Mark Chapman, previously Chief Operating Officer at Playnation, worked with Daniel to source a Director of Operations who would be able to fulfil the company’s strategic goals as part of a private equity-backed management buyout.
Following a management buyout of Playnation, funded by Palatine Private Equity, I worked closely alongside CEO Adam Hodges and Chairman Anthony Preston (Founder of Pets At Home) to execute a restructure of the company that would enable us to deliver an ambitious growth strategy.
We had gained a breadth of experience at board level through the buyout, however, you always need to develop your Board’s capability when leading a high-growth business. Everything has an impact on value in the PE world, and we needed a team who could think strategically to help us meet our objectives.
As moving operations from a silo-based structure to a nationwide framework would be critical to the organic and acquisition strategy on which our growth was based, we recognised that a Director of Operations would be a key hire.
Daniel took the time to understand the company, growth strategy and the structure we were trying to achieve as part of our exit plan. It was immediately clear that he ‘got it’, which gave us confidence in using his services to source suitable candidates.
Having worked the marketplace, he came back to us with a shortlist of five candidates, four of whom were strong contenders for the position. This allowed us to look beyond their capabilities to explore values and cultural fit. As an entrepreneurial, PE-backed company with an ethos that revolves around fun, finding an executive who aligned to our people agenda was just as important as meeting the job specification.
In the end, we narrowed down the shortlist to two people, before finally settling on a recruit. We felt confident that this individual would be able to lead the development of a scalable, cost-effective structure for operations, and bring new acquisitions easily within the fold.
As a result of our investment in structure and people, we delivered high double-digit EBITDA growth and have since sold the business successfully. Our Director of Operations played a vital role in this process, and Daniel was instrumental in ensuring we made the correct appointment.
Daniel has a skill of understanding the business proposition, culture and what really matters for executive staffing within a PE-backed business. I would certainly recommend SPE Connect and would continue to use them in the future.