Odgers Berndtson expands Consumer, Retail & Leisure Practice with new Partner

18 Mar 2021

Odgers Berndtson expands Consumer, Retail & Leisure Practice with new Partner

We’ve appointed Katie Thomas as a Partner within the firm’s global Consumer, Retail, Leisure & Hospitality Practice. Katie will also be a member of the firm’s Board and CEO Practice.

Katie will work with clients across all subsectors of the consumer industry. She brings deep expertise in building leadership teams for organisations across many categories including fashion, luxury, lifestyle brands, beauty, food and leisure and hospitality markets. She has advised many of the world’s leading brands and has established an extensive and international network, which she will draw upon in placing CEOs and executive committee members across the full spectrum of the executive team.

Her clients have been varied in scale, ownership, and stages of maturity. They include multi-nationals and high profile listed companies, as well as family-owned and smaller, founder-led and private equity backed businesses. Many of these have operated in multiple international regions and she has experience in transferring leaders across geographies.

“Changes in shopping behaviours have accelerated during the pandemic and consumer expectations of brands and services have evolved with a greater focus on convenience, product provenance, value, climate change, and personalisation. Operating models will need to change and there will be a renewed focus on reshaping leadership teams with different and new capabilities. We are also seeing an increase in M&A activity across all sub-sectors of the consumer markets which is leading to ownership changes and creating a fluid talent landscape and an urgent need to invest in capability building.” -Thomas said.

Kester Scrope, CEO of Odgers Berndtson said:

“2021 is set to be an exciting period of transition and reawakening as we move into the post-vaccine era. Growth in consumer confidence will bring significant opportunities across the consumer space, not least in the leisure and hospitality sectors. Supporting our clients in their leadership decisions is critical to success hence our focus and additional investment in this area. Katie joining us with her depth of expertise further adds to the great strength of our team.”

Jane Dessar, Partner and Head of Odgers Berndtson’s Consumer, Retail & Leisure Practice said:

“Katie has a real passion for the consumer sector and helping organisations manage change. She brings deep experience of finding diverse leaders that can drive restructures, transformation and create value, particularly within the scope of international expansion, new go-to market and digitally led strategies.”

Katie has built a highly successful career in executive search working for tier-one firms. She previously worked for two respected independent executive search boutiques in the UK where she built the consumer and retail practice. She also spent over thirteen years at one of the world’s largest tier-one global executive search firms where she co-led the global retail and luxury practice.

Learn more on Odgers Berndtson's new Partner Katie Thomas.