neat transition before retirement.


Over the last years, we’ve transitioned the company again to a substantially new forefront where we’re not focusing on marketing C-Suite leaders as backable CEOs, active chairman, and operating advisors, going right into the private equity firms and leaving Corporate America and now working literally side-by-side, joined at the hip with private equity.

What does it mean to be a backable CEO?

Most people hear that term and don’t understand that it’s a unique role. You’re not working as a CEO until you get an acquisition. You’re working as a business development rep for all intents and purposes. You’re doing so with the understanding that as a part of a team if you identify a company that would then be acquired. The private equity firms will pay you handsomely, significantly for bringing that acquisition to the table. They use a model called The Lehman Formula.

The Lehman Group created this formula for compensating people who brought deals to the acquisition table. Once they close, it’s a significant commission model that generates hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars in fees. For an executive that is used to making hundreds of thousands, if not millions as a C-Suite leader, being able to do this work as a sole proprietor entrepreneur from their own home, without all the headaches and the responsibilities of managing large budgets, people, and all the problems that come with that, it can be a neat transition before returning.

I’ve had some guests on my show that have done something similar. John Foley would be one of the guys that come to mind who is doing private equity. He talks about how he searched for the right PE firm to partner with, to go home, go out, and find things. If you haven’t done it, it’s a bit of a mystery, even for a chemical executive who has a ton of experience and know-how in the industry. There’s still a lot of mystique in the private equity world.

If you haven’t worked for a private equity firm as an operating advisor over existing holdings, or have been a partner of a private equity firm, what goes on and what work needs to be done to find acquisitions to do the due diligence, negotiate the deals and then once the deal is closed, determined who’s going to be CEO and run it. There’s a lot of mystery in there. It’s hard to know what it’s all about.

What we’ve decided is that as an executive search firm, we’re opening doors, not only to the C-Suite to help them with key hires they need to make but as well, when they’re making career transitions themselves and looking to make changes, we’re there to help. The private equity firms are also looking for a lot of help. We came up with this idea, “Let’s provide a venture visions model to backable CEOs, connecting private equity investors to these candidates.”

I’ll give you an overview of what a backable CEO looks like. It’s a person who’s respected and seasoned, an industry CEO, CFO, or COO, typically one of those three levels or roles, with strong integrity, IQ, and EQ. There’s no question about it that they’re in their space recognized as a transformational leader. They understand accountability, communication, and trust. They just exude that type of skill set as a leader. That’s not everybody. There are a lot of people that we talk to that are good leaders in the C-Suite, but will never be recognized by a private equity person that’s backable because they don’t carry those traits that are required.

You talk about a transformational leader. It’s a term that gets tossed around a lot. From your perspective, what does that look like? What are the characteristics that make a leader a transformational leader and good for a private equity model?

Accountability communications, and trust, how you act when you’re under pressure, that’s the foundation. There’s a lot of different writing that’s been done on transformational leadership that suggests there are 7 or 10 traits. There are a lot of different traits. You can measure them all. If you measure, you can determine whether there’s a transformational leader out of the pack. Typically, if you take 100 leaders and you put them all in a room and they all have C-Suite titles and you ask them, “How many of you are transformational leaders? All raise your hands.”

Everybody knows that’s the new benchmark.

You start screening them. You find out that charisma is often a big part of what makes a transformational leader recognized as a transformational leader. That charisma is a big part of their accountability, communication, and trust model. That’s foundational. How do you hold yourself accountable to those you’re working with, those you’re working for, or those working for you? Accountability is huge.

The larger the company, the more likely people are promoting, moving, and leaving. The smaller, more mid-sized companies are longer-term focused. Share on X

You would be surprised how many people I work with in the C-Suite don’t return phone calls, make people wait on them, don’t have follow-up systems, and are always too busy to complete a sentence. Communication skills are absolutely huge. If you look at how many C-Suite leaders can talk but they can’t write. They don’t have the ability to formulate a vision. They might be able to take someone else’s vision and strategy and execute them, but they can’t convey an attractive, enticing vision.

Vision is huge for transformational leadership and communication skills wrapped around that are a major part of it. The other one is trust. When the rubber meets the road, your building is on fire, and you’re talking to the press, the board members, employees, or the community, can we trust what you’re saying is legitimate? You’re taking accountability. You’re taking ownership. Can we trust that what you say you’re going to do next will happen?

Take these core personality traits and you score these people in the room who all have their hands raised. You’re lucky if 5% of them are transformational. You know them when you see them. If you’re in sports, you say, “Who are the top transformational leaders in college sport, NFL, or the major league?” They stand out like a sore thumb. If you look at it in the corporate world, it’s the same thing. You know who they are because they just stand out.

It’s an interesting new world that you’re stepping into. How does this differ? How have you guys in your business transformed to fit this new model and approach?

What we found was that we were working with a lot of CEOs and helping them fill middle-level management roles in the C-Suite. Occasionally, we would be working with some of the larger companies on board seat roles. Years ago, about 30% to 40% of our overall business was at that level. Now, it’s more like 80%. We think that in the next few years with the model that we’re applying here, it will be 100%. We’ve transitioned dramatically so that our average fee is now about three times where it was just a few years ago. That’s all self-serving and you might say, “So what?”

The point is we did it through this focus, by reaching out to CEOs and saying, “Do you understand what a backable CEO is? Do you understand what they do? What the role is?” Many of them say, “I have a friend of mine that works with private equity, but I don’t understand it.” We explained to them the role and the responsibilities of a backable CEO or what they call an active chairman. We tell them that we’re looking for people with these traits.

We’ve got a list on our website. All of this that I’m describing is on our website. We say, “If you’re interested in being a backable CEO, this can be absolutely life-changing. The level of wealth you can generate working in the corporate world is significant in the C-Suite. Once you build the bridge to private equity, the opportunity to make generational wealth is dramatically higher.”

“For those that can succeed in serving as a backable CEO, we’ll support you. We will screen you to determine if we believe you’ll succeed. If we’re convinced you will, we’ll put you in touch with private equity firms that are in your space, and that are interested in having an exploratory discussion with you about this opportunity.”

“If they partner up with you and say they will fund your efforts to go find acquisitions, we’ll open the doors at the acquisition prospects, through the founders, and the C-Suite leaders there, and help you have conversations ten times as many as you’ll get on your own. We’ve got a team of business development people that do nothing but call people like you, a CEO, who’s got some needs for executive search or for career transition. Backable CEO is part of that equation now.”

It’s a great approach. A lot of individuals, CEOs, and other executives, as they’re getting ready to leave their traditional corporate life, are trying to figure out what those next steps are and aren’t always sure how to get there. One of the things that come to mind is how do you manage and balance conflicts of interest? This holds true across the job search and the executive search spectrum. You may be doing business with a company or have done business with a company to fill roles. At the same time, there may be an individual in that company that’s an attractive target to move on elsewhere. How do you strike that balance?

It used to be a lot harder than it is nowadays. We worked incredibly deeply with Dow. One of my favorite testimonial letters that I got from Dow was from Andrew Liveris about the close to 100 different searches we ran for Dow during his reign. It was a massive opportunity while it lasted, but people come and go. During those early years, if somebody found out that while we were working for Dow, we had a candidate in our hip pocket that was from Dow that we were putting into some other company, we get lit on fire. You can’t do that no matter what.

What we say for what you don’t understand is in 9 times out of 10 cases, those people came to us. They reached out to us and said, “I’m making a change because my spouse has got a new job on the East Coast. I don’t want to be in Michigan anymore. There’s a log jam in front of me. There’s no opportunity for promotion. I’ve been here a while and it’s time for something new.” We’d say, “We’ve got some opportunities where your background is spot on, but if anybody found out we were doing that, we’d get lit on fire.”


TCSP 58 | Backable CEO

Backable CEO: In a market where the supply is extremely limited and the demand is really high for diversity candidates, you can’t force salary bands on that scenario.


Now I have HR executives tell me, “If we can’t keep our people, that’s our job. If we can’t promote or convince them to stay, that’s on us. If I come to you, HR people will come and say, ‘We’ve got a search we need to run for a senior-level role. By the way, if you hear of anything for me, keep me informed.’” That’s mind-numbing. Many years ago, they would never have trusted us enough to say that. With LinkedIn and, there are many ways for people to network and find out about opportunities on social media.

The barrier to that type of issue has fallen to the point where we never get asked anymore about that issue by the HR people who used to drill us over it. That said, I won’t rate a company. If I’ve got a relationship with Dow and I’m actively working that relationship, we’re being supplied searches, and we know there’s more coming, there’s no way we’re going to target that company because relationships matter. We have hands-off policies that say, “If we’re working with a corporate organization, that whole organization is protected.”

We talked about the characteristics of a transformational leader. With trust, communication, and accountability, this whole view of charisma, one of the things that strike me, is the diversity of the industry, or the lack of diversity at senior levels. I certainly see this even more at private equity firms. The large public companies are doing a great job of creating more balance whether it be gender, race, or other equity balances, but private equity hasn’t necessarily followed that same path. When you’re looking at executives that have already been a CEO, a CFO, or a COO to then move into a backable CEO role, that’s hard to do. It’s a glass ceiling on top of a brick wall. How do you balance this?

That’s a real challenge. Tell me to go find candidates in the chemical industry for a search and say, “We want mostly diverse candidates,” and I’ll tell you, “Where’s the magic wand?” If they’re not there, I can’t create them. All I can do is tell you that there are adjacent industries where there are significantly more diverse candidate pools if you’re willing to be flexible. If you’re in the chemical industry, you’re looking for somebody from the chemical industry, and the diversity isn’t there in significant numbers, “If I bring you a diversity candidate from any decent size chemical company, what are you willing to pay for?”

They’re like, “We have salary bands. We have internal equity issues that we have to compete with.” I said, “You can’t talk out of both sides of your mouth because these candidates are getting 30% to 40% more because of their skin color or diversity background. They know it and they can go talk to three other companies. The minute they decide they want to make a change, they’ll have people knocking down their doors to get to them. Can you compete?” “We never thought of that.” “How can you not think about it?”

In a market where the supply is extremely limited and the demand is high, you can’t force salary bands on that scenario. It gives them a little bit of a wake-up call. Everybody loves how candid I am when I tell them that because then I’ll say, “I can get you diverse if I go to consumer products companies. If you’re selling chemicals to cosmetics companies, let me go get your people from the cosmetics companies. They’ve got all sorts of great women in leadership and diversity in some of the ethnic product care categories. Tell me you’re making plastic additives and chemicals for plastics. You want me to go to the plastics industry. We’re right back where we started. It’s the same thing.” Certain consumer products companies are much better than manufacturers of nonconsumer products companies.

You brought up the salary bands. I’m going to ask you this question because I’m always interested and other people are interested. What bumps do you see? What are you seeing in terms of the land of compensation when we’re talking about placement at an executive level or even a non-executive level?

We’re primarily doing everything at the executive level. I’m not going to speak too much below the VP leveling work because we aren’t working on them at all. People who are making changes are seeing pretty consistently right down the line, at least a 20% increase in salary if they’re well-qualified or not job hoppers. You can be a job hopper and move around. At the executive level, right below the C-Suite, ranks come back to bite you because people are looking for succession candidates below the C-suite Ranks.

You can job hop all day long. You want to change every 2 or 3 years as a CEO and get away with it. Below the CEO ranks, everybody’s clamoring to try and get people that will stay for at least 5 to 10 years so they can promote those people to the C-Suite. You need to be careful you don’t jump around too much, even though that seems to be for the Millennials, the talk of the day, “Just change jobs every two years and you’ll keep climbing.”

You can do that to a point. If you start getting up to the higher-level ranks, you’ve got to slow down. The 20% salary increases are normal. We say that partly because it’s easy to find alternatives. If you decide you want to look for a job nowadays, there are so many resources available to you that weren’t there many years ago. LinkedIn barely existed years ago.

LinkedIn has changed the game in terms of identifying and engaging with contacts from other companies and finding candidates.

Look at this green circular on everybody’s head that says, “Open to work.” How many people have that on there while they’re currently employed at existing companies? They have been there 3 to 5 years and got a green circle around their head. They’re not unemployed, but they’re open to work and they’re not afraid to say that. That is unreal.

Accountability, communications, trust, and how you act under pressure are the foundations of a transformational leader. Share on X

My indicator when I look at following people, colleagues, and friends on LinkedIn is when they change their headlines. They’ve gone from being VP to a transformational leader, I’m like, “That person’s looking for a job.”

Right below their picture, there’s a block that says what they’re good at and why they should be considered. It’s no longer them talking about their personal brand. It’s talking about, “Clearly I’m looking for something. All you got to do is read this and you can tell.” They’re still employed. They’re still taking a paycheck. That used to be frowned upon that people were scared to death to have anybody know they might be all on an interview. Not anymore.

Times have changed. Let’s get back to your Ropella Equity Ventures and your backable CEOs. We’ve talked a little bit about how this applies to the CEO and the executive itself. When you start talking about your business partners, the PE firms that are looking for candidates, or heads of portfolio companies, how are they responding to this? What’s important to them?

If you take all the private equity firms, stick them in a room, and there are 100% of all the private equity firms, about half of them will use as their primary lead source, investment bakers, company search firms, and large supply networks. They’re mostly getting from them deals on the market that is going through an auction, competing for interested, private equity stakeholders. That’s a lot of work. You put a whole lot of time in, and it’s a crap shoot. It’s almost like gambling with dice as to whether or not you’re going to get to the finish line you get to acquire that business.

The other half is saying, “We’re doing some of that because we have to, but we focus the most on going after proprietary passive deals that nobody’s involved in yet.” That’s where we’re saying these backable CEOs have some real leverage in some value. If you take a person who’s got clear expertise in a particular lane, let’s say you’re a chemical industry executive now more specific, you are in plastics additives. Let’s make it more specific, thermal plastic resident, nailing it, there is a hyper little niche. In that space, you’re a rockstar. I’ve been in that space for a long time. I climbed the corporate ladder through manufacturing R&D or sales. I understand all the different challenges within an organization. I made it to the C-Suite. I worked with private equity. I’ve got a vision for what I can do to help other acquisitions that we might make to solve problems and quickly grow their businesses because I’ve been there and done that.

That’s the type of backable CEOs that we’re working with. I share that type of person with a private equity firm and say, “We’re interested in that thesis.” The thesis is an interchangeable word for a business plan. We’re interested in that thesis laying where this person stands out like a rockstar. We need to get them on the phone with the founders and CEOs of all those small companies that are in play. They might be in 6 months, 1 year, or 3 years, but let’s get them developing relationships.

You would be surprised once you get them in conversations and as a backable CEO. You’re talking to them about problems they’re having. You’re brainstorming with them on solutions that you can help provide. You’re saying to repel at them. By the way, they need a CFO. They need a vice president of R&D. We’re coming in and bringing value to the equation.” That CEO that wasn’t for sale starts to think, “I trust you, guys. Let me tell you why I might consider selling.”

All of a sudden, things change. It happens a lot more than you think. If an investment banker or a company search firm calls up and says, “Are you willing to sell your company because we got buyers?” You’re like, “Leave me alone. I get these calls all day long. I don’t want to talk to you guys. You’re a bunch of hawks. Not in my yard.” It’s a totally different approach. It’s a relationship-based approach. Probably solving value proposition turns into opportunities to sell. That’s what this other 50% of the private equity firms understand and we generate significant value for.

We’ve talked about how there’s been so much activity over the past several years with private equity in chemicals. I’ve talked to various companies that have been privately held. They are somebody’s baby in many ways. They’ve grown and transformed this business. There’s this trust and ownership that goes deep. They want to know that whoever is the next generation, even if it’s external in the next generation coming to buy the business, is going to care as much about the business as they do.

When you’re getting approached like a telemarketer, you’re not quite convinced. When you can have a business leader that says, “I want to lead your business,” that’s a completely different equation. One of the things that people are talking about is the economic uncertainty impact. Somebody said, “The economy and the chemical industry even is not in equilibrium.” We had inflation, supply chain challenges, and ups and downs of all varieties. How has this factored in for your approach and your client’s approaches? Does it factor yet?

It’s not anything that we’re hearing much complaining about in general. When we went through The Great Recession, we were hearing much more so, long before things are getting squirreling. Things are getting scary. Things don’t seem right. Something’s off. Our economists are telling us to start paying attention. Months later, we were seeing a significant drop-off in hiring demands. We’re not seeing that at all. We were not having any issues. We’re hearing everything in the media that everybody’s sharing.


TCSP 58 | Backable CEO

Backable CEO: The level of wealth you can generate working in the corporate world is significant at the C-suite level. But once you build the bridge to private equity, the opportunity to make generational wealth is dramatically higher.


I’m an optimistic guy. I have a tendency to believe I can solve any problem. Throw it at me and let everybody else whine and worry. I’m going to work around it in the ebb and flow. That sometimes can bite you in the back because you ended up behind the eight ball after it’s running down, trying to catch up to those who are better prepared. The point I’m getting at is we’re not hearing a lot of threats. We’re not going to continue to scale or expand yet.

After The Great Recession, there was a significant catch-up period. Everyone was catching up on all the problems of The Great Recession. Now we’re expanding and taken off so we’re going to pour all resources into adding additional people. We didn’t do succession planning at all for years, so we’re going to double down on getting ready for all these retirements that are coming. We’re not hearing anything that would suggest that the economy is yet affecting anybody that we’re talking to.

I’m hearing various things about inflation and a potential recession. You made the point of a lot of Baby Boomers are finally retiring. There’s this latent and pent-up demand in the industry. There’s a challenge if we look at some of the decisions that were made in early 2020. When the pandemic and the shutdowns were first taking place, some people were quite reactive.

Others stayed the course. Others had real reactions in terms of their business operations, people, etc. They’re still trying to catch up from that, too. That’s interesting. What about the hybrid workplace? That’s our new norm. I’ve been told by the media here that the hybrid workplace is where we are. Do this factor into your business and the decision processes that you guys are making?

It’s affecting us on a personal level. We’ve got almost 50 people in our building in Pensacola, Florida. Many of them have been, not begging, not necessarily complaining, but bringing up the idea of working from home on a regular basis. We’re a strong corporate culture and a family-run business. We have a lot of fun. Most of our employees are between 25 and 35. We’re able to mentor, develop, and have a lot of fun with those people in the office. How do you mentor, coach, and have fun with them when they’re at home? It’s awkward for me.

I don’t like it, but my leadership team, mostly in their 40s, are saying, “It’s the thing we should all be doing. Everyone else is doing it. Why shouldn’t we? We can cut our operational costs dramatically by not having this big building.” We put our building on the market. We’ve got a 50-square-foot Mediterranean Villa for corporate headquarters that I custom-built. It’s gorgeous. We have a racquetball court. Inside, there’s an art gallery. It’s all over my offices. It’s a beautiful building. We’re putting it on the market because everybody says that they want to work from home. Let’s see how it works.

Are you going to not have an office?

We’re going to have a small office. We’ve got 15,000 square feet. Now we’re going to go down to about 3,000 square feet and have a core space for a few of the key leaders and shared offices. When people want to have meetings, they can come in and have them. We let everybody else work from home. It’s funny. I think it’s crazy, but it’s working. We’ve got almost half of the employees working from home now and coming in as needed. I am baffled by the fact that it’s working. I said, “Let’s give it a run and see where it goes.” I’m also ready to retire. I’m going to be 62. I bought a house in the mountains in Chattanooga, and I’m working from home. It’s working for me.

You’re leading by example.

We used to find that when we get searches for regulatory people who did a lot of regulatory roles within the chemical industry in a small pool of talented people and they fight for those people. They move around quite a bit, too, because there’s a small talent pool. The ones that are good can do a job for 2 or 3, and take that regulatory program to a new level.

They want to do it for somebody else and have another neat, exciting challenge. The companies used to say, “We got to have them in headquarters.” You’re not going to get the best people because 80% of them work from home. It was always a challenge to convince these executives that that was normal. Now it’s normal for about every role. It’s an incredible transformation.

For years when I worked for Shell, we had flexibility. Most of my team was in Europe. It didn’t matter if I was working from the office or at home much of the time. I became accustomed to that flexibility, go in when you need to go in and work from home when you need to work from home. It’s becoming a norm in a lot more places. I do worry about how you instill company culture, train up and create some of those connections for new employees. It’s not easy being remote as a new employee. It takes some different techniques.

If you decide you want to look for a job nowadays, there are so many resources available to you that weren't there ten years ago. Share on X

Salespeople have always spent in large numbers, accepted for working at home and nobody ever seems to question it. They’re gabby talkers. They love to get out into the community and talk at sporting events, at church, or at the mall. They can go anywhere and make friends. For them, it was always normal. For R&D and manufacturing people, how are you going to do that? With robots, I guess. They’ll make robots do all the work and run them from home.

In the next decade, a lot of this is going to become more apparent in terms of how it all shakes out and evolves. What’s next for you and for Ropella? What should we be looking out for?

We’ve probably got five more years before I exit. I’m going to drive it hard and do everything I can to take the firm to the next level, then I’ll probably spin it out to private equity in about five more years.

You can get some good practice in relationships.

Anybody out there reading who wants to acquire a search firm, run it, and be a part of spinning it out to private equity, we’re open to options. We’re growing extremely fast to double our revenue. We’ll do that for the next 3 to 4 years with the idea that at that point, we’ll be a prime takeover candidate for one of the larger strategic, the big ten, the sharks of the world, or a private equity firm. We’re preparing for that. At the same token, we are driving all process improvements into the delivery and execution of our search.

I would argue that with our smart search system, we’ve got one of the most robust executive search delivery platforms on the planet. It’s extremely unique. I’m going to say that. I created it. When you get our clients who are Fortune 500 CEOs, CHROs, and private equity people telling us in their words that they’ve never seen anything like what we’re delivering. We show it to them visually. They say that before they even hire us, we know we’re onto something. We’ve got some pretty exciting things going on that are allowing us to compete at the highest levels like we never could before.

I’m looking forward to seeing more from you and seeing what’s happening.

Thank you. It’s much appreciated.

Thank you for joining us again on the show. We appreciate having you here and sharing some of your insights.

Thank you for inviting us again. It’s much appreciated. We look forward to doing this again sometime soon.

Thank you for reading, everyone. We’ll talk to you next time.

Take care.


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About Patrick Ropella

TCSP 58 | Backable CEO Having dedicated his career to helping companies worldwide in sourcing, marketing to, assessing, recruiting, on-boarding, retaining, training and transforming top talent, Patrick Ropella has gained a global perspective on Executive Search and Talent Management.

He has worked with people across all roles and functions, cascading from the top levels of management to placing apprentices coming straight out of college. Over the past 25+ years, he has seen many individuals he’s personally assisted in making career transitions become well-trained leaders and join the C-suite at many of the world’s largest corporations.

Patrick Ropella is the Chairman & CEO of the Ropella Group, a world’s leading Executive Search and Consulting firm with an extensive network of experts in a broad array of industries and functional areas. Ropella’s highly unique proprietary SMART Search System, combined with their sophisticated network, research partners, and database systems results in unsurpassed relationship building; this gives Ropella an exceptional and proven success rate in finding the most cohesive match between employers and employees.

With over 25 years of Executive Search experience in the Chemical allied & high technology Industry, Ropella understands the unique career, recruitment, and hiring challenges faced by these industries. This first-hand knowledge of customers, facilities, production, and current industry trends means Ropella can find just the right experts or careers, quickly and efficiently. If you are looking for a highly qualified and professional executive search consultant (recruiter or headhunter), give Ropella a call and put our people and process to work for you! Specialties: We have extensive knowledge in every facet of the chemical industry.

We also regularly serve many Fortune 500 consumer products companies that make products heavily based on chemicals – or what’s referred to as “Allied Industries.” In addition, we are building our reputation as a leader in executive search in many high-technology industries.


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