LOCATION: Southeast, USA


Our client is a leading manufacturer of a broad line of water works products. Founded over 100 years ago, the company is well known and highly regarded. During the past three years the firm has seen much change and transformation and has been acquired by a private equity firm. Its leadership team has been successful steering the firm through the sale and led the company to increases in top line and bottom line revenues. The firm now needs a seasoned, operations professional who has experience working with manufacturing products and components, who can support a diverse work force, and who can work as a partner to the various internal business leaders.

TRANSEARCH International is a global executive search firm with more than 20 years of experience in manufacturing and industry. Our firm has been retained exclusively to recruit and assess candidates for this role.


The firm has undergone tremendous internal change in the last 24 months, and requires a new leader for operations. The VP of Operations must be a seasoned professional who has experience working in manufacturing with unionized plants and multiple locations, who can support a diverse work force, and who can work as a partner to the various internal business leaders. The VP Operations will have five direct reports – three Plant Managers, a Director of Plant Engineering and a Director of Environmental Services, with 700 people total under his or her direction. This position is located in the corporate headquarters. The following will provide an overview of the skills and personality traits that we will be seeking.


  • Direct and lead manufacturing operations; assess capabilities as various facilities and determine best process to balance variable work flow / order flow.
  • Lead company efforts to shift the company culture.
  • Provide strategic leadership to team; enable the Plant Managers to make day-to-day operational decisions.
  • Provide guidance and leadership to operations function and develop strong functional leaders.
  • Advance continuous improvement efforts.
  • Demonstrates strong leadership style.
  • Demonstrates ability to manage courageously; calm and confident under pressure and demonstrating decisiveness in decision making.
  • Ability to think strategically but also focus on tactical and operational issues.
  • Ability to communicate effectively at all levels – with the President and leadership team and with employees at the plant level.
  • Demonstrable change management execution experience.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Strong team player skills.
  • Strong collaborative problem solving skills.


  • Bachelor’s Degree required; Master’s Degree preferred.
  • A minimum of 10 years of progressive operations experience in a plant manufacturing environment.
  • Experience in union settings preferred.
  • Experience in managing others and leading initiatives.
  • Experience with the creation and management of budgets.
  • Experience dealing with and presenting to senior leaders.