Urgent Need, Immediate Response
The call came in late on a Friday night, after most of the firm’s headquarters personnel had left for a weekend. It was the Chairman of one of the largest energy and utility companies in the world. “We don’t know each other yet,” the caller said, “but I understand you’re the person to talk to.”
The first conversation lasted 45 minutes – followed up by several discussions over the weekend. The Chairman’s immediate need was for protective services supporting a trip leaving early Monday morning. But his broader, more strategic requirement was for support in identifying exceptionally well-qualified candidates to serve as the global enterprise’s Chief Security Officer. In addition to ensuring each individual had impeccable credentials, the Chairman wanted to be sure the executive represented a good “fit” with his extended leadership team and their established corporate culture.
Door-To-Door Executive Protection
Hillard Heintze assigned a senior-level protective services expert to travel with the Chairman that week – and again, several times over the next few weeks. This professional provided door-to-door coverage; conducted advances for all destinations; oversaw air travel and ground transportation; identified appropriate Level 3 trauma centers in each location; sought out and reviewed protective intelligence; addressed a wide range of physical and technical security issues; and liaised with protective details for other high-profile executives, board members and government leaders.
Eight Candidates, One New CSO
By Wednesday of the first week, Hillard Heintze delivered a report summarizing the professional credentials of eight candidates for the CSO position. One of them was the senior security advisor who had just traveled with the Chairman. Barely a week from the initial late-Friday call, the enterprise had settled on a final candidate and was finalizing contract negotiations.
This was an interesting case because it is rare that a Chairman assumes such a hands-on role – not just in seeking out protective services resources but also in directing the recruitment process for engaging a new Chief Security Officer.
This assignment progressed quickly for two reasons. One, this company’s leadership team is highly efficient and fast-moving. The second was that the qualifications of all eight candidates were very strong and based on highly trusted sources. This resulted in a lower threshold for the due diligence phase and a faster turnaround on the process, and made the principal issue a matter of the cultural ‘fit’.