British-based Private Equity Firm Acquires new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Ugandan Poultry Operation
Organisation: Poultry Production Operation
The position: Chief Executive Officer
The location: East Africa
Reason for the position: New business
Our recruitment methodology: Database, network search and headhunting
Having invested into a successful family owned poultry business, our private equity client required a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to develop operations and introduce best practices. This was the first role in an executive management team that was required.
Millar Cameron discussed the brief with the client to fully understand which area of the operation needed to be focused on in order to achieve the growth desired. We established that the farming operations were well managed, however developing the commercial aspect both with the domestic and export markets was a key trigger.
Due to internal dynamics between our client and the outgoing family, a specific profile was needed to assume the role of CEO. Requirements were not just based on the candidate's experience and skillset but also focused on their character and personality, ensuring a cultural fit.
It was also agreed that identifying those in a similar level role was not a prerequisite and that the role may suit someone who is looking for their next career move. However, our client did think it was vital to have previous experience of running poultry operations in Africa.
Millar Cameron has been established in the agricultural and food sector for over eight years. Thanks to this and our innate knowledge, our network allowed us to build a list of “target clients” to approach.
Although this was a challenging placement due to the dynamics of the role and surrounding factors, we were able to build a strong shortlist of four candidates which we presented to the client. During the project briefing session, we asked the client to compile a list of ten poultry-based scenario questions that we would use to further candidate due diligence on our shortlist.
On presentation of the resumes, we also provided professional references, answers to scenario-based questions and psychometric test results.
This process was followed to ensure the right person was chosen, who had had the interests of the majority shareholder at the forefront of their mind and was able to diplomatically manage the relationship with the existing family for a smooth transition.
Millar Cameron championed one profile above the rest, as they appeared to be the most committed individual suitable to this particular situation - making them the ideal candidate.
This opinion was shared by the client and after a four-stage interview process, the candidate was offered the position.
Having been in the role for one year now, the CEO is doing an excellent job. They have managed a smooth exit of the family, dealt with various crises including bird flu and rising feed costs, as well as running the business in a professional and transparent manner.
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