Job Details

Chief Human Resource Officer - Gorilla Glue

Location:   Cincinnati, OH

Salary:   based on experience


The Opportunity

  • Are you an HR leader capable of connecting business strategies and financial objectives to Human Resource strategies: designing, leading and refining an organization’s structure and talent strategies to match the business’s aspirations?
  • Do you have the heart and hustle to lead the evolution, then execution of a world class HR structure in an organization with an exceptional culture and well-known brands?
  • Are you a HR professional who is adept at influencing and coaching high-level leaders, managers and staff through the day-to-day and strategic issues as well?
  • Are you highly competitive yet humble with the ability to be empathetic and unwavering in decisions and direction?


Company Overview:

Our client is based in Cincinnati, Ohio and has been a leader in the CPG industry for over two decades. In addition to their fun-but-serious products, they strive to be a great company for their employees. The Gorilla Glue Company is a family-owned business that prides itself on its collegial atmosphere and products within a global portfolio of three brands: Gorilla Glue, O’Keeffe’s and Sapadilla. Their focus is on continued growth and improving operating efficiencies, accomplishing this through product offerings and geographic expansion.  The employees are their number one asset, and the company is dedicated to providing a healthy work culture centered on family values. In fact, they’ve been selected as a Top Place to Work in Cincinnati for ten years in a row! 

Regardless of the brand, they are united under one mission, “The Gorilla Way”, which is to build brands that people love with products they believe in alongside people they care about.  Gorilla’s culture is truly unique – it has the perfect balance of striving for excellence in everything it does while having fun and being passionate.  They believe its Four Pillars: Brands, Customer, Community and People, should be the driving force behind everything that they do.   With a strong presence in the United States, aggressive growth plans in Europe and an emerging presence in Asia, they seek a Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) to lead the Human Resources function for the organization.


Position Overview:

The CHRO will report to the President/CEO and be a business partner to him and the executive team.  The HR team of nine (9), led by a Senior Director of HR, will report to the CHRO. The current HR structure includes Training and Talent Development, Total Rewards, HRIS/Compliance, Operations and dotted line to UK HR.   The HR function is a key leader and contributor to The Gorilla Way specifically leading the Wellness, Diversity & Inclusion, and Mentoring Committees.  The CHRO will partner with all “Gorilla Way” teams – a collection of business leaders (led by VP Gorilla Way) steering internal efforts to advance the mission – to ensure a culture where employee engagement, culture-building, and leadership development are a top priority; enhance the culture and harness the power of the engaged teams.

The CHRO provides vision and oversight in all HR areas but especially in the three critical areas including, 1) strategic thinking and planning, 2) organizational design, and 3) leadership development.

The CHRO provides the management and vision necessary to ensure that the company has the proper organizational structure to allow for and support the future growth of the company. The CHRO will ensure that decisions made within the organization consider the broad implications to global business needs. The position accomplishes this through a transparent, respectful, constructive and energetic style, guided by the objectives of the company.


Essential Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Provide day-to-day leadership with the CEO and executive team to develop, establish and drive the strategy.
  • Be a strategic business partner and trusted advisor to the CEO and other leaders in the firm; serve as an executive leadership coach to our leadership team.  Facilitate and select the use of outside coaching resources. 
  • Leadership development: work with leaders to develop other leaders, identify talent in candidates and internal staff; work with the executive team directly to help them grow in the leadership abilities; act as faculty leader for the development and enhancement of talent development programs.
  • Assess current organizational structures. Lead the executive team to develop/design the organizational structure that will support anticipated global growth and provide a platform to build career paths, employee development opportunities and a best-in-class culture for all employees.
  • Develop the overall talent strategy of the firm, tying it to the strategic plan. Lead and enhance a talent acquisition and on-boarding strategy.
  • Lead succession planning initiatives to increase the organization’s human capital, accelerate development of key individuals, and retain top talent. Ability to “dive deep” into the current team and build strategies to develop the company’s next leaders.
  • Develop effective and competitive global compensation and benefits programs to attract and retain talent; tie incentives to executing the company’s growth strategy; teach leaders how to apply them practically, in HR and in the functions/regions; continually tie into the business model and strategic objectives of the company.
  • Develop and lead the HR staff of 9 professionals.  Develop the HR team into business leaders (beyond HR); improve HR team agility and analytic capabilities.
  • Partner with our “Gorilla Way” teams – a collection of business leaders (led by VP Gorilla Way) steering internal efforts to advance our mission – to ensure a culture where employee engagement, culture-building, and leadership development are a top priority; enhance the culture and harness the power of our engaged teams.
  • Oversee diversity and inclusion functions, strategies, and initiatives. Elevate the importance of diversity in our overall mindset; develop the proper training to increase awareness of biases; increase the representation of diverse leaders across the office overall, and specifically within management positions.
  • Coach leaders and teams how to navigate a matrixed organization; identify formal and informal structures and/or frameworks for decision-making needed to ensure efficient, effective execution.
  • Work with a legal team to protect the company by ensuring corporate compliance with global, federal and local employment laws.
  • Will demonstrate to all levels of the organization a proven ability to be trustworthy, agile, transparent, positive and put the people first.



  • 15+ years’ experience relevant to the responsibilities of the position with 5+ years in senior leadership role. 
  • Preferred experience includes 5+ years as an operational business leader accountable for one or more line functions (such as sales, marketing, production, supply chain, accounting, etc.).
  • Bachelor’s degree required. A degree in behavioral science preferred, with coursework in business subjects and ongoing professional education related to business functions and methods. 
  • Master’s degree strongly preferred.
  • Evidence of ongoing professional development and/or coursework in business topics (strategy, finance, accounting, production, supply chain, marketing, sales, etc.).
  • Experience working with a growing, international company. Strongly prefer experience working in a production environment within manufacturing/distribution while leading a global HR team. CPG industry experience is a plus.
  • Experience leveraging and amplifying what’s working within an organization (culture in particular).
  • Flexible and able to multitask; can work within an ambiguous, fast-moving environment, while also driving toward clarity and solutions; demonstrated resourcefulness in setting priorities and guiding investment in people and systems.



  • Leadership Abilities – must be able to make difficult decisions and challenge leaders/managers/employees.
  • Influencing & Collaboration Skills – record of partnering at all levels in an organization to drive priorities.
  • Able to participate in the most complex business and organizational challenges as a productive team member, understanding how and when to contribute as a leader, as a follower and/or as a catalyst.
  • Demonstrates ability to act as a strategic HR advisor, solve challenges, and creatively and efficiently eliminate barriers to success.
  • Able to communicate a compelling vision, inspire sense of purpose, motivate, build teams, and foster an accountable culture.
  • Business Acumen – Knowledgeable of statistical analytics, financial analysis including P&L/Balance Sheet reports, operational accounting methods, compensation methods and analyses, equity-like incentive tools and other metrics applied in business.
  • Broad knowledge in the theoretical and practical functions of: Sales, Marketing, Accounting, Finance, Supply Chain/Operations, Legal, R&D and Quality functions.
  • Organizational Design/Organizational Effectiveness – ability to assess, design and recommend organization changes & simplification to structures.
  • Proven ability and success in developing and working in a matrixed organizational environment; success in leading change efforts in a matrixed environment.
  • HR Fundamentals –core knowledge of and ability to collaborate with all areas within HR such as talent acquisition, compensation, employee relations, benefits, L&D, etc.
  • Ability to develop strong, cohesive and highly efficient/effective teams.
  • Is deeply knowledgeable in the principles of human behavior which are based on scientifically supported research.
  • Advanced knowledge of the principles of leading people in a business environment, including the principles of human behavior related to motivation, adult learning, conflict resolution, personal accountability and leadership characteristics.
  • Expert at compensation methods, theories and designs.
  • Entrepreneurial approach to achieving growth and desirable outcomes – identifies opportunities and risks and optimizes outcomes by initiating action appropriately; able to make decisions balancing investment and risk and adjust strategy based on developing facts.



  • Strong integrity and respect for all levels of the organization
  • Working manager mindset
  • Transparent and collaborative
  • Continuous learner
  • Passion for growth and change
  • Work hard, play hard


Michele Plessinger, Partner