Case Study:


The Client:

A private, clinical-stage company committed to bringing new treatments with haematological and solid tumour cancer patients.

The Objective:

To recruit a Chief Business Officer to lead the business development and corporate development activities for the company as both the lead program and pipeline programs advanced through the clinic. The company planned to raise further capital from venture investors, and the CBO was seen as an appointment that could support this process, which was to be led by the CEO. This access to capital requirement resulted in the CEO instructing us to look for the CBO in the US and Europe, and even considering Asia. Critically, the person needed to bring robust expertise in licensing transactions alongside core leadership skills.

The Search Approach:

  • Performed internal interviews with the CEO to understand the company’s business and development strategy. Additionally, we analysed the existing leadership team composition to help identify their core needs.
  • Developed a role profile consistent with the company’s objectives. Devised a bespoke competency matrix required to guide the recruitment process in accordance with the core needs of the role and the company.
  • Planned a clear, objective and deadline-driven search strategy.
  • Performed extensive market research of the required therapeutic areas, including mapping out the potential territories and hubs of BD and corporate development talent.
  • Developed comprehensive communication materials featuring key information sought by prospective candidates to facilitate a higher engagement ratio and efficiency.
  • Implemented an extensive global search and identified a large cohort of suitably experienced candidates, assuring successful search completion.
  • Performed structured, consistent, bias-free, multilevel assessments of identified candidates’ capabilities against desired competency matrix.
  • Delivered a shortlist of 5 exceptional candidates, 2 men and 3 women. All shortlisted candidates were selected, with explicit input from the client, from a long list of 13 candidates (7 men and 6 women).

The Outcome:

The CEO interviewed the shortlisted candidates, and 2 final candidates were selected for interviews with the Chair of the Board and board members. The candidate selected was chosen for his considerable experience in multiple functions across the industry, including as a CEO, CBO and Corporate Development. He had previously worked for a European biotech company in North America, spearheading their BD activities. The candidate had also served as a board director for a publicly listed pharmaceutical company, later being appointed as the Chair of the board at that company. His combined experience met a high number of requirements.