Privately owned – diverse engineering group seeks a new CEO


A successful high net worth individual and owner of a disparate traditional engineering business was looking to appoint his successor.

Unfortunately he had tried to do this previously and had not enjoyed the experience. A limited shortlist, heavily endorsed by a “leading” firm of head-hunters had resulted in a poor appointment that ultimately seriously damaged the business, forcing the owner to come out of semi-retirement and resume control.

We were introduced to the client by one of his trusted advisors, who warned us that all recruiters would now be “tarred with the same brush”.


Lord have a established credentials, references and track record, we have not failed to deliver a retained assignment in over twenty years and we were not going to start now.

The first step was to explore the brief, to establish if he really needed a CEO immediately or would he prefer a COO who could work alongside him for a year or more? Thus gaining his confidence before ultimately assuming control.

It was agreed that an operationally and commercially strong COO would be ideal as long as they could demonstrable significant automotive and aerospace business turnaround experience.

Lord recommended that as the role wasn’t confidential and that candidates could come from quite a wide range of backgrounds.  The most reliable method of identifying and engaging with the candidates who had the specific set of skills, knowledge and experience he was looking for, was to:

  • Complete research into a number of specifically targeted organisations.
  • Develop a tailored online advertising campaign.
  • In-depth search of all the relevant candidate databases.

We initiated a market mapping exercise of competitors, writing and posting carefully targeted advertisements on all the relevant websites.  Our consultants also conducting a search of all the relevant executive candidate databases. LORD identified a long list of potential candidates before making an informed and confidential approach to them.

233 candidates generated, 43 spoken with, 15 invited to attend first stage interview with LORD, 8 subsequently shortlisted to meet with the client.

As the client’s previous recruitment experience had been poor and that he had understandably lost confidence in a traditional recruitment process LORD offered to interview the 8 shortlisted candidates alongside the client to ensure that he was totally confident that the process was thorough and that he hadn’t missed anything.

The Results

Client thoroughly enjoyed the joint interview process and became genuinely excited about the quality of talent available.

Of the 8 candidates interviewed, 3 were selected for final interview. Due to the success of the joint interview approach, LORD offered to be present at the final interview, which was accepted.

LORD completed personality, verbal and numerical assessments of the final 3 candidates prior to their final interviews. The results were discussed with our client and we agreed specific areas to then probe at interview.

We jointly interviewed the final 3 candidates. There was very little to choose between the top 2, both were excellent. The consultant then discussed the merits of each candidate. We worked with our client during the decision making process to select the candidate with the most organisational and cultural change experience. Following our partnership approach we then  made recommendations on the offer and remuneration package.  This was put compellingly to the successful candidate thus gaining their offer acceptance.


Lord had delivered a comprehensive and robust recruitment process tailored to meet client specific concerns and requirements. Thus ensuring that the client was totally confident in their choice.

The successful candidate was promoted to CEO after only 6 months with the remit to restructure the business. Our client is now happily enjoying his semi-retirement.

LORD is currently working alongside the recently promoted CEO to help facilitate the restructure of the business.  Bringing in fresh talent and helping reinvigorate performance