Company overview

Leeds-headquartered CDS is part of a multi-award winning communications group with a turnover in excess of £30m, 240 employees and multiple UK locations. With a loyal client base across the private and public sectors, the business provides content and data solutions through traditional print and digital platforms and has ambitious growth plans to double its size and achieve a £50m turnover target by 2020.

The brief

Following a substantial internal reorganisation, CDS required an MD to lead the development of their omnichannel communications business. The appointment would also free up CDS Chief Executive Fergus Bailie to focus on his role as CEO of parent company The Baird Group. After successfully sourcing a COO for CDS in 2014, Directorbank’s James Searby was appointed to lead the assignment.

The ideal candidate required a commercial/sales background in the multi-channel marketing and communications sector, strong leadership skills and a strategic mind. The ability to demonstrate significant business growth, particularly from a private sector client base, was also essential as was technological proficiency.

The process

Directorbank’s tailored research strategy included a full executive search process involving headhunting activity across almost 90 target companies, analysis of our network of entrepreneurial candidates, and targeted advertising to ensure the most suitable candidates were uncovered and approached.

The result

After a comprehensive interview stage, Mark Gair was appointed to the role. Previously Mark was Director at VITAL Communications (a £49m UK and European division of Office Depot) and Strategic Sales Development Director at Pitney Bowes Management Services with responsibility for the Marketing Lifestyle Services division across the UK and EMEA regions. He was also Strategic Sales Director at Communisis plc, a £210m marketing services provider.