The client was a well-respected family-owned French retailer that is very active in the fashion industry, with distribution in 35 countries with over 800 points of sale and 6000 employees. The company had decided to close down their German hub, which covered both Germany and Austria, in order to reduce the ongoing losses in the region. The sales volumes had decreased about 10%, partly due to higher competitive pressure associated with local management weaknesses and turnover.
The company was looking for a French CFO who was not only fluent in German, but also able to manage the specifics of German and Austrian accounting and legal requirements. This manager would need to be on-site and have a strong operational background and be able to be local in the affiliate for some months without compromising with the international French reporting and mentality of the company which remained very strict on internal reporting. One of the key priorities was to finalize the redundancy plan (10 FTE) of the subsidiary and closing the remaining outlets while keeping alive the finance and accounting department.