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The board of directors of Daymon Worldwide announced the appointment of Jim Holbrook as CEO of the Stamford, Conn.-based company, effective Sept. 1, 2015. Holbrook also joins the Daymon board of directors.
Holbrook succeeds Carla Cooper, who earlier this year informed the board of her intention to retire. Cooper will actively support the CEO transition process and remain in an advisory capacity until the end of 2016, Daymon said. All of her direct reports will report directly to Holbrook.
“Daymon is truly fortunate to have enjoyed the benefits of Carla’s leadership for nearly seven years, including nearly five years as CEO,” said Ron Daitz, non-executive chairman of board. “Her vision for the company, her global experience, relentless work ethic and unsurpassed customer relationships helped transform the company at a critical time.
“We are delighted to have found in Jim Holbrook a successor eminently prepared to pick up where Carla leaves off,” Daitz continued. “Jim is a dynamic leader with extensive executive experience in business operations, marketing and brand-building. He is ideally suited to drive further growth and change for Daymon Worldwide.”
Holbrook’s most recent leadership experience was at Post Holdings, which he joined in 2011 when it was spun off from Ralcorp. He was named president of Post Foods, the flagship cereal business, in 2012, and in 2014 was appointed president and CEO of Post Consumer Brands, which comprised the cereal business, as well as Power Bar and other company acquisitions in the nutrition products category, Daymon said.
Holbrook started his career at Procter & Gamble (P&G) following his graduation from Vanderbilt University in 1981. After three years at P&G, he moved to Ralston Purina (now Nestlé Purina) where he spent 12 years in roles of increasing responsibility in marketing, brand management, sales and operations management, Daymon noted. As vice president, customer development, he was responsible for growing a $300 million sales base, including the design and implementation of an integrated sales and marketing team. For the last two years at Ralston Purina, Holbrook served as chief executive of Beechnut and assistant to the chairman.
Holbrook left Ralston Purina in 1996 to become CEO of Zipatoni, an ad agency of which he was a part owner. He sold the business to Interpublic Group in 2001, Daymon said, and remained there for another three years in an executive role leading a number of IPG’s agencies.
In 2005, Holbrook was recruited for the CEO role at EMAK, a then-publicly traded portfolio of marketing agencies that was going through Chapter 11 restructuring. He engineered the transition to a privately held company. Before leaving for Post Holdings, Holbrook launched a new agency at EMAK (called Neighbor) that was focused on socially conscious companies and products, Daymon noted.
Holbrook has a “strong reputation as a creative business builder who has excellent relationship and team-building skills," Daitz said. "Jim knows what it means to lead for results, and he is a proven executive in the consumer sector. I am excited about where he will take Daymon in the years ahead.”
Holbrook called Daymon "one of the great gems" in global retailing.
“This is a tremendous time to join the company," he said, "and I am very excited about how we can work together to serve our customers and business partners even more effectively in the future. I cannot wait to meet more of my new colleagues and get started on this work.”
Cooper noted that she spent time with Holbrook during the search process and is excited for what his arrival means for the company.
“He brings new perspectives and experiences that will drive significant value for our customers, partners and associates,” she said.
“Carla has devoted her full passions to Daymon’s success since she joined the board of directors in 2009, and Daymon has flourished under her leadership and care,” Daitz said. “Carla and her husband Steve have long deferred their planned move to the gorgeous mountains of North Carolina so that Carla could continue her work at Daymon; a commitment to the company for which we are grateful. On behalf of Daymon’s board of directors, associates, customers and partners around the world, we say a heartfelt thank you to Carla for her time at Daymon.”