Operations Director – The Worlds Largest Producer of Lead

Published: 15 January 2013

The world’s largest producer of lead incorporates 29 smelting and production facilities globally and produces around 800,000 tonnes of lead per year. They employ some 3,500 people around the world and produce revenues of circa £1.83 billion. Its core UK operation has revenues of circa £70m and is the largest single site producer of recycled lead in Europe, producing annually around 75,000 tonnes of lead products.

Berwick Partners were selected as partners to deliver the business critical assignment to recruit a new Operations Director for its UK operation, to replace the retiring incumbent. This individual had led the site successfully for the previous seven years and had been an integral part of the company for the previous 35 years. As a long standing member of the leadership team the Operations Director was held in high regard for both his technical insight, as well as his leadership style.

The task was to find a high calibre individual who had at least eight years experience as an Operations Director or General Manager within a high volume, unionised, heavy manufacturing industry. The ability to lead, motivate and transform a multi skilled operational team and individual team members was critical in this role.

Reporting to the Divisional Director, this role had direct responsibility for an operational team of senior managers and indirect responsibility for 150+ employees on a 24hr/7 day per week continuous operation. The individual needed to engender a new culture of excellence and take top line ownership of continual operational improvement.

There were several factors that needed to be considered in selecting the most effective recruitment process; the importance of the position to the business, the requirement of a proven track record within a similar environment, and the leadership and cultural qualities required in the candidate.

Berwick Partners delivered a thorough process; encompassing a proactive search, targeted online advertising, and the networking of our existing senior contacts within the various heavy manufacturing industries.  Through this multi-facetted approach we were able to identify a strong shortlist of candidates from a range of related sectors.

The successful candidate was appointed from a leading aggregates business, who had previously spent many years in a senior operational role. The candidate brought first class experience of leading large sites throughout the UK and the leadership experience needed to develop and motivate multi skilled technical teams.

As a result of such a well executed process Berwick Partners has since been engaged to lead further exciting and challenging assignments with this client.

Reflecting upon the successful assignment our sponsor; the HR Director, was kind enough to provide the following testimonial:

“Berwick Partners were retained to deliver a shortlist for the Operations Director. Amy Speake led the Operations Director project and I am pleased the say the new incumbent is doing exceptionally well.

During the Operations Directors process the company received a first class service in all aspects. What was extremely pleasing was the feedback from the shortlisted candidates who themselves were extremely complimentary of Amy in respect of her professionalism, organisation and communication.

Due to the total satisfaction regarding the service Amy provided it is suffice to say I personally would not hesitate to use Berwick Partners in the future to provide a service to our group of companies.”

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