November 2017

Commercial Director for fast-paced, entrepreneurial food business

Leading the Commercial team of a privately owned business during a period of progressive change and dynamic growth.

Salary: Highly attractive, with excellent longer term potential.

Location: North of London, UK

The Role

A Director and member of the Executive Board reporting into the Managing Director, you will take a leading role in shaping the vision and strategy for the business.

Key responsibilities of the role include:

  • Lead the design and delivery of the commercial strategy.
  • Determining the sales vision and building the strategic ‘3 year’ and ‘annual’ plan to achieve sustainable, profitable growth for the business.
  • Leading your team to deliver the budgeted sales and profit targets, through building and maintaining strategic partnerships with customers.
  • Maximise growth from existing customers, identifying and converting commercial and category opportunities.
  • Build strong professional relationships with your customers, ensuring joint alignment on commercial plans.
  • Drive ongoing profit growth through prudent investment and cost recovery.
  • Build and subsequently drive the execution of a robust category plan.
  • Being a highly visible figurehead for the business, both internally but equally across the wider stakeholder base.
  • Providing the energy, support and challenge to ensure the business meets the high expectations of retailers, consumers and internal stakeholders.
  • Creating a structure and culture that constantly identifies and actions improvement opportunities.
  • Ensure that there is a strong collaboration between sales, NPD and operations functions.
  • Identify ‘new business’ opportunities, then design and implement a robust conversion plan, ensuring all stakeholders understand the importance of this plan and their accountability within it.
  • Playing a key strategic role in the business’ ambitious plans.

The Ideal Candidate

Our client is seeking an outstanding Commercial Director, someone who is already an established sales leader. It is essential that they have the capability and experience to operate as a key player at Board level, bringing challenge, rigour and pace to the senior team. They will need to be able to flex their approach, shifting from providing a hands-on approach through to developing strategic plans in the boardroom. Individuals are very likely to be currently working in a respected and well-known UK based food business. The right character for this role will be able to quickly win the respect of the commercial team and the wider business with their energy, knowledge and ambition.

Specific experience would include:

  • Proven sales leader with excellent commercial expertise and a deep understanding of the UK retail landscape. The individual must have broad experience in ‘UK grocery’.
  • The individual will have built a strong career in sales/commercial roles before progressing to senior management. In essence, at least 3 years’ credible leadership experience from well-known, complex and entrepreneurial environments.
  • Strong commercial acumen, able to build close relationships with key customers and understand their business whilst identifying longer term opportunities in new products and channels.
  • Demonstrable, deep experience in category development, even if the specific design and implementation had not directly been their responsibility.
  • A leader with strong ambition and the intellectual capability to lead on a wide range of commercial activities.
  • Highly resilient, with the ability to remain objective and focussed when customers seek to leverage ambiguity or adopt the occasional subjective and emotional position.
  • Proven experience in building the commercial strategy for a business, prioritising opportunities effectively, constructing initiatives to deliver the vision and obtaining buy-in from all stakeholders and colleagues.
  • An open and progressive leadership style, being highly visible throughout the business, and immediately identified as a figurehead. A willingness to build relationships with team members at all levels, from factory floor to boardroom.
  • A high level of pragmatism and realism with strong interpersonal skills. Outstanding communicator with a proven ability to listen, probe and influence to unite and motivate behind collectively agreed objectives.
  • Ability to build, develop and lead a talented team. Past experience in bringing stability, focus and pace to an in-situ commercial function would be an advantage.
  • The individual will need to have good levels of emotional intelligence to successfully transition the team during a period of change.

If you have the skills and experience and you are looking for a new challenge, we would be delighted to discuss this opportunity further.