Collingwood and Maped Helix Search Partnership Success

Helix has been established for nearly 130 years, but over the last four years, there has been a period of substantial change, both through a recent acquisition and through a program of strategic growth. Over the last 2 years of this period, Collingwood has been proud to work with Helix as their preferred Executive Search Consultancy partner.

Collingwood has assisted Helix’s Executive team to appoint a Head of Supply Chain, a Key Account Manager and most recently we helped Helix acquire the talents of Gray Richmond, who joined the business in December 2015 as UK Managing Director.

Now 7 months into his role, we caught up with Gray at Helix Head Office to discuss his appointment, find out what attracted him to the role, how he is getting on and discuss the company’s plans for the future.

Chris: Gray, I’d like to take you back in time a little, to when you were first approached by Collingwood about the Managing Director role.  What attracted you to the role and how did Collingwood handle the recruitment process?

Gray: The role was exactly what I was looking for as far as the next step in my career. After 8 years as MD of Jumbo Games, a Dutch-owned Toy Company I was looking for a role that allowed me to move to a company with real brand value that provided a platform to achieve substantial growth. Helix was the perfect fit in that regards. Since joining I have been overwhelmed by just how strong the brand awareness is through all ages and demographics. 

The whole recruitment process was a long one but was handled really well by Collingwood. The levels of communication and professionalism were really strong all the way through.

Chris: As an Executive Search company our approach is very targeted and quite different to that of traditional recruiters. How did your experience differ to other recruitment experiences in the past?

Gray: What impressed me was the desire to get the right fit in terms of candidates. It wasn’t a haphazard get as many CV’s as possible exercise but one where they understood the role, the type of person needed and took the time to get to know both Helix management and myself.

Chris: We love the trusted advisor and collaborative partnership we’ve built together with Helix and believe it’s critical to interpreting their recruitment requirements and presenting them in full to the right candidate. Now you are 7 months into the role has our representation lived up to what you expected?

Gray:  Yes very much and we are about to embark on a new search which shows the value we have in this relationship. It’s a two-way partnership and one that has allowed us to bring in at least three senior people over the last year, all of whom are making their mark in the business.

Chris: We measure our success not just on the placement but also on how well the chosen candidate is performing in their role. We spoke prior to the meeting and you mentioned that Helix had just had its best ever month. This is fantastic news for you and the business, what do you put this down to and what is planned for the future?

Gray: Hard work and commitment. Upon joining the business I was particularly impressed with the can-do attitude of the team. It is, therefore, vital that the entire team, right along the chain, feel part of the successes we are experiencing. However, as you say it’s about the future too and we are planning our most exciting new product launch for many years in 2017 and we are confident this will continue the upward curve we are enjoying.

: With this growth, are there any plans to add to your team? And if so what are the key attributes someone would need to thrive at Helix?

Gray: It’s too early to say what additions we will look to bring in, but should we do so we need people with strong business acumen, a hunger for success and someone who truly wants to be part of something special, which I firmly believe Helix, under the ownership of Maped truly is.

Collingwood would like to thank Gray for his time.  We look forward to working with Helix in the near future and hearing more about their success. 

For more information visit Maped Helix’s website or social media pages:   Helix – Twitter   Helix – Facebook   Helix Instagram

Over the last 11 years, Collingwood has partnered a number of leading FMCG and Retail businesses across the UK and Europe to headhunt Senior Executives across Commercial and Operational roles. For more information on how Collingwood can add value to your senior executive recruitment process please get in contact on +44(0)1829 732374 or visit