Chief Executive Officer

Chief Executive Officer

Part of a leading international manufacturing group, this UK subsidiary distributes a wide range of speciality B2B solutions to customers across various vertical markets. The company, which has an established local presence, was seeking a CEO to lead the UK business following the planned retirement of the former incumbent.

The emphasis of the role, which reports into Switzerland, was on leading the team in the development and implementation of a clear commercial strategy, building demand via a wide and varied customer portfolio whilst managing relationships across manufacturing operations in Europe and the US to ensure the timely availability of goods. Therefore, the brief was to find candidates with relevant sector knowledge and the ability to lead the business to deliver profitable growth through new and existing customers/markets/products.

The search focused on the identification of GMs/MDs in similar businesses along with strong commercial leaders in bigger environments with the ambition and credibility to make a step up. This led to a varied shortlist including candidates with a proven track record at this level and others with strong commercial credentials and clear ongoing potential. Ultimately, the business appointed a highly successful senior commercial manager from a major competitor with the headroom and drive to move into a bigger, broader role offering increased levels of autonomy.

Wickland Westcott have adopted the Voluntary Code of Conduct for Executive Search Firms which, amongst other things, sets a minimum expectation level for gender diversity for each search assignment.


Chief Technical Officer

Chief Technical Officer

This company is a world-renowned British luxury yacht manufacturer with a reputation for innovative design, exhilarating engineering, jaw-dropping performance and breath-taking attention to detail. Following the retirement of the former incumbent after 53 years’ service, the business was seeking its first externally-appointed Chief Technical Officer with the vision to deliver the next generation of market-leading products. A key appointment to the Executive leadership team, the successful candidate would also play a significant role in shaping the ongoing growth and success of this iconic business.

Wickland Westcott was retained to undertake a global search into the luxury yacht sector, engaging industry design authorities with the credentials to successfully lead an established team, balancing design innovation and ethos with a greater emphasis on process and governance. The bias of the search was towards high profile European manufacturers exposed to comparable challenges in terms of design styling, structural engineering and efficient and repeatable production. However, it also included other well-known brand owners, design houses and suppliers of bespoke-built mega yachts.

The longlist consisted of candidates with executive-level experience gained across several market-leading motor yacht companies in Germany, Italy, France and Holland, yielding a shortlist of three. The appointed candidate brings a wealth of experience and unrivalled pedigree gained with an Italian boatbuilder where they shaped the design function following several acquisitions whilst launching a series of highly successful new ranges across multiple brands. Their design credentials are second to none and, in addition to their strong industry profile and first-class leadership skills, they hold patents for various design innovations and technology breakthroughs

Wickland Westcott have adopted the Voluntary Code of Conduct for Executive Search Firms which, amongst other things, sets a minimum expectation level for gender diversity for each search assignment.


Procurement Recruitment Project

Procurement Recruitment Project

This company, part of a global aerospace group, designs, develops and manufactures a range of premium engineered solutions on behalf of high profile, long haul airlines via aircraft OEMs. The business is going through significant change with increased emphasis on operational excellence and lean supply chain improvements, requiring an uplift in the overall capability of the operations team.

Wickland Westcott was retained to fill roles at various levels in the purchasing function across operational, strategic and NPI/project buying. This was a high-volume project requiring candidates with contrasting backgrounds gained in programme-led manufacturing businesses with a strong NPI bias. The assignment, which was delivered via a dedicated Wickland Westcott project team, focused on the identification, selection and assessment of high calibre procurement professionals with a strong track record of commercial achievement and the ability to deliver change and transformation in a well-established and highly operational environment.

The project involved sourcing candidates via multiple channels including targeted search, advertising and candidate database mining, leading to longlists for each job type/level. Candidates were assessed via a structured competency-based interview supplemented by personality profiling, undertaken using Credo. The Wickland Westcott team maintained regular contact with the client hiring team through a series of pre-arranged calls and meetings, ensuring a high level of alignment throughout. Overall, the assignment resulted in several key appointments, helping promote the calibre, profile and credibility of the company’s purchasing team with customers, suppliers and other internal stakeholders.

Wickland Westcott have adopted the Voluntary Code of Conduct for Executive Search Firms which, amongst other things, sets a minimum expectation level for gender diversity for each search assignment.


Regional Lean Champion – Europe

Regional Lean Champion – Europe

This US-listed holding Group owns a portfolio of companies manufacturing diversified industrial products via operations worldwide. The business has an overarching approach to the growth and development of group companies, underpinned by well-established operational excellence programmes delivered via a cadre of Lean Champions. The brief here was to find a lean expert based in Germany to nurture a culture of continuous improvement across subsidiaries in Europe based on the company’s recognised philosophy.

The search focused on the identification of lean specialists and experienced manufacturing professionals across a range of different sectors in Germany. The ability to build relationships and establish credibility with a diverse range of stakeholders was essential along with an extensive track record gained by coaching others and/or facilitating Kaizen events in an international environment. The desire to contribute to the overall Group lean strategy was also pre-requisite, requiring regular interaction with colleagues in the US.

We successfully delivered a shortlist of four candidates including a practitioner trained with Porsche Consulting, Lean Specialists with experience gained in tier 1 automotive and building product environments and an experienced Plant Manager with a strong lean bias. Ultimately, the appointed candidate brought a strong blend of operational leadership and specialist lean experience gained with a progressive multinational manufacturing group. In addition to a strong technical pedigree, he offered a well-rounded skillset including the ability to see issues and opportunities from multiple perspectives.

Wickland Westcott have adopted the Voluntary Code of Conduct for Executive Search Firms which, amongst other things, sets a minimum expectation level for gender diversity for each search assignment.


Group HR Director

Group HR Director

A market leader in its field, this independently-owned merchanting business supplies a wide range of products to the trade and general public via a growing portfolio of depots. The company, which has a strong set of values in terms of its people and customers, was seeking an experienced HR Director to join the Executive Leadership Team.

The brief here was to source experienced HR leaders to shape and deliver a modern, progressive HR strategy aligned to ambitious growth plans. The emphasis of the role was on building the company’s reputation as an ‘employer of choice’ whilst implementing HR programmes in an operational multi-site environment with an emphasis on continuous improvement, high performance and employee engagement.

The search focused on the identification of professionally-qualified senior HR leaders with a strong generalist background gained in similar service-led environment. The appointed candidate came with a wealth of senior retail sector HR experience and demonstrated the necessary ability to contribute at a strategic level with the executive team whilst engaging across the wider business, implementing change and making things happen from an operational perspective.

Wickland Westcott have adopted the Voluntary Code of Conduct for Executive Search Firms which, amongst other things, sets a minimum expectation level for gender diversity for each search assignment.


Site Operations Director

Site Operations Director

This company manufacturers a wide range of innovative, brand-enhancing packaging solutions on behalf of a significant stable of luxury brand owners globally. The business, which is part of a large US conglomerate, has a growing portfolio of manufacturing sites and distribution hubs in key territories worldwide. Our brief was to source and select a high calibre senior operations leader to shape the future of an established plant in Scotland in line with future business plans.

The search focused on the identification of candidates with a strong manufacturing pedigree gained in a similar technically-differentiated product environment. Whilst the ability to lead and manage change along with a track record of performance improvement was essential, we were also particularly keen to unearth candidates with a strong commercial outlook. Therefore, experience gained supporting growth, working with commercial teams and directly with customers to leverage new income streams and revenue-generating opportunities was also highly desirable.

The search yielded a strong but varied shortlist including relevant candidates working in specialty packaging, branded FMCG and medical device manufacturing, all of whom met the fundamental requirements. The successful candidate brought a great balance of big and small company experience in contrasting markets, offering breadth and a fully rounded perspective. In additional to excellent technical and commercial credentials, the successful candidate possesses a modern leadership profile and the potential to contribute to the development of the site whilst adding value to the wider business.

Wickland Westcott have adopted the Voluntary Code of Conduct for Executive Search Firms which, amongst other things, sets a minimum expectation level for gender diversity for each search assignment.


UK&I Managing Director

UK&I Managing Director

This PE-backed international Group is a leading manufacturer of branded consumer durables, supplying the trade and general public via multiple channels. Following the introduction of a new CEO and a revised group strategy, we were engaged to find a high calibre MD for the UK&I business.

The brief was to source candidates who could drive growth in the local market in a complex multi-channel environment whilst contributing at a European-level as an integral member of the Executive Leadership Team. Beyond this, the requirement was for commercially-biased MDs with a track record of growth/transformation and the ability to inject fresh thinking and innovation into an established market.

The search focused on the identification of relevant candidates with strong general management credentials in a range of sectors including branded fmcg, consumer durables and building products. Ultimately, the assignment, which involved input from the new CEO along with NEDs and representatives from the PE investor, resulted in the appointment of a high calibre candidate with relevant experience gained with both large corporate and SME businesses.

Wickland Westcott have adopted the Voluntary Code of Conduct for Executive Search Firms which, amongst other things, sets a minimum expectation level for gender diversity for each search assignment.


Plant Manager

Plant Manager

This company is an international leader in its field, producing one of the sector’s widest ranges of private label food products for customers in more than 100 countries. In the UK the business supplies the retail, out-of-home and food service sector with an array of items manufactured at various sites across the country. As part of its growth strategy the business is investing heavily in the development of its local supply chain including creating a fully automated, Greenfield factory in the Midlands.

We were retained to recruit a Plant Manager to shape the new factory, co-ordinating the installation and commissioning of equipment and transferring products from other sites whilst building the team and embedding best-in-class practices. The brief, therefore, was to source candidates with senior leadership experience gained in a similarly sophisticated asset-intensive fmcg manufacturing environment. As a result, the search was heavily biased towards people working for comparable manufacturers of food, drinks and other consumer products.

The assignment yielded a high quality shortlist including candidates from a number of well-known brand owners demonstrating a good understanding of the leadership challenges associated with working in a highly automated, continuous process environment. The search resulted in the appointment of a particularly strong candidate with site management experience gained internationally with a number of blue-chip food manufacturers.

Wickland Westcott have adopted the Voluntary Code of Conduct for Executive Search Firms which, amongst other things, sets a minimum expectation level for gender diversity for each search assignment.


HR Director – Manufacturing

HR Director – Manufacturing

Our Client is a food processing and packaging company going through a period of rapid growth. This has necessitated a need to identify and attract an exceptionally talented HR Director to lead all HR activities across the group. We needed to appoint an individual who could bring an increased level of rigour, discipline and commercial focus as the business scaled, without diluting the entrepreneurial approach, which had originally made the business successful.

To ensure Wickland Westcott could appoint the very best candidate for the role, our Research team methodically and swiftly mapped the market and simultaneously networked extensively to identify hidden talent. This resulted in numerous recommendations and ultimately a shortlist of highly suitable and engaged candidates.

Wickland Westcott enabled the client to hire an impressive HR Director. The client was delighted with the outcome and since joining, the candidate has made a hugely positive impact and we continue to work with the Board and HR Director on their people agenda.

Wickland Westcott have adopted the Voluntary Code of Conduct for Executive Search Firms which, amongst other things, sets a minimum expectation level for gender diversity for each search assignment.


Global Key Account Manager

Global Key Account Manager, Electronics – High Performance Materials

A FTSE-listed plc, this business is an innovative world leader in high performance material solutions, focused on the strategic markets of automotive, aerospace, energy, electronics and medical. The company has gained a track record of partnering with OEMs in high growth sectors, collaborating in the delivery of strategic projects.

The requirement here was for a high-calibre strategic Key Account Manager with experience gained supplying technically-differentiated material solutions to the electronics sector. The emphasis of the role was on engaging with high profile brand owners/manufacturers of consumer electronics and domestic appliances, co-creating innovative and technical solutions that help them meet their most difficult design challenges.

The search targeted candidates throughout Europe, working in commercial roles – Sales/Business Development/Key Account Management – with suppliers of high-performance material solutions into high volume B2B markets. A track record gained working in partnership with global key accounts was essential, leading to profitable sales growth. In line with the company’s core values, creativity and entrepreneurship were considered key, along with the ability to recognise and respond quickly to emerging market opportunities.

The appointed candidate, based in Germany, had an early technical background and moved into Key Account Management through a series of Product Management and Business Development roles with a global supplier of thermoplastics to multiple markets worldwide. The successful candidate brought a strong commercial track record in relevant markets and stood-out in terms of their ability to form deep strategic relationships and to bring creative solutions to customer problems.

Wickland Westcott have adopted the Voluntary Code of Conduct for Executive Search Firms which, amongst other things, sets a minimum expectation level for gender diversity for each search assignment.