General Manager - In Cabin Electronics


Our client is a rapidly growing £10 million innovator of in cabin electronics for commercial passenger aircraft. The business was established around 20 years ago and has found itself a niche for in cabin safety electronic product, for which it has become a leading player in its sector, providing both OEM and aftermarket solutions for the likes of Boeing, Embraer and most airlines around the world. Privately owned, the business is a breath of fresh air as it genuinely cares about its employees and is fully engaged with them.


The new CEO is a strong Business Developer, having operated at a senior level with a large global aerospace business.   In order to maximise both his skills and his network, a new role was created for a General Manager to drive all business functions except sales and marketing. The new General Manager would ensure a Director profile would be present in the business every day, leaving the CEO to depart on his global travel to identify and secure new commercial opportunities.


Our brief was to Headhunt a General Manager with a strong track record of manufacturing and supply chain within aerospace electronics. The CEO was uncompromising on the calibre Collingwood needed to identify and ideally wanted candidates to come from a large global player but be someone who could integrate successfully into a small company culture. He wanted to introduce world class tactics and strategies to the engineering, manufacturing and supply chain teams and needed a change agent who could take the team with him. It was important to understand the soft, nurturing environment our client had created and to find candidates capable of working within this and not those ready to employ a sledgehammer!


The toughest element of this Headhunt assignment was the location of the role. Therefore a dual approach of targeted headhunting and advertising on selected executive job boards was decided on in order to cast the net as wide as possible both throughout the UK but also to identify high calibre international candidates seeking a return to the UK.

Following an appraisal of relevant organisations in the aerospace industry, all of whom manufactured electronics products. This market appraisal, a series of discreet approaches were made to high-potential candidates on whom data had been gathered. After consulting with the client about interested parties, a competency framework was established before we met and face-to-face interviews were carried out.

Candidates were then further assessed using psychometric tools endorsed by the British Psychological Society, the results of which were scrutinised with the client at a shortlisting meeting before a final shortlist was decided on.

Key to matching the candidate’s skillset and competencies to the client’s requirements was a true understanding of the business. To do this Collingwood had invested significant time at the front end of the process, taking the time to learn what type of people made the business tick and what personalities the successful candidate would need to interact with.


Despite the challenging location of this position Collingwood provided our client a very strong shortlist of 5 candidates. The CEO and Finance Director kept all 5 in the process after their initial interviews, such was the quality of our headhunt.

After a series of meetings a candidate was successfully appointed. The candidate only lived a one hour commute away and met the brief in every way.

Both Collingwood and our client were extremely happy with the outcome.