Savannah Group Appoints Head of Industrial Practice

January 8, 2020 – U.K.-headquartered executive search and interim management specialist Savannah Group has appointed Chris Donkin as a partner and head of the firm’s industrial practice.

“I am delighted that Chris has joined the Savannah team,” said John Ellis, CEO of Savannah Group. “His deep sector knowledge and impressive record with leading industrial clients will add further strength to this core practice area for Savannah.  Following our re-branding in 2017, Savannah has been consolidating its position as a leading challenger to some of the more traditional international executive search firms.”

“The move towards a more digital based economy and the realization of the benefits that can be achieved through a more diverse team has resulted in businesses looking for new skill-sets and different backgrounds to maximize their opportunity,” Mr. Ellis said. “We recognize that this requires a forward- thinking approach, and at Savannah we are continually developing and improving our model in order to offer exciting, fresh leadership candidates to our clients, in an increasingly competitive talent market.”

With a career encompassing more than 30 years in international executive search, Mr. Donkin is a recognized leader in industrial search globally and has worked with many leading names as well as smaller, high growth businesses. His particular specialization has been in the automotive sector, but he has worked across a broad range of global industrial accounts and held senior management positions in advertising, public relations and communications at both a regional and global level before moving into executive search.  Previously, Mr. Donkin was a partner and leader of the industrial practice for the Inzito Partnership. Before that, he was a senior client partner with Korn Ferry.

“It’s refreshing at Savannah Group to work alongside bright, energetic people who take their work seriously but not themselves,” said Mr. Donkin. “What was clear as I went through the interview and joining process was that Savannah has a healthy, collaborative environment that rewards teamwork and going above and beyond for our clients. I’m excited to join Savannah on their journey as they continue to grow and bring innovation to the executive search an Innovation market.”

Versatile Recruiters

Savannah Group was launched in 2017 by the U.K. office of global search firm Boyden. Savannah’s team of 50 includes 20 partners that are specialists in their fields, including board and corporate functions, financial services, hospitality travel and leisure, industrial, digital and media, and sports and entertainment industries. Corporate functions filled by the firm include: finance, human resources, IT / digital, and sales and marketing.

Savannah Group recently partnered with Alan Bourne of Sova, one of the leading innovators in the design of psychometric tools, to create a new psychometric assessment tool called the Pillars of Transformation, which plots executives on six 10-point scales that reflect the different types of behavioral traits important to leadership performance in transformation environments. The 20-minute assessment plots each individual on six 10-point scales that reflect the different types of behavioral traits important to leadership performance in transformation environments. Since launching the tool, Savannah has used the data to build a model that provides early insights into the executive HR population.


Savannah Group Launched by Former Boyden U.K. Team
The U.K. office of global search firm Boyden has launched a new executive search and interim management business called Savannah Group. The firm said that companies increasingly want to support and enhance their in-house capabilities by aligning them with specific parts of the search process.


“We offer a bespoke service, not trying to force a one-size-fits-all solution on businesses that increasingly value a more modern, flexible way of working,” said Mr. Ellis. “Independent and more agile, Savannah believes it is well placed to deliver the tailored experience organizations are seeking, without clients having to compromise on quality or global reach.”

Savannah Group started last year with the addition of Simon Musgrave and Phil Coulter as partners within the firm’s industrial and digital and technology practices, respectively. Mr. Musgrave leads the firm’s energy and industrial practice with a focus on senior executive and board appointments in energy, transport and capital equipment. He joins the firm from Hoggett Bowers, where he was a director. Mr. Coulter comes from Korn Ferry with almost two decades of experience. His expertise lies in the technology market and function.

“Following our re-branding as Savannah Group in 2017, we have been consolidating our position as a leading challenger to some of the more traditional international executive search brands,” said Mr. Ellis. “Bringing Simon and Phil to Savannah allows us to increase our depth of capability within two of our specialist markets.”

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor  – Hunt Scanlon Media

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