Thought leadership, insight and case studies

To make a contribution, contact us at

Executive Search Case Study – Harvey Nichols

The Brief

True North was engaged by luxury retailer Harvey Nichols to partner them in a search for two key appointments within their senior management team: Head of e-Commerce and Head of IT and Operations.

The Challenge

Harvey Nichols identified the need for a Head of e-Commerce to manage their rapidly expanding, online offering, as they sought to become a true multichannel retailer. The individual required for the role in question would assist the Board in defining its online business strategy and be accountable for the execution and delivery of the strategy. As well as having a broad understanding and knowledge across website development, online marketing (including social networking) and commercial/retail trading, the candidate would need experience of customer relationship management and the ability to lead the e-Commerce team and maximise existing resources across relevant business functions.

The second role of Head of IT and Logistics was also to report into the CEO, replacing a member of the senior management team. The candidate this time would need a solid grasp of all the elements to run a strong in-house IT function within retail and also need the expertise and experience to manage the supply chain function and third party logistics provider.

The Solution

As the Head of e-Commerce was a new role, True North carried out a full search of the market both for known individuals and to identify potential target organisations across luxury and retail brands. The rigorous and thorough mapping exercise helped identify a list of strong talent for the position, who were then screened further against Harvey Nichol’s competency requirements, to produce a long list for initial interview.

After formal interviews, final selection, and management of the offer process and salary negotiation, True North successfully on-boarded and ultimately supported the business end-to-end in making this key appointment.

Due to the success of the first project, True North were shortly after briefed to hire the new Head of IT and Logistics and after a similar full market mapping, they presented a strong shortlist of candidates that ultimately resulted in another very successful hire into the business.

About True North

True North advise and build the leadership and management teams of some of the world’s most innovative and fast growth technology enabled businesses. We also work with corporates undertaking ambitious change and transformation.

For more information about this project or our other services please contact Norman Burden or email us at