SVP of Operations
I have been retained by one of my large private equity-backed clients to help them secure their next SVP of Operations. My client employs over 1,000 people and has offices in over 40 cities. They operate a highly profitable business in a distributed service model which is very unique and yet very complex. The company has enjoyed top-line YOY growth of 10-12% over the last 5 straight years and EBITDA YOY growth of 16-18% annualized during this same period of time. The company is looking for a person to run their operations function who can engage their staff while working with other members of the ELT to grow the business to over $1 billion in the next 3-4 years with an ultimate goal of creating another harvest date.
Reporting to the CEO, this person will lead a team of close to 850 people through 9 direct reports who are located all over the country. They are presently implementing a very disciplined lean-based operating system and as such, this person needs to be comfortable knowing that for the next 18 months, this job is about execution and after that its about continuous improvement. The first 6-12 months of the job will be focused on learning the business and executing the strategy in an engaging manner. During this time, the person can expect to travel on average 2-3 nights per week for 2-3 weeks of each month. The rest of this job is about how they lead their leaders to ensure they are engaging, what are the core competencies of their current people and what are the gaps that need to be addressed over the next 3-5 years. It is critical for this person to build trust at all levels in their organization so they know and have confidence that this person understands their roles and supports their success. It is important that each level of the organization knows that THEIR VP Ops is out there and gets the business at ground zero and has a vision for 3+ years out. The Ops vision supports the total business strategy but each function, at every level, needs to know their critical role. While articulated in their Balanced Scorecard, strategy ownership can only occur with a personal touch. This job has a very health compensation package which also includes a seven-figure LTIP that is tied to their next liquidity event. The job will require about 50% overnight travel the person must commit to that from day one.
Desired Skills and Experience
This person will need to be a highly motivated, self-confident, and successful Vice President of Operations who has an impressive track record in leading national Operations organizations with 20 or more locations through a period of change. This person will likely have a minimum of 15-20 years of increasingly responsible experience of operations leadership within a lean-based or distributed service environment. The ideal candidate will have good interpersonal skills, commanding presence, demonstrated strong general business skills, including financial management and the ability to communicate effectively with employees at all levels within the organization. Additionally, this person must possess strong communication skills as they will frequently be called upon to present/represent the company and function to the Board of Directors, ELT and other key leaders and working groups within the company. The person also needs to have runway as the CEO would like this person to be in the running to replace him over the next 5-7 years. The company would like to find someone who has run a national service driven operations team which has a large fleet of vehicles.
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