Our client, a European based provider of electronics manufacturing services (EMS) and after-market services (AMS) to the high technology, telecommunications and infrastructure management sectors sought our services when seeking to appoint an MD in Brazil, to lead and drive their Latin American business unit. A briefing in Europe revealed that their existing management had consistently failed to deliver on key metrics sought with their most significant client advising they would not be renewing their contract. To compound matters it was feared that the Brazilian management team had planned to resign en masse due to the unstable business conditions. Instability and uncertainty was in the air.
To make things worse it was determined that the Board had lost confidence in the existing US based MD, therefore we needed to act swiftly in order to protect their business and brand. Following the day long briefing with several Board members in attendance we agreed to undertake this strategic search in soft mode, thereby not alerting the market (nor the incumbent MD) to our forthcoming search.
The briefing revealed that our client had planned a significant re-structure of their "go to market" business model thereby adding to the existing challenges and noting the imminent departure of their key client and several of the management, speed and decisiveness were called for. As few of their direct business competitors enjoyed a significant presence in Latin America, it required us to seek out those well qualified executives from complementary industry sectors. A thorough understanding of the regional market was called for.
The following competencies were sought.
a) Proven leadership skills complemented with high levels of EQ.
b) P&L experience supported by high levels of financial and commercial acumen.
c) Effective negotiation and influencing skills.
d) Enjoying a high profile within the EMS/AMS sectors and possessing excellent C level relationships.
e) Able to develop a regional strategy whilst bringing key stakeholders to share the vision.
f) Excellent communication skills and cultural sensitivity.
g) Experienced with vendor/supplier quality management.
h) Excellent sales management and operations management know how.
A regional search strategy was adopted targeting key executives and industry thought leaders (our referral source) in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and key selected locations in the US. In all we attracted 12 executives that possessed varying degrees of the determined competencies sought. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with each short listed executive with four presented to our client for their evaluation. The Board arrived at a unanimous decision.
To the delight of our client the time taken to complete this MD appointment approximated six weeks, with an executive in Brazil placed. We assisted in a very smooth transition and lessened the contractual notice by getting involved in these sensitive discussions.
As a result, through the tremendous efforts of the appointed MD he and his team were able to save the strategic client relationship, in addition to retaining all key management staff. Several years later they remain with the organization with business far more harmonious than when inherited. A splendid outcome for our client, employees and key stakeholders.