Winning the Top Choice for Chief Commercial Officer

Against the Odds

The CompanyVarentec Fact box

Varentec provides innovative solutions for the next generation of power grid control and management for the electric utility sector.  Varentec engaged Enertech Search Partners to further strengthen its commercial team with a new Vice President of Sales.

The Challenge

The company hoped to conduct searches for a new CEO and VP of Sales, simultaneously, with each being completed within 6 months.  Because highly qualified candidates are often cautious about positions that lack visibility into the entire executive team, Enertech counseled Varentec that if the VP of Sales search began too early, they could run the risk of market exhaustion and devaluation of the search.

Therefore, our advice was to hold off on the VP of Sales search until after the CEO finalist was identified and fully vetted, even if was in the last quarter of 2014.  Even though this would require Enertech to identify an exceptional candidate during the December holidays and race to have an offer accepted by the first quarter of 2015, we were up to the challenge.

The Strategy

We advised Varentec to select the person they would need to not only do the job today, but also three years into the future.  Among the first round of candidates was Mehrdod Mohseni, then CEO at UISOL, an Alstom Grid Company.  Even though Mohseni was “bigger” than the role anticipated, we understood that the long term objective and challenges Varentec was facing required someone with Mohseni’s experience.

However, concerned that Mohseni was out of reach and could attract multiple offers from various companies, the interview process progressed with other candidates more in line with the initial job description and budget.  Ultimately, Varentec recognized Enertech’s initial assessment was correct and embarked on a strategy to attract Mohseni to the Varentec team.

The Results

The career ally relationship Enertech Search Partners enjoyed with Mohseni allowed us to identify him as the ideal candidate in less than 30 days.  Additionally, by fully understanding both Mohseni’s career motivations, as well as grid-edge market factors, we were able to guide Varentec and ultimately help elevate the VP of Sales position to Chief Commercial Officer, stretch its compensation target, and use other tactics like signing bonuses to secure Mohseni against multiple offers.

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