Client’s Challenge: A Top Executive Taps His Network to Find a Trustworthy Chief Security Officer

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.

Our Solution: Supporting the Chairman with Protective Services

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.

Impact on the Client: Providing a Short List of Eight Candidates for the CSO Position

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 travelled 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.

Unplugged: The Project Manager's Post-Engagement Perspective

“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, as we are.

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’.”

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