EE, the omni channel business is both a network provider and a retailer. It has a broad European footprint and has grown its space aggressively, over a relatively short period. Unsurprisingly, this adolescent retailer started to experience process and knowledge gaps as it become more complex. This resulted in the need to recruit a Director of Operations.
The business has enjoyed wonderful store, category and range growth over the course of the last 10 years. This success, however, had put some strain on the retail infrastructure, specifically the Operations team. Drayton were recommended to the business as a search firm with the appropriate expertise to secure a Director of Operations.
Drayton were tasked with recruiting an individual with deep retail Operations experience. This specialist knowledge could then be transplanted in to the EE business. However, this niche expertise had to be matched with a very specific progressive leadership style. There was also the ambition to find a candidate who had the capability to progress to more senior appointments within, what would become, an even larger business following the merger with BT.
Drayton Partners Approach
Identifying individuals with the requisite technical expertise in Operations was reasonably straight forward. The Drayton team were able to rapidly map the market, focused on talent in the UK but also including other sophisticated retail environments such as North America, Australia and South Africa.
The real challenge was in securing candidates with that broader skill-set, specifically the leadership finesse and personal ambition. As with any new potential senior leader for this unique business there was also a real focus on the cultural fit.
The successful candidate quickly assimilated themselves in to the EE leadership team. The Operations function has become more effective, achieved through improved process and systems, and the creation of a robust, dynamic communication model. Furthermore, the successful individual has created a clear vision for the function, giving the team confidence to be more ambitious and customer-focused.