International Sales Director - FMCG Small Consumables


After being acquired by a privately owned European supplier of small consumables to the FMCG market, our client, a leading UK heritage brand was tasked with growing and 're-inventing' their brand by the new parent company.

Currently the business supply to UK supermarkets, specialist high street retailers, independents and wholesalers. A large proportion of their business is also through heritage international customers across the Middle East, Africa, Australasia, South America and the Caribbean. 

Led by the new UK Managing Director, the business would initially focus their growth around developing existing customer relationships, gaining new customers and identifying new routes to market. 


Due to the retirement of their long-serving International Sales Director, a replacement was required to take over the account management of their international customers. The role would form part of the senior management team tasked with the future growth and development of the overall business. 

With a new product range in development, there was a need to ensure the company's strong heritage remained key to future growth. The new Sales Director would need to hit the ground running and have experience in developing business in similar regions. The role would work alongside the UK Sales and Marketing teams to identify ways to develop the brand. They would also be required to work closely with their suppliers to guarantee solid forecasting and delivery schedules were in place. 


Collingwood spent a significant amount of time with the UK Managing Director to fully understand the brief and their international market. Collingwood then compiled a detailed assignment specification document and agreed on a target list of businesses to approach in our headhunt.

Using Collingwood's extensive FMCG network and market intelligence, consultant Chris Barker, went about identifying 118 candidates to engage in the role.

After sharing a long list of candidates with the client, Collingwood conducted face to face competency based interviews and behavioural profiling of candidates. This process ensured that there was a strong cultural fit with the existing senior management team in the business.


Collingwood presented a final shortlist of 5 candidates which met the brief and cultural fit of the business. The Managing Director spent significant time with each candidate before deciding on who to present to the European owners for a final interview. 

A successful offer was then made and managed by Collingwood, resulting in the appointment of the new International Sales Director. A 3 month handover period was agreed with the existing incumbent, which included visiting international customers, ensuring a smooth transition was made.