C-level succession planning for private equity-owned life sciences business

A private equity investment group partnered us with the C-Suite of a mid-size portfolio company in the life sciences sector. The company had a new and relatively young CEO flanked by a senior leadership team high on technical and managerial expertise but low on scaling experience. The company needed to make some senior hires and to advance executive team alignment about the company culture.

Establishing leadership operating principles

Having established ambitious growth plans, the company needed to evolve its company culture to provide a strong foundation for growth. Among the focuses were hotspots of burnout and a cautious attitude to change. It became clear that evolving the leadership culture of this 8,000-employee company might be the best way to prepare its people for rapid growth.

A behavioral capabilities audit and input from the senior leadership team informed codification of the company's current culture. This was mapped against the operational needs for growth. At an executive team offsite, the team aligned on new tenets for the organizational culture. It used these to inform leadership operating principles: a shortlist of observable behaviors to cascade the new cultural tenets.

Modelling the impact of new additions to senior leadership

With clarity on the leadership operating principles, the company turned its focus to new senior hires. The principles were mapped to soft skills and behavioral capabilities required - per role - for team building, customer relations, and technical excellence. Together, this created an ideal profile per candidate. Incoming candidate profiles were mapped against this.

Further modelling informed advice on how different candidates would influence executive team dynamics and organizational impact.

The future

The life sciences company embedded three new senior leaders, who in turn participated in recruitment for critical roles to build out new capabilities. The company completed a re-brand to reflect its new culture to its customers and workforce. The business is now firmly focused on several transformational projects pivotal to its growth ambitions.


The succession planning project was delivered in 6 months.


We worked with a group of 10 executives on this project.


We advised on 3 external hires for the project.

As ever, your insight is so valuable. You put data and science to the things that we know our leaders need to be. It has helped us make so many critical decisions.

I know you understand how we work and what matters to us. Thank you for helping us prepare for our next steps.


Senior Leadership Team Member