Blackwood Group
The search for excellence through excellence


Chief Operations Officer, International Wholesaler

Blackwood’s client is the leading international player in self-service wholesale, a €30bn division of a retail/wholesale group listed in Western Europe, operating in 30 markets across EMEA and Asia. Blackwood had completed a number of director level assignments in the commercial, trading and marketing functions prior to being asked to support in the hiring of a Chief Operations and Supply Chain Officer.


The Chief Operations and Supply Chain Officer position was newly established, following a strategic business review, as a member of the company’s Management Board, reporting to the CEO. In addition to representing the functions of field & store operations and supply chain at board level, the COSO would also lead a number of key strategic initatives including the development of a more integrated international supply chain; driving synergies between the departments and designing the strategy and driving global delivery of a new distribution channel. Candidates for this position required a proven track record in leading major organisational change (both operational and cultural). Whilst their primary functional background should be in supply chain, it was essential that candidates had experience of leading additional functions and could demonstrate breadth of experience, a highly commercial outlook and the ability to operate credibly at board level.

Search Process

Our target universe included retail, manufacturing and food service companies in Europe and North America and we considered current general managers, operations directors and supply chain officers. We also thoroughly explored the universe of experts in the planned new distribution channel, a sector more developed in North America.


The successful candidate had a background in FMCG and consumer durables and had led three substantial restructures of supply chain and manufacturing operations in international organisations.

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