A leading specialist travel business based in the North of England with turnover of approximately £100 million was acquired by a UK private equity fund in a secondary transaction. The fund and management were keen to recruit a new CEO to the company and chose Blackwood to lead the process.
The business had operated without a Chief Executive for a number of years, with the Executive Chairman and senior management team providing successful leadership. Following this new investment, the team remained in the business and was supportive of the decision to bring in a CEO in order to help drive further growth. Candidates required an understanding of the specialist travel sector, ideally of escorted tours, both in the UK and internationally, and a proven track record in growing businesses. Previous standalone CEO experience and exposure to a private equity-backed company were desirable.
Our target universe included specialist and mainstream travel companies and we identified relevant individuals at CEO and divisional levels. It was important that candidates were seen to bring notable additional skills to the business and that they had the empathy and maturity to gain the trust of the existing management team.
The successful candidate had previous CEO experience in both privately held and private equity-backed travel companies with a particular focus on specialist travel.