Operations Director - Aerospace OEM


Our client is a privately-held Aerospace OEM company. The company has a range of proprietary designs (patents & IP) which provide Lighter-Than-Air (LTA) solutions for both the commercial and defence markets.  Its current major focus is on long endurance surveillance aircraft (optionally manned) and a heavy lift logistics aircraft capable of lifting 50-tonnes.


As a vibrant and growing business, our client is looking to attract high calibre individuals to work on these and future programmes and variations. As a technology company, one of their main core values is innovation and they have a genuine focus on being the best at all they do to positively impact aircraft designs today and for the future. Other equally important core values include delivery to customers whilst always ensuring they meet the highest standards of safety.


The Operations Director is a newly created position, forming part of the Executive Management Board. The objectives of the role are as follows; To take control and grow operations (production, MRO, customer service) from its current status to a multi-site international entity, assuming responsibility for all aspects, including establishing main site(s) for final vehicle assembly/production. Managing the production aspect of the commercial contract and establishing a heavy lift programme of research & development and production operation and others as orders are realised.


Collingwood started the recruitment search, by producing an assignment specification for the role, this included company information, job description, candidate profile and remuneration package details. The document confirmed to our client that Collingwood had fully understood their requirements. Using their experience and knowledge of the industry, our consultant compiled and presented a list of target companies to the client.  From this agreed list, key individuals were identified and approached confidentially to discuss the opportunity.

A candidate shortlist of 5 was presented to our client along with individual interview reports and behavioural assessments.  The supporting documentation identified motivation for wanting to work for our client and highlighted synergies between our clients and candidates values.

As requested by the client, all candidates on the shortlist came from established major players in the Aerospace industry sector but had the required personality profile to successfully integrate into a developing SME.


The Board conducted a series of interviews and assessments with the shortlisted candidates. Two candidates progressed to the final stage resulting in one being appointed. The successful candidate came from an organisation that was highly desired by the client and will give them real gravitas with their future development opportunities.