The Hand-off: an outcome of an Interim CEO

Posted on 31. Aug, 2009 by in Portero

My other office. Virgin America

(Nutrition in my 3rd office - Virgin America)

After roughly 9 Months, over 40 LAX-JFK-LAX 6 hour flights, 120,000 air-miles, ~ 100 nights away, in the midst of the worlds worst economy, 3/4 year of missed Sunday night family dinners with my boys and “bride”, a $6.6 million venture capital close, a launch of two new eCommerce web sites, creation of operational efficiencies, gallons of Starbucks Americano’s, my interim CEO time at has come to a close.

There were many challenges all along the way, both personal and business, but don’t get me wrong I loved ALMOST every minute of it and I am very proud of what WE overcame and accomplished.  “We” being the great team at PORTERO who are passionate about what they do, passionate to do right by the customer, love finding sources of value in world class luxury brands, and who are all great people. “We” also being my “bride” (of 20 yrs) and my two boys (well, men at 15 & 17) who lived with me for 9 months via cell phone, sms and video chat.

Though our search for an outstanding NYC based CEO took twice as long as we (the Board) anticipated, it was worth the effort as we found a great one, Susan Engel.

I first met Susan when she was asked to join our Board a few months prior to her accepting the CEO position. I immediately fell in love with her style, her merchandising and marketing approach, and deep operational experience (including 10 yr+ Board Member for Wells Fargo), and she really “got it” and saw the true need for an Authentic Luxury Market. I was thrilled when she accepted the full time PORTERO CEO position.

As an Interim CEO of a growth company you cannot simply babysit the company, rather your goal is to use your experience to build, fix, move forward, put in place, what you can in a variable period of time then hand-off the ball to the new CEO.

Trust me when I say I left PLENTY of “fun” on the plate for Susan but I have seen her in action and she is good! I hope you all someday get a chance to meet Susan, in the meantime check out the new Portero and PorteroPrivate sites and click on the “Share your thoughts” links and send your quick thoughts and ideas, I know Susan reads them all and would love to hear from you.

Bookmark and Share

Tags: , ,


Howard Beech

01. Sep, 2009

Nicely done, Bob. Welcome home.

Jim Baral

08. Sep, 2009

Having witnessed your West Coast Java consumption on a weekly basis…congrats on successfully putting together the puzzle pieces!

Nina Hardy

18. Sep, 2009

Congrats on job well done! I understand that Portero’s clients can be a spunky and particular bunch. Having the transition go so well is a testament to your skills & patience.

Colin Wallace

22. Sep, 2009

Just another day at the office for Bob Schwartz.. Good Work Hope you are able to enjoy some beach time, before the next crusade!

Jim Bennette

06. Oct, 2009

Good job Bob. Few jobs give you the ability to combine a graceful “bow out” with the completion of the actual goal!!

Leave a reply

Spam Protection by WP-SpamFree