On September 10, Monster announced it hired two executive vice presidents—Art O'Donnell, who will be working with the customer services division, and Lise Poulos, who will focus on the company’s investments in innovation and product development.
Along with the two hires, Monster announced the departure of Brad Baker, executive vice president for product, marketing and customer service, who resigned to pursue other career opportunities. Baker is one of several high-ranking executives who has left Monster since Sal Iannuzzi took over as chairman and CEO in April.
As Iannuzzi assembles his new management team, he seems to be increasingly turning to his former employer, Symbol Technologies, which he helped sell to communications giant Motorola Inc. in the spring. Both O’Donnell and Poulos worked at the Holtsville, New York-based company, a manufacturer and supplier of mobile data capture and delivery equipment.
“I have personally worked with both Art and Lise, and I am confident that they will provide an excellent complement to the Monster Worldwide management team as well as our dedicated associates across the globe,” Iannuzzi said in a release.
O’Donnell served as senior vice president and general manager of the global services division and chief quality officer at Symbol Technologies. Poulos worked as senior vice president of human resources and corporate affairs.
It isn’t surprising that Iannuzzi has hired former colleagues at Monster, says industry consultant John Zappe.
“Many CEOs go down this path,” he says. “It makes sense because he knows how they work and that they can all get along.”
What is raising eyebrows among industry observers is that neither O’Donnell nor Poulos has direct experience in the job board industry. Some industry insiders are skeptical about the role they can play in turning Monster around.
“What the job board really needs are innovators who understand Web 2.0,” says one insider. “The team from Symbol may be great, but they come from a different industry with different life product schedules.”
The job board industry is increasingly turning toward sophisticated interactive technology, he adds.
Others believe Monster has to walk before it can run and probably won’t be launching any major new strategic initiatives in the near future.
On July 30, Monster announced it would be eliminating 800 full-time positions—about 15 percent of its international workforce—during the next six months.
The company also is wrestling with the fallout in August of a major security breach that affected 1.3 million job seekers with résumés posted on Monster.com, as well as a lingering stock-options scandal it can’t seem to shake.
“There are a lot of important hurdles that Monster has to get through before being able to turn strategy on its head,” Zappe says.