McLean Partnership

Case Studies | Interim – Commercial Director

This major transport and infrastructure company had to win a highly politicised bid to keep their operator licence.  Commitments made in their bid document required a significant overhaul of their marketing and commercial department.  Changes were to be made in customer service, customer experience and retail services.  The team had to be developed to ensure the business could compete with world class competitors also bidding for the franchise.  The Company’s own Commercial Director had just left and the need to replace him was urgent. This presented the opportunity to bring in additional skills and to finesse their service offering.

They required an Interim Commercial Director on a six-month contract. The brief was to engage with the business whilst running the bid and acting as a functioning member of the executive team. Business had to continue as usual in a heavily scrutinised environment, with many difficult and different stakeholders in a publicly owned business.

The critical part of this brief was to understand the pressure that the business was already facing. In particular, the strain that the other Senior Executive members were under in this drawn-out bid battle.  Cultural fit was critical.  This individual had to be both astonishingly competent, but with a limited ego and the character to fit into the existing team, without causing ripples in an already overworked, stressed Executive Management team.

The successful candidate had had an interim career in very diverse organisations: large corporates, SMEs and small publicly-funded Third Sector environments. Strategically exceptional, her strong stakeholder management skills really stood out from her competitors and whilst she had both resilience and commitment to delivering successful outcomes, her personal charm and focus on delivery made her an outstanding contender.

The CEO interviewed three candidates. Two had direct experience of both transport and infrastructure. The CEO chose our candidate as he felt she had both the skills and the style that would best fit with his team.

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