Placement Archive

    Finding a strategic regional VP replacement for virtualization startup

    The Client

    The client is a startup network virtualization firm of fewer than 100 people globally and a small operation in Asia Pac. They approached us about replacing their regional VP who’d been in place for a year. Though he had worked at good companies in the past and seemed to communicate well, he and his team were underperforming.

    Asia was a critical region to this company’s plans and they absolutely needed to get this replacement hire right. They had been dealing with another agency and did not feel confident they were getting best.

    The Challenge

    We knew the incumbent and correctly guessed why the Client was letting him go – namely that he had a dislike for getting out in front of the channel. Although the client wanted to put someone in place quickly, a delayed hire would be better than another mis-hire, which would further set back their grown plans for the region.

    This allowed for ample time but the successful candidate would need to meet a high standard that included genuine strengths in the following areas: high touch sales, knowledge/network in the partner/channel landscape, team building, communication with HQ, understanding of networks, and sales experience into FISO, Data Centers, and Service Providers. With our track record and our experience over the years getting to know the strengths and weaknesses of the different leaders in this sector of the market, we were 100% certain we could bring the best available talent to them.

    Our Solution

    The client had been searching through another agency for 2 months but felt they could do better. They had received 2 candidates that they thought were interesting, one through the agency whom they felt they liked a lot and the other from their VC. We knew both of them well based on past meetings and on the basis of references from others who knew them. The first one was in the process of being replaced after 3 years of declining growth and the other was a 52 year old with some serious past issues relating to his management style. We verified our information and presented it to the client who was grateful for the insights.

    Over the next 3 weeks we built and narrowed a long list down to a shortlist of 5 candidates measuring and ranking each against the criteria set by the client.

    The client was especially enthusiastic about these results and the transparency of the process after first round meetings. They eventually settled and moved to offer on a high-energy and very competent fast-track 40 year old candidate who met each requirement and who was working in a company with related technology.

    Within 2 months of joining, we were informed by the client that their Board of Directors were thrilled with the candidate’s performance and were highly confident of turning around the operation more quickly than anticipated.

    In the end, the client made a specific point to compliment our team for their knowledge of the market, their comprehensive approach to sourcing, and the transparency of the process.

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