Experience

Select project citations:

  • Hired as business strategy consultant for large non-profit association and advocacy group to define business model extension into global markets, which exploited the organization’s core knowledge and expertise. Project included extensive interviews with internal and external parties, financial modeling and group strategy discussions to define the market offering. Completed project included a market size estimate, recommendation and roll-out plan for a $50 million business.
  • Led corporate development team to carve out $40 million operating unit from Reed Elsevier and divest business. Subsequently, named President and managed the business from a base of $35 million to $55 million over four-year period. Built entire executive team, defined print-to-web migration strategy, acquired five businesses and effectively managed the decline in legacy products.  Mentored executive team and implemented bonus and incentive program to support strategic goals of the business.  Raised profit from break-even to over 18% of revenue.
  • Project team leader for information technology capabilities review at a large international advertising holding company. Completed over 200 interviews in 15 international offices and multiple group sessions to define the operational ‘gaps’ between existing agency capabilities and those necessary and important for client delivery by region. Completed project recognized by the client as base roadmap for operational IT strategy for success and improvement.
  • Reorganized and re-focused $25 million software publishing company by aligning business operations with client priorities; implementing internal collaboration tools and project management standards; re-building executive team to focus on effective and efficient management. Completed financial audit resulting in cost-cutting initiatives, financial re-statement of revenue and profit and implementation of project cost accounting. Raised $15 million in new capital.

Select project scope descriptions:

Worldwide Information Technology Strategy Review

  • Worldwide scope – 220 internal interviews
  • Focus on client delivery capacity
  • Technology gap analysis
  • 6 Critical Phase II implementation projects
  • 6 Team members -30 week project

Operations and Performance Improvement

  • 25 Internal interviews
  • Process documentation, validation and mapping
  • Technology review
  • Process improvement recommendations
  • Key performance measures identified
  • 5 Week project

Strategic Opportunities in Medical Educational Simulations

  • 50 External interviews
  • 30 Site visits
  • 20 Provider/competitive profiles
  • 10 Strategic opportunities identified
  • 3 Client team members, 12 week project

International Market Expansion for Services and Licensing

  • Focus on leveraging intellectual property, know-how and existing services
  • Strategic recommendations
  • Phase II implementation plan
  • Business plan and return on investment
  • 40 Internal interviews
  • 10 External interviews
  • 4 Team members /10 week project

Business Process Improvement: Media Planning & Buying Function

  • 50 Internal interviews
  • 10 Client interviews
  • Project mapping, cycle times, reengineering & process improvement
  • Key performance measures
  • Technology review and gap analysis
  • 12 Week project

ISBN eBook Identification Project

  • Review and use of ISBN’s and other identifiers in eBook supply chain
  • Focus on current practices
  • Presented observations, quick-fixes and recommendations
  • 70 External interviews
  • 10 Week project

Michael Cairns is a publishing and media executive with over 25 years experience in business strategy, operations and technology implementation.  As a business executive, Mr. Cairns has successfully managed several troubled and under-performing businesses, creating new businesses opportunities, developing new funding sources and enhancing shareholder value for investors.  His years spent as an operating executive have largely been with brand-name publishing companies such as Macmillan, Inc., Berlitz International, Wolters Kluwer Health, Reed Elsevier, Ingenta Technology and R.R. Bowker.

As a consultant, Mr. Cairns has worked with more than 50 clients as diverse as AARP, Hewlett Packard, InterPublic Companies and Reed Elsevier with an emphasis on business strategy, market development and corporate development.

His skills and experience include:

  • Business and corporate strategy development and implementation
  • Operations management and business transformation
  • Traditional and digital publishing and operations
  • Print-to-digital transformation and adoption of new business models
  • Software development and software services

Mr. Cairns holds an MBA (Finance) from Georgetown University and a BA from Boston University.  He has served on several boards and advisory groups including the Association of American Publishers, Book Industry Study Group and the International ISBN organization.   Additionally, he has public and private company board experience.