CFO Dive

      Scotts Miracle-Gro New CFO Announced

      CFO Dive asks Shawn Cole, President Cowen Partners Executive Search about Marysville, Ohio-based Scotts Miracle-Gro appointed Matthew Garth, 48, to the roles of CFO and executive vice president, effective Dec. 1., the company announced this week. 

      While signing or new-hire bonuses have long been used as a tool to attract executives, experienced CFOs are enjoying a strong negotiating position thanks in part to a record number of initial public offerings last year that increased demand for executives with public company experience. 

      Shawn Cole, president of the executive search firm Cowen Partners, wrote in an emailed response that the sign-on bonus Scotts gave is rich for a company of their size but “speaks to the current market and short supply of experienced public company CFOs. They clearly wanted him.”

      Garth’s experience and background in financial planning and analysis (FP&A) and investor relations contrasts with the accounting and auditor background of the company’s former CFO, Cory Miller, who stepped down from the role in August, Cole said. “This speaks to the current financial outlook…they need forecasting experience and a CFO who can communicate a plan. Garth is what we call a ‘modern CFO’ with less emphasis on the past (reporting) and more on the future (forecasting),” Cole stated. 

      Scotts Miracle-Gro is one of the many businesses that have been impacted recently by the rapid shift from inventory shortages to glut, according to a Sept. 15 Wall Street Journal report. After working to meet customer demand for lawn seed and fertilizer early in the pandemic, the company ramped up production to meet demand but the expected orders never came, the report stated.  

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      CFO Dive provides in-depth journalism and insight into the most impactful news and trends shaping finance. The newsletters and website cover topics such as financial reporting, compliance, technology, risk management, leadership, and more.

      CFO Dive is a leading publication operated by Industry Dive. Our business journalists spark ideas and shape agendas for 10+ million decision makers in competitive industries.

      Cowen Partners is the nation’s executive search firm, enabling companies to harness the power of human capital to fuel their success. Cowen Partners gives our clients access to the top 1% of human capital to create opportunities that accelerate their growth and market share. With Cowen Partners, clients can grow at scale, create value, and drive results with world class talent. Our clients are both small and large, publicly traded, pre-IPO, private, and non-profit organizations.

      Clients are typically $50 million to multi-billion dollar revenue Fortune 1000 companies or have assets between $500 million to $15 billion. Successful placements span the entire C-Suite and include VP and director level leadership roles.

      With our proven processes and guaranteed results, we have successfully placed hundreds of candidates in industries including technology, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, financial services, and private equity.

      About Shawn Cole, President & Cofounder

      Shawn Cole is a serial entrepreneur and executive leader with over 15 years’ experience founding and running successful companies. Shawn’s business career has been centered on value creation for both turnarounds and startups.

      Shawn is President and Co-Founder of Cowen Partners, a national CFO executive search firm focused on the key elements of a successful business: sales, marketing, and finance. Business clients across the country trust Cowen Partners to take their companies to the next level by finding them executive talent, such as a CEO, CFO, COO, Chief Revenue Officer, and Chief Marketing Officer. Clients are both small and large, publicly traded, pre-IPO, private, and non-profit organizations, typically $50 million to multi-billion dollar revenue Fortune 1000 companies or have assets between $1 billion and $15 billion.

      An active participant in the business community and startup space, Shawn Co-Chairs The Cowen Partners Venture Fund which provides seed funding and early stage investments, focusing on market disruptors in niche markets, community businesses, and minority entrepreneurs.

      Shawn attended Oregon State University’s College of Business Austin Entrepreneurship Program and participated in a first-of-its-kind experiential entrepreneurship experiment at Weatherford Hall. He was also a Founding Member and President of Oregon State University’s Students in Free Enterprise, an international non-profit organization working with university students who want to positively change their communities and learn practical knowledge to become socially responsible business leaders.

      At the age of 16 Shawn became a volunteer firefighter and EMT, eventually founding and managing a half marathon to raise funds for the community. To date, the marathon is still a success and has raised over one million dollars benefiting the community.

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