Hg Capital acquired Trace One from its founder, who moved to a non-executive role. On an interim basis, one of the firm’s Operating Partners acted as Executive Chairman but the investors were keen to identify as quickly as possible, a stage-appropriate, internationally-minded CEO from the enterprise software world, ideally with experience in the retail space.
How Lancor Helped: The Search
Lancor has worked across the Private Equity market for many years and brings deep expertise in the software industry. Having understood the investment thesis and the key requirements of the role, our first move was to examine the pool of CEO-experienced candidates and those ready to take on their first CEO positions. Experience in the French market was critical and in addition to looking at candidates currently leading businesses in France, we quickly covered the market across Europe and in the US for executives with past French experience. Three finalists stood out. One of whom, Christophe Vanackere, quickly emerged as the preferred candidate.
Christophe started his career at Lectra, a world leader in product lifecycle management solutions, where he quickly became Managing Director for Europe, Middle East and South America. He was a key driver behind the international growth of Sage, a provider of business management software, first as Chief Operating Officer, then as the Managing Director for Europe. Most recently, Christophe held the position of Managing Director for France at the enterprise applications company Unit 4.
The search took 83 days from start to finish.