Executive Search
Director of Sales

Full details

Brocade Communications is a world leading provider of data and storage networking solutions and operates in a fiercely competitive landscape.

In November, 2016, Singapore-based chip maker Broadcom announced it was acquiring Brocade for $5.9 billion. Known as Broadcom Inc post acquisition the company competes with the likes of Cisco, HP and Juniper Networks on a daily basis.

With new challenges ahead the company identified the need for a new position – a Director of Sales to oversee the Asia Pacific region.

The problem

The move by Broadcom to acquire Brocade presented new opportunities for regional expansion, with particular focus on the sales function.

Brocade identified the need for a new position and duly created the Director of Sales, APAC role to address a growing demand and client base in the region.

Brocade had a few contacts within its network but quickly recognised that Think & Grow was more suited to help find the right person due to the latter’s depth of knowledge in the market and vast networks.

The Director of Sales had to hit the ground running due to changes in the business and with their customers. They needs to understand the drivers in technology and be able to retain existing customers while growing the new entity.

The process

Think & Grow liaised with various offices, including Brocade’s global and regional headquarters (in the US and Singapore, respectively) to fulfil its needs.

Brocade executives made themselves available at all times and at every stage of the hiring process.

Once a list of potential candidates were identified, Think & Grow was given full autonomy to qualify and engage them by conducting deep dive interviews, as well as performing certain tasks before presenting them to Brocade.

“They had a lot of trust in us and our ability to deliver,” Think & Grow partner Jonathan Jeffries said.

“There were many changes happening after the acquisition and the company needed someone who had a good foundation and track record in the industry. It was a very important role in the organisation,” Mr Jeffries said.


Ben Hickey, Senior Director of Network Development Services at Brocade, said he was confident from day one that Think & Grow would find the right person for the role.

“The challenges in hiring, and the benefits of using Think & Grow, are two-fold,” Mr Hickey said.

“Firstly, when you do these internally, it’s difficult to find good candidates quickly. Think & Grow helped us quickly source candidates without putting a strain on our internal HR,” he said.

While Brocade had several people available to them via its network, Mr Hickey said Think & Grow “helped us test the market to see if, indeed, it was one of those individuals or if there were new people available.”

He said it was important to find the right person as the role was rather unique.

“While the position was not technical they (candidate) needed to have a good understanding of the technical nature of the industry,” Mr Hickey said.

Client feedback

Mr Hickey said Think & Grow’s processes throughout the search were second to none.

“The value that they brought was that they ran a focused process from start to finish – keeping everyone (globally) on the same page with short, sharp, succinct summaries of progress.

“We had to manage things like aligning expectations on compensation and what to do internally to make the case to get a good package to attract the right person. Think & Grow was invaluable in this,” Mr Hickey said.

The candidate who ended up getting the job appreciated the down-to-earth approach from Think & Grow. “They did a great job of looking after the interests of both the clients and the candidates to ensure everyone had a pleasant experience.,” he said.

He was most impressed by the speed of the process. “We considered over 20 quality candidates, interviewed five, and made a decision in about four weeks. That was really, absolutely excellent,” Mr Hickey said.

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