GIBSON– Operational Finance Director


Gibson Brands, Inc. (“Gibson” or the “company”), the world’s most iconic guitar brand, has shaped the sounds of generations of musicians and music lovers across genres for more than 100 years. Orville Gibson founded the company in 1894 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Gibson has a legacy of world-class craftsmanship, legendary music partnerships and progressive product evolution that is unrivalled among musical instrument companies. Our portfolio of brands includes Gibson as well as many of the most beloved and recognizable music brands, including Epiphone, Kramer, and others; we also own Gibson Pro Audio with brands such as KRK and Cerwin-Vega. Many Gibson instruments are highly collectible since Gibson was at the forefront of innovation for many genres of music including big band, rock-n-roll, and blues. Gibson operates via a central headquarters based in Nashville, TN, supporting five manufacturing facilities as well as four regionally-based support centers that enable the sales, marketing, and distribution activities in each of four different worldwide regions.



The Operational Finance Director, reporting to Gibson’s CFO, is a key member of Gibson’s Finance team and integral to the achievement of the financial results of the business. Through understanding the company’s production facilities and processes, markets and functions, identifying and trending key performance indicators, building robust operational and financial analysis, and providing visibility and leadership toward the achievement of short and long-term operational and financial goals, the Operational Finance Director is a critical partner and advisor to the business.  The Operational Finance Director will be expected to not only maintain and improve existing process, reporting and results, but quickly and effectively build new financial capabilities to the benefit of Gibson.

The Operational Finance Director role requires a strong operational and finance background and the ability to harness this knowledge to navigate complex business issues. Willingness to dive deep into the details while keeping an eye on the bigger picture will be critical to finding creative solutions and providing insights to the company’s leadership and business partners. A demonstrated ability to influence people without authority and successful experiences working in a matrixed, multi-national and multi-functional team required.

The Operational Finance Director will lead all operational finance activities for the company’s functions and markets:  production financial analytics & reporting, sales & distribution financial analytics & reporting, budget & forecast planning, and special projects including preparation of board materials and other investor reporting requirements. The Operational Finance Director will directly supervise a team of 6 US-based employees plus certain dual-role international employees.



Production & Product Line Operational & Financial Analytics & Reporting:

By partnering with the CPO and his team as well as through building the financial, strategy and BI infrastructure to support growth, the Production & Product Line FP&A analysis work will combine analytical and strategic thinking to drive and balance initiatives across all production facilities and help teams make data-driven decisions:

  • Build and maintain dashboards and reports of key operating and cost indicators across skus, product ranges, and production facilities; standardize reporting
  • Prepare detailed analysis of raw material, WIP, and finished goods inventory by production facility including analysis of all variances on a monthly basis; ensure an appropriate cycle counting program is established and maintained; develop programs to minimize inventory scrap and shrink
  • Oversee annual calculation of standard costs by sku
  • Develop impactful business-level analytics, drive process simplifications across all production facilities
  • Develop and update COGS models and generate COGS and cash-planning forecasts for quarterly, annual and long-range budgets and forecasts by sku, product range and production facilities


Sales & Regional Financial Analytics & Reporting:

Similar to the Production & Ops analytics, the Sales & Regional FP&A analysis work will need to combine analytical and strategic thinking to drive and balance initiatives:

  • Build reporting (as automated as possible) to capture applicable data to perform multi-variable sensitivity and trend analyses to identify drivers and predictors of revenue growth, and incorporate analyses into forecasting tools (e.g., sales by region, by product category, by customer type, etc.)
  • Build infrastructure to capture applicable data to perform, review, and challenge distributor/dealer/door opening & closing plans, review sell-in vs sell-out statistics, and support market distribution strategies
  • Link sales analyses to inventory holdings and flow information by region and locations
  • Review monthly P&L activity by region and by function and provide commentary on drivers of budget to actual differences; identify non-recurring items, and prepare monthly reporting package required for private equity sponsor
  • Ensure the consistency of a high level of service delivery across the market teams, liaise with market leaders to identify areas of opportunity and/or concern, and continuously update and inform Gibson Executive Management


Budget & Forecast Planning:

As the analytical engine of the company, the Operational Finance team will provide insights and support ‘optimal’ business decision making

  • Lead financial planning, including monthly/quarterly forecast and variance analysis, annual budgeting, and sensitivity analyses
    • Develop comprehensive and accurate consolidation reporting tools through automated reporting processes
    • Generate intelligent information that is easily understandable and useful to users across the company through a unique synthesis of human intelligence, industry expertise, and innovative technology
  • Provide recommendations and guidance on actions necessary to achieve financial targets, accelerate growth, manage cost, and explore synergy opportunities


Finance Participation in the Sales & Operational Planning (S&OP) Process:

Working collaboratively with members of the Product Development, Sales, Marketing, and Production teams, help develop, implement, and maintain a world class Sales, Inventory and Operations Planning process across the company to improve customer satisfaction, profitability, inventory turns and working capital:

  • Continuously review S&OP process output to ensure alignment with budget/forecast and working capital targets as defined by the organization’s business operating plans and strategic objectives
  • Partner with the marketing and sales, to ensure the demand consensus process delivers an agreed upon, workable volume forecast (mid and long term); ensure gaps and overlaps are addressed, scenarios are contemplated and issues appropriately escalated
  • Participate in S&OP management reviews, helping identify all data and metrics for review including gaps and scenarios that must be presented, and assist final decision making on open items and trade-offs
  • Maintain sales and inventory forecasts and manage links with other functions for forecasting, master production scheduling, inventory management and product development


Team Leadership:

Managing and developing a team of professional to enable continuous and consistently high levels of service across the company:

  • Provide continuous direction, support, and feedback to all direct reports
  • Leverage strengths of the current team members, help clarify roles and responsibilities and develop and implement training programs in order to maximize and reach optimal individual and organizational goals
  • Provide leadership in strengthening internal communications with staff at all levels throughout the organization; create and promote a positive and supportive work environment



  • Review of all capital allocation requests to support investment in business growth initiatives
  • Prepare Board and executive management materials, such as quarterly business forecasts, strategic plans, and budget presentations
  • Working collaboratively across functions, identify and vet new opportunities, including building business cases, performing feasibility and returns analysis, and establishing and tracking financial performance targets
  • As a member of the finance leadership team, collaborative and strong ties with Gibson’s controller and tax manager are expected and essential
  • Be an integral member of various project teams to change/improve processes as the company evolves



Required Experience

  • BA/BS degree Finance/Accounting, Engineering, or Business; MBA and/or CPA (or equivalent) preferred
  • At least 15+ years of experience in operational finance, or similar environment; consulting experience at McKinsey, Bain, BCBG or similar a plus
  • Strong base knowledge of finance, operations, and accounting principles
  • Proven track record of creating robust analyses that translates into business decisions; deep project management experience
    • Examples should be provided
  • Experience in the consumer products and manufacturing a must
  • Must have solid budgeting/forecasting/reporting background and experience with managing multiple entities
  • Demonstrated strong financial and administrative skills with the ability to grow, motivate and lead teams
  • Proven ability to work with all levels of management and foster relationships with financial and operational personnel
  • Must be able to work independently, manage multiple projects simultaneously, and organize workload to meet organizational timelines in a fast paced, very high-growth environment
  • Possesses the structure and process experience of a multinational background but with an entrepreneurial flair and drive
  • Understands and has proven experience of how to support the growth of brands through consistency and disciplined execution


Essential Skills & Knowledge

  • Expertproficiency in Excel and PowerPoint. Experience with BI tools and international financial applications a plus
  • Excellent written and oral communication skillswith the ability to translate complex data into meaningful analysis for non-technical audiences
  • Keen analytic, organization and problem solving skills which allows for strategic data interpretation versus simple reporting
  • Strong team work and project management skills combined with ability to work as part of a cross functional team


Personal Qualities

  • Proactive, hands-on strategic thinker
  • Able to see the big picture but possesses a pragmatic /flexible approach to delivery
  • Results oriented and driven, with a track record for delivering to plan
  • Clear and logical thinker with outstanding numeric ability supported by a rounded commercial awareness
  • Flexibility to adapt quickly to changing circumstances. Able to proactively question and challenge to prioritize and identify solutions in timely manner
  • Highly autonomous, independent thinker, comfortable offering perspective and defending position, willing to drive meaningful projects to excellent outcomes in short periods of time
  • Confident in ability to deliver
  • Curious in nature and always looking to question, learn, and look for better ways to do things
  • Relish working in a company with a diverse and fast paced environment
  • Proactive, confident, coupled with strong verbal and presentation skills
  • Strong ethics and values with impeccable integrity and confidentiality
  • Commitment to recruiting, mentoring, training, and retaining a diverse team; the foresight and ability to delegate accordingly
  • Committed to work above and beyond expectations
  • Personable, fun, team oriented


Periodic domestic and international travel to and between the company’s manufacturing and distribution locations will be required (approximately 20-30%).


Nota Bene:

Gibson Job Descriptions are not intended to be a complete detailed account of all expected/anticipated activities. We operate in a fast-moving and competitive global environment and therefore need employees to be flexible.



Our client and Buffkin/Baker firmly support the principle and philosophy of equal opportunity for all individuals, regardless of age, race, gender, creed, national origin, disability, veteran status of any other protected category pursuant to applicable federal, state or local law.

Buffkin / Baker
10 Cadillac Drive, Suite 190
Nashville, TN 37027

Mark Farrington, Partner
Office: 615-988-2594
Cell: 615-478-0098

Ryan Baggett, Principal
Office: (615) 988-2584
Cell: (615) 516-4589

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