Case Study 1

Title of search

Vice-President, Global R&D


Fortune 500 Specialty Materials/Chemical Company

Assignment Profile

A Fortune 500 leader is undergoing a global R&D functional transformation. They seek a senior level executive, and a possible successor to the CTO, to lead the vision and strategy for research and development activities for a $1B business and take responsibility for critical Centers of Excellence (COEs) located throughout the world.

Search Strategy

  • Develop a target list of competitors and other major specialty materials/chemical companies with comparable COEs who are recognized for recruiting and developing top R&D talent.
  • Target Directors and VPs of R&D with strong technical knowledge and skills including PhDs in engineering, applied sciences, or material technologies.
  • Seek out “next generation” R&D leaders who have the ability to influence non-technical business leaders through their well-rounded business acumen, diplomacy and communication skills.
  • Identify candidates with 15+ years experience leading a technology function, including establishing effective emerging market labs (especially in China and India), global R&D organizations and COEs.
  • Experience working in matrix reporting structure as this VP will be reporting to corporate CTO and Group President.
  • Screen candidates for those who have demonstrated an eye for strong R&D talent and a track record of recruiting and building teams of future industry leaders.


  • Assembled comprehensive target list of over 100 R&D professionals, including candidates on ex-pat assignments with large specialty materials and/or chemicals companies in Europe and APAC.
  • Evaluated each candidate according to customized criteria.
  • Identified and ranked 10 senior executives from large companies who met position requirements and demonstrated exceptional leadership capabilities.