Global Account Director, with VP-level leadership potential

A connectivity technology business, this client had in recent years transformed from a product-orientated company to a $2.5B solutions-based enterprise selling on value.

The Client

A connectivity technology business, this client had in recent years transformed from a product-orientated company to a $2.5B solutions-based enterprise selling on value. This had not only been achieved through aggressive organic and acquisitive growth, but also an unwavering effort to develop best in class commercial cultures and structures. This included talent attraction and management development plans. Such schemes and campaigns have transformed the client into a career destination for the strongest managers in industrial technology and the brightest graduates from some of the world’s best universities.

Meanwhile, a number of clients had become ‘large accounts’ and, in turn, our client aspired to do large single signature deals, bringing together a portfolio of complex solutions. Thus, taking advantage of their multiple business units and brands. However, sales teams were siloed and clients felt the service approach wasn’t in rhythm with their globalised businesses. It was clear that any new leadership had to be really effective, highly credible, flexible and astute. In short, they had to be of a character that inspired trust not only interpersonally, but also in situations where harmony was not always a feature.

Senior leadership also recognised that senior vice president-level leaders were approaching retirement without a critical mass of suitably promising vice presidents ready to take their place. The global account director openings provided them with a great opportunity to inject external talent and have the candidates ‘learn the business’ before moving into highly visible senior executive roles.

The Role

As a result, a group of global account director roles were created to give clear leadership to large international accounts. Moreover, a framework would be put in place so that these leaders would influence, deliver and succeed as quickly as possible. This framework would also facilitate board-level support and exposure. Therefore, assessment, sponsorship and preparation for vice president succession could happen from day one.

About the author
Doug Mackay
min read

Having started his career in Executive Search in 1998, Doug set up Collingwood in 2005 alongside his wife, Claire Mackay.

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I have had the pleasure of working with Doug and his team at Collingwood Executive Search for several years now. The team at Collingwood is exceptional! Doug and team partnered with me on many critical searches and several pipelining exercises. The team is exceptional at understanding the business, the culture and the …

Global VP HR & Talent,
Leading Industrial Technology manufacturer

We have used Collingwood twice so far and both times have proved successful in identifying a quality recruitment for the role we were looking to fill; a Sales & Marketing Director and a Production Manager. I have no hesitation in recommending Collingwood and would use again.

Managing Director, Provider of SCADA and Command and Control Systems, Managing Director

I came across Jordan during a recent hiring process. He is direct, dependable and professional and it was a pleasure to work with him. He will tell you it as it is, with his humour that makes the process more enjoyable, certainly less stiff and ultimately gets the best out of the candidate. Thank you Jordan.

Managing Director EMEA, Industrial Distributor,

I had the pleasure of working with Jordan to fill a number of open positions on my team. Throughout the process, he worked to understand my organization's culture to ensure he was identifying candidates that not only had the skills I was looking for but would also be able to assimilate quickly into the company. Jordan …

Director of Global Accounts - Industrial Technology,
Industrial Automation Manufacturer

It was a pleasure working with Jordan recently. He is extremely professional, kept me updated proactively throughout the entire process and was always able to answer any question or concern that came from my side. I can definitely recommend him and I will for sure keep using his and Collingwood's services in the future…

Director Germany, Austria & Switzerland - Industrial Technology, Client

The Solution

We partnered with the client to create a proposition that offered a global landing role with executive-level mentoring. Candidates who were particularly ambitious welcomed the succession element.

In short, based on the client’s talent proposition we crafted two propositions around the opportunities and then attracted the strongest from two groups:

  • those who had led global accounts and were keen to progress to more senior level roles
  • those who wished to continue being very successful as a global account leader

We then conducted deep desk research, grew our network and sought recommendations from existing and new contacts.

We developed a global picture of those with very strong global account leadership skills and the strength of character to influence in a transforming business with a strong identity.

We identified a raft of career behaviours that helped us understand if a candidate would not only be a strong performer, but also a good fit for succession assessments. For example, succeeding after enduring adversity and learning from it.

Based on this knowledge, we prioritised sectors, companies and geographies where we were most likely to identify strong potential candidates. For example, we avoided sectors which had been ‘stagnant’ in terms of fundamental development or lacked commercial or technological disruption.

The Result

Within six weeks, 9 candidates with diverse backgrounds but with similar expertise and very successful track records were introduced to the client and subsequently interviewed. Two reached offer stage with one candidate being selected to lead one of the client’s most prestigious accounts.

The whole process not only kept stakeholders updated, but also offered a structure that let both parties reflect and analyse the data being collated. This supported thinking around candidate personalities, scenarios and expected day-to-day challenges for this leader on-boarding into the business. This, in turn, led both parties to reach the strongest sooner and ask the most important questions earlier in the process.

This placed candidate surpassed the expectations of all the parties involved and, after three months, moved into a senior vice president-level position.

She remarked:

"Throughout the process, I always knew what to expect, was able to prepare, and received feedback. Collingwood brought a match together that would not have happened otherwise!"

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