- No private equity firm is the same, and some consistently produce better CROs than others.
- Not all experience in a private equity-backed deal is good experience.
- A strong executive develops certain skill sets during their early career and leverage them as they gain more traction as leaders.
- Private equity sponsors often recruit “Best-Athletes”, especially into unique portfolio companies.
Most private equity-backed CRO positions are tailored to fit a specific background, even though that background is often an exception instead of a rule. CRO roles are offered to executives whose careers show they are a strong and capable growth driver, no matter what portfolio company they are being considered for.
What does a great private equity CRO look like? There are five main indicators that suggest a strong profile. This article will walk you through what they are and how to successfully navigate through them in your career.
1. Points on the Board
The best CROs in the private equity-backed world all share one attribute: putting “points on the board.” While in the CRO seat, increasing enterprise value in a reputable sponsor’s portfolio company and playing a part in a successful exit is the single most attractive experience in a strong CROs resume. The opposite also holds true. Failing to create value for the private equity firm by not driving revenue growth will have a negative impact on your reputation with recruiters and private equity firms.
A CRO can put “points on the board” in many ways, but they all boil down to improving the commercial side of the business. To do that, you have to build the right team. When a CRO takes a new role, their first action should be assessing the talent at their disposal and rebuilding from there if needed. Once the right team is in place, the CRO needs to drive performance and results at all levels of the business. The strongest CROs will contribute to revenue growth from the strategic level down to mentoring their individual salespeople.
For more, see: Human Beta in the Private Equity Executive World
2. The Exit
CROs who haven’t led a private equity-backed exit can still be among the best executives. But a CRO that leaves a private equity-backed compan...