Boards and CEOs

Boards and CEOs

We have handled Board and CEO-level appointments for a wide range of clients based all over the world. Our work has also allowed us to experience the interplay between management and governance in the context of many different sectors, and we therefore have a strong understanding of the factors that help this crucial dynamic to function effectively. We appreciate the relentless pressure that many organisational leaders exist under today, in terms of both the public and regulatory spotlight, and the increasingly relentless pace of change. We also understand that 21st Century governance is not just about scrutinising, but also about empowering, horizon-scanning and being a more meaningful critical friend. 

Although our methodology for recruiting a CEO is quite different from the methodology we use when recruiting to a Chair or Non-Executive post, both types of assignment have certain key elements in common. Firstly, appointments at this level are always high-stakes and very visible. As such, they require peak levels of precision, discretion and advocacy from an executive search partner. Secondly, every appointment at this level comes with considerable nuance and complexity. It’s therefore vital that a search partner genuinely listens to those nuances (be it the leadership style required in your new CEO, or the skills/experience/diversity mix required on your Board) and that they shape their search strategy accordingly.

Recent Case Study


Society handled the appointment of Colin Watson as Chief Executive Officer of the technology firm Membership Solutions Ltd (MSL).

MSL is a growing provider of website content management, membership management and e-commerce software to Students’ Unions and other large membership organisations. Over 70 UK Students’ Unions currently use the MSL system, resulting in over 50% of all UK higher education students having access to the MSL system. Over the last three years MSL has doubled its customer base every year. It is now looking to take its hugely versatile product into new markets.

Colin joined the company as CEO in October following an extensive search by Society. He previously worked for Serco, where he led product strategy and development for their full K-12 and HE software and service portfolio. Prior to that he spent 18 years with RM Plc, culminating in his appointment as Managing Director of their Education Management Systems Division across the UK, Asia Pacific, and India.

The Chair of MSL's Board of Directors, Jacqui Clements, commented:

“The MSL Board are absolutely delighted with Colin’s appointment and are excited for both the team and most importantly for our clients. The MSL team work collaboratively with our clients to ensure our services are absolutely what they need to deliver for their members, and we are in no doubt that Colin will help us do this even better in the future. This investment is the start of the next stage in MSL’s history and we are hugely excited about the time ahead”

Other Sample Appointments

Contact Our Team

Our work at Board and CEO level is overseen by Simon Lucas.  He can be contacted on


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