This candidate ticked all the boxes, from working with the right type of businesses and in the right sector to having experience as a Board member/Chair. They clearly and concisely summarised why they’re the ideal candidate by demonstrating an interest in the organisation and a deep knowledge of its industry, all while managing to keep the cover letter under 300 words.
Elmodis is a VC-backed technology company operating in the area of Industrial Internet of Things. They sought to appoint an Independent Chair for its Supervisory Board. The ideal candidate needed to have experience as a Board member or Chair of a high-growth company and have a strong understanding of challenges specific to growing a technology or industrial company.
Chairman, Traveltek (PE-backed), 2016 -current. Booking platform for travel agents and tour operators, €7M revenues, 30% growth. Chairman, Atlas Cloud (VC-backed), 2015 -current. IT infrastructure as a service €2M revenues 50% growth. Chairman, Clixifix (VC-backed), 2016 - current. CRM for housebuilders €0.4M revenues start-up Member of the supervisory board TotalSoft, Romania, 2011 - exit 2016. €25M revenues, 15% growth. Chairman, NetDespatch Ltd, 2012 - exit 2015. €5M revenues, 25% growth
In addition to the above, I was CEO of Vega (1985 - 96 €35M rev) and Maxima (1999 - 09 €70M rev), both of which were venture-backed during their early stages before IPOs (which provided exit for the investors). Vega had similarities with Elmodis, in that it was founded by a group of engineers and developed software to process data gathered from satellites and generated products from that data. It grew consistently at >25% pa organically during the 10 years I was there and was always profitable.
CEO of Vega Group (1985 - 1996) selling software and consultancy in the aerospace sector. CEO of Symbionics Group (1997 - 1998 €30M revenues) an electronics design house selling chip and electronic system designs to consumer electronics companies such as Nokia, Panasonic, Lucent etc. CEO of Maxima Holdings (1999 - 2009) selling enterprise software to manufacturers.
Vega's principal operations were in Germany and the Netherlands, with customers across Europe and North America. Symbionics had clients across Europe, N America and Asia. Maxima had customers across Europe with subsidiaries in the USA, Czech Republic and Slovakia. These were all successful early stage high-growth tech businesses, achieving their plans and delivering shareholder value. Also, most of the companies I have worked with as a non-executive director have had international operations.
I am a Chartered Electrical Engineer and my career has involved electronics and IT applications in many industrial sectors. My experience is all B2B. After a career as CEO of three successful businesses, all taken from early stage to exit / IPO, and having worked with venture capital, I moved to a portfolio role in 2009. I have already taken several early stage businesses through high growth to exit. Having made a lot of acquisitions and sold a lot of businesses, I have a good understanding of value drivers and what buyers and investors look for. I find this opportunity very exciting, being at the intersection of electronics and big data analytics, applicable to many industrial sectors. I believe that my experience of building, coaching and mentoring management teams in high-growth businesses is directly applicable to Elmodis. I am strong on ensuring sound but flexible planning, optimising business processes to focus on the client and avoid bureaucracy and good management reporting, with forward looking KPIs. This is crucial to good investor communications and involvement, particularly in being ready for exit. I am sound experience of corporate governance and compliance issues in public and private companies. I understand the split between executive and supervisory board responsibilities, however, I believe that my executive business development experience will be very valuable to the management team. My other current commitments add up to 8 - 9 days per month, although this is likely to reduce through exits. I therefore have more than enough capacity to take on the Elmodis role. I am also happy to travel and live between London Stansted and Luton airports with plenty of low-cost flights to Poland.
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