Directions Inc President and CEO Jim Lane Announces Retirement - Industry News
Directions Inc President and CEO Jim Lane Announces Retirement

Directions Inc President and CEO Jim Lane Announces Retirement

Directions Inc announced that Jim Lane, President and Chief Executive Officer (pictured at left), will retire on December 31, 2024, after nine years of leading the firm through tremendous growth and transformation. Following an internal selection process and election by the company’s ownership group, the Directions Inc Board of Directors has named Chief Client Officer Elizabeth (Beth) Finn (pictured at right) as his successor.

Jim joined Directions in 2010 and was elected President and CEO in 2015 following the retirement of Randy Brooks, who founded and led the firm for 27 years. Under Jim’s leadership, the firm experienced a 64-percent revenue growth while maintaining a strong culture of customer-centric service. He also oversaw the successful acquisitions of SEEK Company in 2018 and Aimpoint Research® in 2021, bringing together an unmatched suite of quantitative, qualitative, and strategic intelligence capabilities.


“During Jim Lane’s nine-year tenure as our second president, our revenues grew dramatically,” said Randy Brooks. “We acquired two outstanding firms that diversified our base of business and worked to integrate these firms into a successful business model. We are all appreciative of Jim’s efforts, and I wish him the best in his retirement.”


Throughout his nearly 40-year career in the insights industry and business leadership, Jim has held ownership and leadership positions with multiple firms, including Senior Vice President of Catalina Marketing and President and Owner of Market Intelligence, Inc. He has also been an active member of the Insights Association and currently serves on its Board of Directors. His track record demonstrates a commitment to clients and employees and a passion for building a people-first culture.


“Serving the clients and employees of Directions, SEEK, and Aimpoint Research for nearly 15 years, including the last nine as President and CEO, has been the business privilege of a lifetime,” said Jim. “We have achieved tremendous success on many fronts, and today, the company is as strong as ever and positioned to capitalize on the changing world in which we compete. While there is much that I will remember fondly, I am most proud of the culture that ties us all together. Being independently recognized as a “Top Workplace” for the past seven years means we delivered much more than a job during the business challenges both pre- and post-COVID. Our employee team is one of the best in the industry…dedicated, hardworking, and supportive of each other. I will also be forever grateful for the client and vendor partner relationships and friendships I have been afforded over the years. Having spent nearly all my forty-year career in the insights industry, I am humbled to step aside. I am confident knowing the group of Directions Inc brands has strong leaders who are passionate and committed to our business. I look forward to watching the company continue to thrive under their guidance.”


Jim will remain President and CEO until the end of the year, offering his expertise in an advisory capacity to ensure a smooth transition as Beth Finn steps into the position. 


“We are thrilled to announce Beth Finn as our new President and CEO, a role in which we are confident she will continue to harness her remarkable skills to foster growth, innovation, and unparalleled client satisfaction,” said Jim. “Beth’s ascension to this position is a testament to her profound impact through exceptional leadership traits and a blend of vision, integrity, and unwavering focus on outcomes that exceed client and employee expectations. Beth’s commitment to developing strong, capable teams is unmatched, fostering an environment where innovation flourishes and excellence is the status quo. Her approach to leadership – emphasizing empathy, communication, and empowerment makes her perfect for her new role as President and CEO.”


Beth has worked in the marketing and insights industry for over twenty years and brings extensive experience, management skills, and business acumen to the role. Previously serving as a senior-level consultant and strategic partner at Kantar, Beth joined Directions in 2016 and quickly established herself as a leading voice and advocate for clients. She also serves on the Board of Directors and is an ownership group member.


“I am honored and humbled by this opportunity, as well as the trust and faith the Board of Directors and our owners have in me to lead this incredible company,” said Beth. “The prospect of leading such a talented team fills me with both excitement and gratitude. Since joining Directions Inc, I’ve felt part of something truly exceptional – an organization deeply committed to excellence, client satisfaction, and challenging the status quo. I want to thank Randy and Jim. Randy built a great organization. Jim led us for nearly a decade through significant organizational growth and change. As we set our sights on the future of the firm, there are still chapters to write and stories to tell. We have the talent, the ability, and the determination to achieve our goals and inspire impactful decisions that enrich the lives of our clients, the customers they serve, and importantly, each other.”