Chief Marketing Officer
As Chief Marketing Officer for Acorn, Kathleen Searle provides strategic guidance and expertise in strategy, marketing and business development across Acorn’s portfolio companies, affiliates and strategic partners. She leads the firm’s strategy across all marketing disciplines as well as guidance in operational effectiveness during due diligence.
Searle has a proven track record of success in Fortune 200 corporations in aviation, industrial, defense and intelligence and financial services – specifically Textron and Bank of America. Throughout her marketing career, she has established the vision and strategies necessary to grow profitable multi-billion dollar global corporations. With numerous promotions throughout her career, she is known for driving results by leading high-performing teams. Searle has strong P&L experience and leadership accomplishments as well as M&A experience. She has a well-deserved reputation evidenced by her numerous national and international awards for marketing excellence. Additionally, Searle has a successful track record leveraging strategic business and governmental relationships and her background includes negotiating high-profile licensing, sports marketing and endorsement deals.
Prior to engaging with Acorn in November, 2017, Searle spent 13 years with Textron, the $13.4 Billion Fortune 500 corporation (NYSE: TXT) serving the aviation, defense and intelligence, industrial and finance industries. Most recently she served as Senior Vice President of Marketing and led all aspects of the corporation’s efforts to create powerful, memorable interactions with Textron’s 40 brands including Cessna, Bell Helicopter, Beechcraft, E-Z-GO, Kautex, Greenlee and Textron Systems. Through leading the Marketing and Sales Council (sales and marketing leaders of each of Textron’s businesses,) she had responsibility for maximizing sales opportunities across all businesses while driving customer consideration, preference and loyalty. Searle provided strategic marketing leadership and sales guidance to all businesses – domestic and international – and increased the level of collaboration on international business pursuits across all of Textron’s businesses. Among many accomplishments, she played a significant role in the opening of new offices in Russia and UAE, and successfully planned and executed the brands and strategy for the launch of two new Textron companies, TRU Simulation + Training and Textron Airborne Solutions.
At Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Searle participated in the Chief Marketing Officer Forum and the Executive Marketing Program. She attended the Executive Marketing Program at The Ohio State University and the Executive Leadership Program at the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Her undergraduate education was at Rhode Island College. Additionally, she was Six Sigma Champion Trained at Bank of America and Six Sigma Green Belt Certified at Textron.
Searle is a participant in the Chief Marketing Officer Forum and has advised on marketing curriculum development at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. She has served on numerous boards and community organizations throughout her career.