Our client, a large consumer organisation based in the outskirts of London, came to Rapid when they were looking to put together a strategy to attract a new CEO to lead the business into their next phase of growth. The current CEO, who had been in the role for nearly two decades, was looking to retire, and gave Rapid the mandate to find his replacement—a year-long process that involved close collaboration with the board and executive level management.


The CEO was strongly invested in finding a fitting replacement, and wanted Rapid to have an intimate understanding of the business and the management team. As part of this process, Rapid’s consultants spent two days inside the company, learning the culture and the operating model. During that time, we sat in on management meetings, and shadowed the CEO in his daily role. We also briefly met the board, spending a couple of hours with the Chairman to help define the role. With the information we gathered, we were able to put a detailed job specification together, matched with a person specification. These were refined working with the CEO, and passed through the board Chairman for final approval.

Our approach to marketing this role leveraged a number of channels—print and online advertising, social media, and a targeted executive search programme focusing on organisations in the same sector of similar scale and scope. Following competency based interviewing matched with psychometric testing of a longlist of nine people, we shortlisted two external candidates, with one internal candidate also selected.


The board deemed two candidates suitable for the appointment, offering the role to the internal candidate (the CFO of the business) on the strength of his existing knowledge and his vision for the company’s next stage. He shadowed the exiting CEO for three months, and now has the role all to himself. With strong financial performance in the first six months, the board is exceptionally happy with Rapid’s work identifying the external candidates, and running a transparent competitive process.


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