Chief Executive Officer - Aerospace

The client

Our client was a highly innovative product developer and supplier to commercial OEMs around the world. With a strong heritage in aerospace, they are at the forefront of new and emerging technologies in the industry, making commercial aviation safer and more comfortable for passengers. Their expertise is in electronically based, in-cabin safety systems; being innovators in cutting-edge electronics which increase passenger experience, reduce weight and are powered by their own long-lasting power source. Privately owned, the business genuinely cares about its employees and enjoy an engaged relationship with their teams. The owners are focused on increasing market share and profits in order to invest more in employees, innovation and customer services.

The role

Due to the planned retirement of the CEO, who had been in position for some years, our client needed to recruit a high calibre successor from the industry. The main objectives for this appointment were two-fold, firstly to keep the company on its current successful path and secondly to execute plans for innovation and business growth. The client required someone with industry gravitas and global OEM contacts, but also an individual who would fit culturally and be excited by the challenge of integrating into an SME organisation. 

The solution

Collingwood set about mapping out SME aviation businesses involved in cutting-edge innovation that focused on working with airlines, MROs and OEMs and developing new opportunities so that the business was not reliant on one particular customer. We looked at existing Managing Directors and CEOs but also wanted to assess candidates that had the potential to take the step up from a Commercial Director or General Manager role. Conducting a UK wide search, to make sure that we spoke to as many people as possible, we were conscious that our client was not a ‘household’ name in aerospace so we had to potentially sell the benefits of working for an exciting and growing SME rather than a large or blue chip business in the industry. We had to build an exciting picture of what the opportunity looked like and how we could capture the most talented people in the market.

The Result

After an extensive search and interviewing schedule, Collingwood presented a shortlist of 5 candidates to the client which gave them a number of options. The successful candidate came from a background in developing relationships with smaller OEMs and in the aftermarket predominately in specialist solutions with a high level of innovation. Within the first 12 months of the appointment, the business continued to go from strength to strength, securing long term contracts with one OEM and almost doubling the financial turnover of the organisation.