By California Business Journal staff
DON KOLLER IS A masterful CEO who is adept in the consumer products space, principally the food industry. He has a history of providing impeccable leadership with successful results in turnaround, start up and restart environments.
No wonder why he caught the attention of John Geer, President of Private Equity Partners, and Mason Conner, Chairman of Falcon6.
Highly-skilled in collaborating and mediating with senior management in Mergers & Acquisition pursuits and integrations, Koller has an established record of maximizing shareholder value for consumer products, consumable exports, distribution, supply chain, manufacturing, retail and food service companies.
His experience comes from running multi-unit retail environments, International wholesale and multi-million dollar consumer product companies. Koller led a consumable products company out of Chapter 7, helping it emerge as a restart and allowing existing shareholders to reinvest. He also guided a national merchandising services company to expand revenue by 340% through organic growth tripling earnings in five years.
Geer and Conner are itching to work with Koller as CEO in a mid-market, food-related private equity acquisition in conjunction with the powerful force of Falcon6’s world-class marketing capabilities behind him.
What Geer likes so much about Koller is his ability to lead an existing executive management team as their new CEO, communicate with them with respect and encouragement, and follow their blueprint to lead the newly-acquired company to a place it has never been before financially.
“Don’s management and leadership of people are impeccable,” Geer says. “He incentivizes people to be the best they can be. That’s one of the great attributes of a great CEO. He is both encouraging and straight forward. He is the type of guy you like right away. You know that whatever comes out of his mouth is what he sincerely feels. That’s a relative rarity in our world. I’ve been in social situations with Don where some of his past direct reports have been present. The respect they have for him is undeniable.”
What Koller does is create a culture of truth and objectivity within his senior cadre and the company.
“He values and supports them,” Geer says. “He is a man of integrity. He is just flat-out a wonderful person who is very down to earth with transparent honesty. I love that about him.”
Geer pauses for a moment and says, “Wall Street does not create the value — the CEO and management team create the value. In my experience working in billion dollar portfolios, when we’ve lost money, it’s most often because of inadequate management. When we make attractive returns, the execution of superior management is the key reason for success. These are the people — and thank goodness for capitalism — who can create jobs and increase this country’s prosperity. They’re the backbone. They are the super-star quarterbacks and Hall of Fame pitchers of our economy.”
Each day, Geer canvasses the country looking for business opportunities where proven management and leadership, with the right funding behind them, can create great value and jobs within a company. His focus is investing in and buying middle-market businesses and turning them into thriving businesses with his own hand-picked CEO – people like Koller.
Geer looks at as many as 30-40 businesses a month. He knows where growth opportunity lies. After all, he was part of the team that turned Costco and Sports Authority into multi-billion dollar corporations.
After performing his research, Geer turns to Conner and his team of elite leaders in creative marketing, non-traditional retail, Hollywood and music.
“Our ability to bring a significant increase in revenue and attention to a brand creates a bigger problem and failure if you don’t have a business leader with the wisdom and ability to lead a company through rapid growth and success,” Conner says. “We work together with proven CEOs to bring the financial support and market attention needed to rapidly take a company to market dominance.”
Proven CEOs like Koller.