Head of Operations – Multi $billion Food Manufacturer


Our client is an NYSE-listed, multi-billion dollar food manufacturer, with manufacturing sites worldwide. Developing brands and products for the consumer, foodservice and B2B sectors, people and their culture are at the heart of their business. Collingwood partnered their North West of England manufacturing site, which supplied products to the foodservice and restaurant sectors.


With succession planning seen as critical to the future success of the business, Collingwood worked with the business to identify the future Director’s for the business, in order to ensure that there was a strong succession plan in place. After three years working with the business, the current Head of Operations had been identified for a senior role in the organisation. As a result, we helped to identify a new Head of Operations to lead the manufacturing and engineering team on the site.


The Head of Operations was tasked with leading the manufacturing and engineering team to ensure world-class manufacturing principles and efficiencies are achieved. They would also be involved with identifying internal talent to develop succession plans within the business and train and develop the teams accordingly. The site is also heavily audited along with a strong customer presence on the site, so the individual needed to ensure that the high standards were continuing to be met. The role also offered the opportunity to move up to Site General Manager or Operations Director by developing their own career path and succession plan within the business.  


Collingwood conducted a UK-wide headhunt acting as our client’s ambassador to identify, headhunt and attract the talent required to succeed the current leaders in the business. Collingwood approached over 150 individuals to help build a longlist for our client. We then conducted our own face to face interviews, behavioural profiling and interview notes, before presenting a strong shortlist of six candidates, based on our recommendations.  

Along with the shortlist, Collingwood was also able to provide strong and valuable market intelligence and insights from the headhunt around salary levels, the size of teams they were managing, as well the succession plans and careers paths that each of the headhunted candidates outside the shortlist was on.


After presenting a shortlist of six candidates, Collingwood managed the recruitment process which included first stage interviews as well as a number of WebEx video interviews with Senior HR and VP’s within the European business. Collingwood then assisted with the offer, package and negotiations for both parties, along with regular update calls during the clients' notice period.