Blackwood was retained to find a Non-Executive Director for a private equity backed distributor of medical supplies and devices, headquartered in Sweden and present in 10 countries, with some 600 employees and revenues of c €340m. The company distributes to both public and private customers across hospitals, care homes and individual patients, with over 40,000 SKUs, and was created through a roll-up of several medical supplies distributors under a previous PE owner. It was acquired by our client in 2011 and a new CEO appointed in 2012, with the intention to grow in existing markets as well as enter new ones.
The business wished to appoint as Non-Executive Director a former or current senior executive in a B2B distribution business who had integrated, consolidated and grown a business in a fragmented European market. Candidates required high levels of strategic ability and operational knowledge to support the team to enhance operating performance and create value. The ideal candidate would also have a track record of developing business through selling higher margin, full service offerings. Whilst distribution and B2B service was the key experience required, the client had a preference for someone who also had a healthcare background. As the CEO of the business was relatively new in the role, the client was keen to bring in a NED who could mentor him through the operational challenges of the distribution sector.
We mapped current and former senior executives from PE and listed businesses across B2B healthcare services and broader distribution, emphasising in our research those companies that had grown significantly by acquisition in Europe and developed new revenue streams. We referenced candidates pre- approach and again during the shortlisting process, taking forward those who had the greatest balance of operational experience, strategic thinking, and a coaching/mentoring style.
The successful candidate had led the European division of a multi-million turnover logistic business, which had grown extensively through acquisition into many new markets throughout EMEA, and had developed from scratch a healthcare distribution franchise for the firm.