Managing Director – Specialty Chemicals

£175,000 + Executive Package & Excellent Prospects

This is an outstanding opportunity to join one of this sector’s most recognizable brands, long established as a market dominator.

This century old business has constantly kept ahead of competition, and has a clear focus on technical input and product innovation to become top, second or third largest supplier in all markets they exist within. Quality of product and service is at the core of the business, they were one of the first chemical manufacturers to gain ISO9002 before adding BS EN ISO 9001:2000 and more recently, ISO 14001.

Technical awareness and knowledge has long been a strength of the business and has led the business to some of the largest supplier contracts in the world in their sector(s), but their commercial structure and capability has underpinned their growth and driven the long-term success of the business.

The business is achieving well-above industry average EBITDA figures, but is focused on re-investing heavily into the business to continue and accelerate its growth and financial might. They invest significantly in both process technology and in personnel to ensure the highest of standard of both product and service are maintained.

Recent reorganisation has created the need to recruit a highly commercial Managing Director to increase the strategic capability, global reach and ultimately, the commercial performance and top-line growth, primarily through an extensive list of global distributors. The appointee will report into the Group CEO but taking an extremely autonomous leadership role of their business as well as being a key external face of the business as it focuses on further M&A activity.

The Managing Directorwill play a key leadership role on the Board and Executive Leadership Team, and be instrumental to the business development, growth, maximization of future opportunities and overall commercial success of the business.

This is a strategic, commercial leadership role. The business is fast-paced, high-profile and with an unparalleled market position and reputation, but as with all businesses, they face continual pressure from global market forces and threat from new and existing competitors. Despite this, they have increased market share over the last 5 years, and sit as Top 3 in every market they exist within.

The collegiate structure of the Sales and Marketing function sits as a backbone through the organisation. The MD will see that as both their core strength, and core focus; understanding and predicting the market, opportunities, customer behaviors, routes and channels across all markets.

The Managing Director will be a master at spinning plates. They will be adept at understanding and driving sales and the commercial challenges that brings before designing and delivering solutions. But of equal importance will be their overall leadership credentials and ability. With a strong technical function, and high performing manufacturing/production facility – both led by industry leading directors, this is a true business leadership role. A reactive ability will complement their commercial pro-activity as they respond to opportunities in any one of a number of key operational and commercial areas.

They will provide dynamic leadership as well as provide hands-on support and technical know-how for the day-to-day running of the business.

But of equal importance will be the Managing Director’s ability to be a centre of communication across the business. Designing the commercial and operational strategies for all channels and effectively communicating it, and ensuring the delivery, across all departments.

Whilst Strategic Leadership and Team Development are the most critical aspects of this role, the flat structure within the business means this is also an engaged and hands-on role. The most successful candidate will view this as a dual role, performing the duties of both ‘Director/Leader’ and ‘deliverer’, especially within continuing sales growth.

Key Responsibilities:

The priorities of this role include:

  • Develop the commercial and operational strategy for the business, identifying business needs, market potential and innovative strategies for long terms success for target sectors/target customers in line with company objectives.
  • Measure the achievement of the strategy and the business plan with regular reviews.
  • Deliver the results in accordance with the strategy and agreed plans identifying areas for profitable growth. To assume responsibility for performance, conduct and motivation.
  • To understand the market environment, to lead the commercial functions effectively, providing clear direction, motivation and enthusiasm to ensure all work towards common goals.
  • To lead and develop all teams, ensuring maximum productivity, effectiveness and commercial skills to ensure a high-performance culture of business excellence and continuous improvement.
  • Through the Sales Director, lead the sales team on a continual basis to assess company performance against KPI’s for revenue, margin, order size and conversion. Ensure an effective sales pipeline and lead tracking process.
  • Undertake continuous analysis of competitive environment to fully understand competitor positions and strategy to develop market share.
  • Ensuring the all internal systems, are effective and provide a competitive advantage.

The person is everything. The brightest stars in this business are all about having the right attitude.

The appointee will have a proven, highly commercial and full spectrum, broad commercial, sales driving background within a specialty chemical manufacturing environment.He/she will possess excellent interpersonal skills, be hands-on when needed, possess strong analytical abilities, and be a robust decision-maker and a ‘finisher’. The role involves providing strategic and tactical commercial advice and revenue generating solutions to the entire business.

Experience of managing and developing teams of commercial, technical and operational professionals (including senior management) is essential, as is a proven track record of driving profitable growth across numerous markets.

The successful candidate will have strong stakeholder influencing skills and be able to put across his or her view clearly, often articulating the benefit of commercial initiatives and activity in clear business terms and have the confidence to constructively challenge (and be challenged by) senior stakeholders.

The appointee will exude enthusiasm and demonstrate an outstanding work ethic – this is a culture where hard work and success is expected, celebrated and rewarded.

The appointee will have gravitas. It will be immediately obvious to all around them, internal and external, why they have been selected and appointed. Their appointment will be met by a sea of nodding heads. They will command and yet earn respect. They will be the centre of ideation within the business and will foster others to be the same. They will inspire not only their department, but everyone within the business. They will be motivating as well as motivated.

Alongside their astute leadership capabilities, they will be an ‘action’ style leader. Their attention to detail will be second to none, and will be contagious. They will never see themselves as ‘too big’ for any task within the department, and will gain huge satisfaction from developing the wider team in every regard, form and function.

Above all else, they will be excited by the opportunity of taking a broad commercially focused executive role, joining the senior leadership team and leading the commercial, sales and marketing strategies for one of the highest profile household manufacturers in the UK.

Person specification

Core Capabilities

  • Results driven
  • Customer service focus.
  • Leadership capabilities
  • Planning and monitoring.
  • Judgement and decision-making.
  • Forward thinking.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication, consulting and networking skills.
  • Excellent negotiation and numeracy skills.
  • Ability to work within a team
  • Excellent people management skills.
  • Integrity
  • Self motivated.
  • Ability to prioritise workloads, meet deadlines and maintain accuracy at all times.
  • Ability to work independently and with the vision to ensure customer development
  • Must be able to travel internationally

Qualifications & Experience

  • Preferably degree educated.
  • Experience of international sales and management of distributors and agents
  • Experience of leading a ‘value added’ manufactured products specialty chemicals business
  • Demonstrated ability to lead process changes.
  • Excellent communication and listening skills, both internally and externally and appreciation of cultural requirements
  • Ability to tailor communications to the appropriate audience.

For further information, please email

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