📖

International Organization Management Study

Description
This study was made in October 2021. The contents and data were mostly gathered from public sources including LinkedIn.
Type
📖 How-to Content
Category
Leadership
Language
🇺🇸

Do & Don’t on International Management

DO

  • International is a CEO / founders’ team topic, it’s like launching a second startup. Don’t delegate it too soon.
  • Think international from day 1: if you know your company will expand internationally one day, your team, your product, your marketing, have to be made to switch to international very quickly. That means:
    • Hiring english speakers from day one ;
    • Thinking product features for several languages and different country usages ;

DON'T

  • Don’t wait too much before installing an “international culture”.
  • Don’t think your HQ country as the center of your company. Your management as to be the reflect of your international presence.
🤔
Read how Clément, CEO of Synapse, thougth its company internationally from the begining here:
🎙️Exporter une MedTech aux États-Unis
🎙️Exporter une MedTech aux États-Unis
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"At the New York office, we asked the whole team to speak only English. As soon as someone spoke in French, they had to give $1. This is very important to maintain the company culture and team atmosphere. People who don't speak French may worry about French discussions and misinterpret them. I myself was very careful not to speak French and to try to appear as American as possible to set an example." - Emmanuel Schalit, CEO & founder of Dashlane.

Key learnings

For each company department, we've analyzed the team structuration at three level : Global (generally HQ), Zone (group of several countries), Country.

Functional org structures work at HQ because the CEO aligns functions around the company goals and resolves disputes between them. But when Sales and Marketing bicker eight time zones from HQ, the issue can fester without resolution. One solution is a General Manager, who directly manages the customer-facing parts of the organization (e.g., Sales, Marketing, Support, Partnerships) with dotted line responsibility for other functions such as Engineering. - Stephen MaxIntyre, Partner @ Frontline

What we've noticed:

  • Sales function is almost always at every level (global, zone, country), especially when the sales cycle is including a close contact with customers. Then, local sales team needs to be aligned at zone and global levels.
  • Product can be either managed only at a global level or at a local level. It depends on if the product needs specific ajustements to fit to a country or zone. More specifically, product with strong cultural or legal aspects would have a local team in charge of localisation.
  • If Product is changing depending the countries, the Tech team may have the same configuration in order to be able to deal with country related product updates and releases.
  • Marketing structuration depends on strategy. If inbound marketing is prefered, operations are managed at zone or global level. If outbound marketing or community management is prefered, a local op team is needed. Corporate communications are usually managed at a global level.
  • G&A (strategy, admin & finance, hr) are mostly managed at a global level. As the company grows, the company will need to get local presence, especially for HR.
  • Regarding company management, most of the companies get either a Zone Director or a Country Manager, directly reporting to CEO or CRO or VP International. There is no country manager when the zone is gathering several countries but one country is the biggest market. There is no Zone Director when the zone is gathering too few countries to be called a Zone. Sometimes, VP International or VP Sales or VP Partnerships are acting as Country Manager or Zone Director.

360 Learning

People headcount: +250

Sector: Learning & Career Development

Series: C

Operating countries:

  • France (196)
  • USA (48) - split in two (LA, NY)
  • UK (9)
  • RoW

Segmentation of geographical areas:

  • EMEA & RoW
  • US

Internation Org Pattern:

FunctionUnderstandingsGlobal levelZone levelCountry level
There is no country manager because : US is considered as a ZONE and UK is too small to need one. The VP Zone EMEA is managing both France, UK & RoW.
CEO
VP ZONE
None.
Each country localize the global CSM framework to the country level.
VP Customer Success
None.
Customer success Manager Country + team
Only global.
CFO + team
None.
None.
US and UK are big markets, that's why HR team needs to be at global and zone levels. To fulfill hiring needs, there is a Talent acquisition manager in every operating country.
VP People
Head of HR ZONE (only for US) + Head Talent Acquisition ZONE (only for US)
Talent Acquisition COUNTRY (for US & France)
This company is marketing strategy is mostly relying on Demand Gen & content. Both are very specific to each country (culture & habits), that's why there is a dedicated team per country.
VP Marketing + Global Head of Demand Gen + Global Head of Content
None.
Head of Demand Gen Country Content Lead Country
Partners are very localized. That's why, strategy is handled at a global level but ops are handled at country level.
VP Global Alliances
None.
Partner Success Manager
Only global. Product is not changing depending on the country.
VP Product + team
None.
None.
CRO is managing both VPs Revenue and VP Sales at zone level.
CRO
VP Revenue ZONE (handle by VP ZONE)
None.
Sales strategy is handled at a zone level but managed by Revenues at a global level.
VP Sales ZONE + Head of BDR ZONE
Sales Director + team
Only global.
Head of Strategy & Ops + team
None.
None.
Only global.
CTO + Team
None.
None.

AB Tasty

People headcount: +200

Sector: Marketing

Series: C

Operating countries:

  • France (159)
  • USA (24)
  • UK (18)
  • Germany (15)
  • Spain (9)
  • Singapour (5)

Segmentation of geographical areas:

  • France
  • USA
  • APAC
  • DACH
  • UK & Nordics

Internation Org Pattern:

FunctionUnderstandingsGlobal levelZone levelCountry level
There is no "zone level" company management because there is the same number of countries and zones. Decision has been made to keep the management only at country level.
CEO
None.
VP Country
Each country localize the global CSM framework to the country level.
VP Customer Success
Customer Success Manager + team.
None.
Only global.
CFO + team
None.
None.
The structuration recently moved from a country level presence to a global presence only because of too much fragmented team across countries and a big hub in France.
VP People & Legal + team
None.
None.
Each country has it owns marketing team structuration. Depending on country cultural habits, the focus is on events or content.
VP Marketing
Head of Marketing ZONE
Senior Marketing Manager + team
Managed at a global level by VP BD and Alliances.
VP BD and Alliances
Head of Partnerships ZONE
None. But current open position for France.
Only global. Product is not changing depending on the country.
VP Product + Team
None.
None.
They are present at every level (country, zone, global) as the sales cycle is including close contact with customers.
VP BD and Alliances
Sales Director ZONE
Sales Team Leader + team
Only global.
CTO + Chief Data Scientist
None.
None.

Dynadmics

People headcount: +100

Sector: Advertising

Series: B

Operating countries:

  • France (39)
  • Germany (15)
  • USA (40)
  • Brasil (12)
  • Mexico (14)

Segmentation of geographical areas:

  • US
  • EMEA
  • LATAM

Internation Org Pattern:

FunctionUnderstandingsGlobal levelZone levelCountry level
There is no "zone level" company management because there is almost the same number of countries and zones. Decision has been made to keep the management only at country level.
CEO
None.
Managing Director Country
Customer Success is handled only at a zone level.
None.
Head of Customer Success
None.
Only global.
CFO + team
None.
None.
Only global. Team is reporting to CFO.
VP People + team
None.
None.
Each country has it owns marketing team structuration depending on local market needs.
VP Marketing
None.
Marketing Manager + team
Partners are very localized. That's why, Partnerships strategy is handled at Global level but ops are managed at a country level.
VP Global Partnerships
None.
Partnership Manager Country
Product is specific to country because of local regulations, that's why product ops are managed at a zone level. Not at a country level because each zone has a dominant country driving the product localization.
VP Product
Head of Product ZONE + team
None.
Head of Sales position at a ZONE level is sometimes endorsed by the managing director of the main country of the zone.
None.
Head of Sales ZONE (only for LATAM)
Senior Sales Team Lead + team
Only global.
VP Global Ops + team
None.
None.
Only global.
CTO + team
None.
None.

Odoo

People headcount: +1500

Sector: ERP

Series: D+

Operating countries:

  • Belgium (+600)
  • USA (split in 2 NY + LA) (+350)
  • India (+150)
  • Arab emirates (+150)
  • Hong Kong (+100)
  • Mexico (+75)
image

Segmentation of geographical areas:

  • EMEA
  • MENA
  • US & LATAM
  • APAC

View Odoo's global organization P16

image

Internation Org Pattern:

FunctionUnderstandingsGlobal levelZone levelCountry level
There is no "country level" management but managing director zone are usually located in the biggest country of the zone.
CEO
Managing Director ZONE
None.
Only at a zone level. The team is reporting to Managing Director Zone.
Managing Director ZONE
Head of Customer Success ZONE + team
None.
To facilitate reporting, each zone has it owns head of finance, reporting to global finance team.
CFO + team
Head of Finance ZONE
None.
HR topics are managed at global level but each zone gets its own talent acquisition team.
Head of People (attached to CFO)
Talent Acquisition ZONE
None.
Marketing ops are managed at a zone level. Even if the most of the marketing efforts are focused on biggest region of the zone.
Head of Marketing
Marketing Team Leader ZONE + team (Campaign Specialists, Web Designers, Graphic Designers and Event Planners)
None.
At every level (country, zone, global).
Chief Service Officer
Head of Services ZONE
Team (Business analyst)
Partners are very country localized but not numerous enough to be handled at a country level.
VP Partnerships
Head of Partnerships ZONE + team
None.
At Odoo, Product strategy is handled by the tech team. As ERP is a product with local legal specificities, Product owners are responsible for localizing the product.
CTO
CTO ZONE + team
Product Owner COUNTRY localizations
They are present at every level (country, zone, global) as the sales cycle is including close contact with customers.
Chief Commercial Officer
VP Sales ZONE + Head of Channel Sales ZONE + Head of Direct Sales ZONE + Business advisor ZONE
Sales Team (analyst, KAM, SDR)
As product is changing depending on operating countries, Tech function needs specific teams to address the product maintenance and update.
CTO
CTO ZONE + team
None.

Prestashop

People headcount: +300

Sector: Web app

Series: C

Operating countries:

  • France (200)
  • Spain (16)
  • Italy (14)
  • Poland (5)
  • Mexico (5)

Segmentation of geographical areas:

  • EMEA
  • WE
  • RoW

How are they organized?

A squad organisation

  • Mission: drive growth and monetisation in specific market
  • Composition: one or multiple members from each chapter
  • Governance:
    • CM & Revenue team members define the country targets
    • Each member develops a country action plan in order to achieve the targets
    • CM oversees the execution of the plan
  • Coordination:
    • Slack Channel
    • Weekly meeting with a restricted group of members
    • Monthly SQUAD all hands
    • Quarterly CM review with leadership team

International team responsibilities

  • Country Manager :
    • Squad coordination
    • Local spokesmen and PR
    • Open doors with partners
    • Local owner mid market projects
  • Community manager (aka customer success) :
    • Manages agency, developers and ambassadors programs
    • Qualifies country inbound leads in Hubspot and allocates them
    • engages with the community on forum and socials
  • Tech Evangelist:
    • Developers training
    • User trainings
    • Tech support for the community

Internation Org Pattern:

FunctionUnderstandingsGlobal levelZone levelCountry level
Country managers localize company value proposition in the country, making sure that all the key asset are properly translated for the local market, that the key players of the local ecommerce value chain are integrated and promotion & merchandising are properly adapted to the local market
VP International
None.
Country Manager
Prestashop has no proper customer success team. They deal with customer requests through a dedicated forum. The team is dealing with customers requests locally.
Head of Customer Engagement & Growth
None.
Team (Tech Evangelist, Ambassador)
Only global.
CFO + team
None.
None.
Only global. Report to CFO.
VP People + team
None.
None.
Each country has it owns marketing team structuration, depending on country cultural habits. Most of the team is localized at global level.
VP Marketing + team Head of Events
None.
Team (Digital Strategist, Event manager)
Partner managers at a zone level are dealing with top partners of the zone while manager agency at country level adopts a mass market approach.
VP Partnerships + Team
Partner Manager
Manager Agency
Only global. Product is not changing depending on the country.
VP Product + team
None.
None.
Only global. More info here on CRO role at Prestashop: https://medium.com/xangevc/tout-savoir-sur-le-chief-revenue-officer-d5678f2313db
CRO + team
None.
None.
No proper sales team as Prestashop product is sell through partnerships only or self buying.
N/A
N/A
N/A
Only global.
CTO + team
None.
None.

Glossary

  • EMEA : Europe Middle East Africa
  • MENA: Middle East and North Africa
  • WE : Western Europe
  • RoW: Rest of World
  • LATAM: Latin American
  • APAC: Asia-Pacific