Interview: "What got me started was seeing how rotten the process of identifying the industry's leaders was"

26 August 2020

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Photo: PA Images "After collecting and analysing all that data, we had a pretty good picture. We could see who was delivering value, and who was simply incurring cost."
Charles Gould, founder and CEO of Retexo Intelligence, a new breed of data-driven sports experts, is, among other things, changing the way clubs do executive search.

The football industry is still caught in old-fashioned ways of hiring executives for key positions. But former headhunter Charles Gould, who once hired executives for financial institutions, is changing all that.

Today he is the founder and CEO of Retexo Intelligence, a new breed of data-driven sports experts. What's more, Retexo doesn't just deliver a list of candidates to clubs - the analytics company gets involved in the initial strategy process too.

Foreign ownership groups in particular tend to look for people with industry experience, however, according to Gould, they often forget to check whether their candidates actually managed to outperform competitors. 

Gould primarily works on the technical side of football clubs, because one thing he has learned is that the "playing side" always wins when budgets are being drawn up.

Kasper Kronenberg kk@offthepitch.com

"I don't think you can refer to us as 'headhunters' or a company doing executive search. That is only part of what we do. But, basically, what we want to do is to make sure that our clients have a thorough strategy in place and the right people to make sure that they can stick to and deliver on that strategy."

Less than ten minutes into the interview and Charles Gould had to make it clear that he has not started some new type of specialised headhunter firm for the football industry.

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