Madison MacArthur Executive Search - Energy Distribution Sector Assignments


Chief Security Officer

Large Public Sector Agency

With the retirement of the incumbent security leader, this large public sector employer saw an opportunity to broaden the mandate, and recruit a senior security professional with broader and deeper experience and a stronger business focus. The candidate would need to have managed a significant team and budget, understand the security challenges of an organization where assets were geographically spread out and critical to public infrastructure as well as having an understanding of how new technologies impacted security.

The organization is one that is high profile and its assets are spread across a diverse geography making it vulnerable to multiple disruption threats and thefts. The role having been expanded offered a challenge in identifying candidates that possessed all of the skills and experience to meet the broader mandate. Being a public sector agency also meant that meeting a competitive compensation package, for the level of experience required, would present a challenge.

The candidate was required to have a broad scope of security experience including asset protection, business continuity, investigations, physical security and information/cyber security. As well it was required candidates have a business degree, several specialized security management certifications and have, or be eligible for, high level government security clearance. In addition to the depth of security experience, the candidate had to have managed a large team and have the business acumen to manage a sizeable budget.  

Due to the nature and scale of the client’s business, candidate identification had to be very precise. Madison MacArthur targeted candidates cross North America that had held senior security management roles for organizations with complex and geographically spread out infrastructure and that were susceptible to similar threats. In addition to targeting key prospects within specific companies, we identified and networked through all of the specialized security accreditation groups and associated organizations that could yield candidates. A shortlist of six candidates was presented, five meeting all of the client criteria. The sixth candidate, while not having the requisite business degree and having somewhat less technology expertise, was seen by Madison MacArthur as having such strong skills in the other areas that he would more than compensate for these gaps. We also saw this candidate as potentially being the best cultural fit for our client organization.

The client agreed to interview five of the six candidates. The successful candidate was not one that the client initially wanted to interview, primarily due to the lack of a business degree. We strongly urged the client to include this candidate as we felt that he had exceptional business skills and had effectively managed significantly bigger budgets. The client took our advice and this became the successful candidate as he was seen to have the business acumen and strategic mindset they were looking for while also having the management style and personal dynamics that would fit well into the organization.   

Although the new Chief Security Officer has only recently started in their role they have already had a very positive impact on the team and organization. The client made a point of calling to thank us for insisting that they meet the candidate as, while they felt the balance of the slate were very strong, this was certainly the standout candidate.  All indications are that they have made the right choice. 

Madison MacArthur continues to partner effectively with this Client organization.