Industrial Executive Search in China

Companies operating in the industrial sector have historically concentrated on making their physical assets the basis of competitive advantage. In a world of globalization, mergers and acquisitions, fast-growing emerging markets and increasingly complex supply chains lead industrial firms to recognize that the quality of their leadership talent will make the real competitive difference. To win in this complex environment industrial firms need innovative leaders who possess the required strategic, operating, and financial skills. 
Finding the right talent for your organization in China to lead and inspire has never been more important. Ginkgo Search Partners Industrial Executive Search Practice combines unparalleled industry knowledge and a wealth of practical executive search experience gained through client engagements. We maintain strong networks and stay closely attuned to industry trends. 

Executive Recruitment - Industrial Sector

Area of expertise:
  • Building Components
  • Chemical and Process Industries
  • Energy
  • Machinery & Engineering
  • Electronics

Typical executive search assignments:

  • General Manager China
  • Plant Manager, Director Engineering, Head of Sales
  • Mid-management positions (e.g. Production, R&D, Quality Assurance, Logistics, Sales)  

General Manager China & Head of Supply Chain: Fortune 500 Industrial Firm (Case Study)


Ginkgo Search Partners Industrial Practice Group has successfully finished an executive search mandate to build up the leadership team for our international industrial client in China. The mandate included search for two senior management positions; a Head of Supply Chain Management for the Asia Pacific region and a General Manager for our client's branch operations in China.

Background of the client

Our retained client is a Fortune 500 company and a leader in industrial supply with an extensive offering of electrical, data communications, general maintenance, repair, and operating (MRO) and electrical OEM products. Besides being an electrical distributor our client is a company of procurement specialists, helping their customers to lower supply chain costs, increase efficiency through creation of value, and save energy with green and sustainability initiatives. 

Requirements of the positions

 The position of a General Manager China is a national scope managerial role in charge of organizational direction for sales, operations, purchasing, supplier management, and inventory planning. The candidate should significantly contribute to the growth of sales and broaden our client's product scope for their customers in Mainland China. The position holder would manage all functions in the branch operations to provide acceptable ROCA while improving our client's market share on a consistent and regular basis. This position directly reports to the Managing Director of the Asia Pacific region.

Executive search approach

For the executive search mandate of a Head of Supply Chain Management we were looking for an experienced Chinese supply chain executive with a strong ability to develop existing and new vendors in the Asia Pacific region. The candidate should provide leadership and organizational direction for purchasing, supplier management, and inventory planning. He should implement performance management best practices at a global supplier base in Asia and maintain standard operating procedures across all steps of the process. He should drive operational KPI metrics and utilize quality improvement methods to improve business processes. 

Candidate sourcing

The candidates were mainly sourced from leading international industrial firms and electrical distributors operating in China and the Asia Pacific region. Our primary focus was to search for candidates in the Suzhou and Shanghai area. Since the executive talent pool tends to be more mature in Shanghai, our challenge was to identify candidates who were flexible to commute to Suzhou on a daily basis or relocate to the city.

Selection process

 A selection of highly qualified candidates was shortlisted by our executive search consultants to meet our client's Managing Director Asia Pacific for the final interview round in Suzhou. The successful candidate for the Head of Supply Chain Management position is a dynamic professional with a bachelor degree in electrical engineering from one of China's top universities and an MBA from Stanford University.


In her previous role our candidate was a Strategic Sourcing Director of one of the world's largest providers of lifting equipment for the construction industry. The candidate for the General Manager’s position had completed an MBA from a top University in the United Kingdom and was previously the Sales Director of an international company specializing in the manufacturing of measuring and controlling devices.

Successful placements

Our candidates were impressed by our client’s services and product offering, the huge market potential to develop the business in Asia, and the flexible and direct leadership style of the Managing Director Asia Pacific. The General Manager China could benefit from a larger scope of the position with full P&L responsibility and the opportunity to lead and shape the China operations.


Both candidates showed a high level of commitment to achieve the business targets and the client was fascinated by the fast delivery and high quality of the presented candidates and glad to have a strong leadership team in place. 

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