Over a two-year period, Our TMT client’s revenue had dropped 30%, they lost 2 million customers, customer acquisition costs had dramatically increased. Its NPS had dropped to third position, churn had ballooned, employee engagement had plummeted. The previous leadership had operated in a phase of high growth but the business was now operating in a more competitive and maturing environment.
The key roles chosen to transform the business included, The CEO, Chief Digital Officer (CDO) and Chief Marketing/Strategy Officer (CMO). Selection of these leaders was crucial for both commercial transformation and to change the culture of the business.
Rather than hiring from competitors, which was producing a “Halo effect” or via the board and investors own network, which proved to be limited to their own networks, selection criteria focused on previous successes under similar challenging circumstances and people and culture change.
While there were great candidates already in the company, most had experience of early-stage high growth, not of turnaround success and lessons learned in a maturing and increasingly competitive environment. Also, many of the internal candidates did not have comprehensive international experience.
The board took an unorthodox approach, hiring a first time CEO. KWR then worked with the CEO to hire the CDO and CMO. Time to hire was a major demand while not compromising quality, KWR submitted a small and positively qualified shortlist for each role inside of one month. All candidates were headhunted internationally.
Under conventional and “safe” selection, none would have ultimately been hired. The CEO had not been a CEO before, while the CDO and CMO would have been considered “too old” and “too young”