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Product Line Development Director Aerospace & Defence

Executive Search

Product Line Development Director

Aerospace & Defence

Avionics & Engineering Services



Our client is a large, long-established and highly regarded business that provides specialist engineering expertise and services to Aerospace & Defence customers, primarily in the UK, Europe, Middle East & North America, but increasingly to customers elsewhere too. With advances in technology its markets are becoming ever more competitive, international and fast-moving. Our client is the emerging market leader in the development of complex solutions for its customers. Whilst its array of offerings already comprises a full range of aviation and avionics engineering services, it is now intent on having more of a partnering relationship with its customers.  Our client is identifying numerous opportunities to extend its value-add propositions further, by working with its customers to identify problems they did not know they had and – through closer collaboration – to design and deliver engineering and service solutions which exceed expectations, improve performance, reduce costs and thereby secure recurring profitable contracts.



The new role of Product Line Director is a pivotal strategic appointment. In an industry where contract values are in the tens of millions, the nature of the relationship a provider forges with its customer is crucial. This is not a sales role; it is a consulting role. It reports to the Managing Director and is a new addition to an already impressive Executive Team which is leading a Group-wide change programme to transform the business and reshape the markets it serves. In addition to taking full P&L responsibility for several core technical elements of the existing business and ensuring they continue to perform, the Product Line Director will be expected to identify new opportunities for the business, by stimulating interest in the capabilities it has which could further benefit its customers, on top of what it already does in response to their standard requests. Therefore, the Product Line Director will need to be someone entrepreneurial who can win, or already has, the trust and confidence of key decision-makers in major defence contractors, aviation businesses and government ministries around the world by engaging with them to solve problems in a proactive rather than a reactive way. The objective will be to gain such in-depth understanding of customer operations that new services and solutions can be developed in collaboration with them to address their specific issues, then packaged as off-the-shelf products which can in turn be adapted and rolled out to new markets and other customers.



  • Relevant degree, and a postgraduate qualification preferred (eg MBA)
  • Aerospace / Avionics experience (MRAeS / FRAeS not essential but advantageous)
  • Intellectual rigour, but always flexible and adaptable
  • Leader, by inspiration and example, with gravitas, credible at all levels including Board
  • Relationship builder, engaging, interactive and able to influence and inspire confidence
  • Data rational, can identify, qualify, analyse, and evaluate business opportunities
  • Consultative, with passion for technology & engineering
  • Determined to deliver excellence
  • Shaper of strategy, and executes it, with a clear vision for the future
  • Driver of successful new product development
  • Successful manager, of multiple complex business unit P&Ls
  • Accountable and holds accountable, works well with others, especially direct reports
  • Communicator, of technical and commercial detail, for internal & external stakeholders
  • Disciplined, monitors progress and ensures task and project completion
  • Collaborative, able to see all perspectives in a multi-disciplined organisation
  • Creative, innovative, idea generator, but demands and achieves rapid proof of concept
  • Designer of elegant solutions, but highly commercial and understands pricing models
  • Unimpeachable integrity


Package: c.£160,000 Basic + Bonus + Car + Exec Benefits
Location: South / East (UK)



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