Chief Operating Officer
for an industrial construction firm

Helbling was retained by an industrial contractor and fabricator to attract and secure a Chief Operating Officer. Our client, a private equity-backed firm, sought a top-performing executive who could add support to its senior management team. The successful candidate has extensive knowledge of industrial construction services with over 30 years of construction, engineering, and plant operations experience in a variety of industries, as well as a solid fabrication background. With his strong industry relationships, he has been instrumental in obtaining multiple leads creating new opportunities for our client.

A long-standing successful company with 1,000 employees and ambitious plans for growth, our client was seeking a Chief Operating Officer who would assume a strategic role in the overall management and direction of the company and help take them to the next level.

Although the Chief Executive Officer had recruited a strong senior management team with 300 years of combined industry experience, he was operating at both Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer levels with many direct reports, and he needed another solid leader to share the responsibility. Also, the client was preparing for a possible equity event and was interested in pursuing new clients and industry verticals, joint ventures, and other types of partnerships.

After a personal meeting with the client to learn about its challenges, we understood they needed a top-performing executive strong in industrial construction services and small- and medium-sized projects, with a heavy fabrication background. Additionally, it was important that the candidate have the right cultural fit and the ability to operate well within the geography of the client.

To develop a sizable candidate pool, we focused on engineering and construction firms within the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions of the United States. We also included other target-rich areas, such as the Houston, Texas market to ensure we would identify all potential candidates. We selectively identified professionals from engineering, procurement, and construction firms, general contractors that include the industrial sector in their portfolios, and industrial contractors and subcontractors.

The successful candidate has over 30 years of construction, engineering, and plant operations experience both domestically and internationally and in a variety of industries, including power, pulp and paper, chemical, mining, manufacturing, and hydrocarbons. He previously served as President of the construction division, the fossil division, and energy and chemicals group at a leading engineering, construction, and fabrication company.

Our client selected this individual based on his extensive experience and many accomplishments. The candidate has had total profit and loss responsibility for multiple organizations and has worked with many prominent clients on complicated projects within the industrial and manufacturing arena. Additionally, his experience within the fabrication business was a highly attractive quality.

In follow-up conversations with our client, they have expressed that the dynamic new Chief Operating Officer has exceeded their expectations and is making a major impact on the company’s operations and culture. He is widely respected for his knowledge of the industry and has earned the respect of his colleagues. Also, he partners easily with the existing Chief Executive Officer and they present well as a team. Since his placement, the successful candidate has been instrumental in obtaining multiple leads and creating new opportunities using his excellent industry contacts.

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Our client has expressed that the new Chief Operating Officer has exceeded expectations and is making a major impact on the company’s operations and culture. Since his placement, the successful candidate has been instrumental in obtaining multiple leads and opening new doors for our client using his excellent industry contacts.
Marc Datz, Regional Manager - Midwest

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