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Chief Purchasing Officer – Global Pharmaceutical Organisation – France


Purchasing strategy was initially structured by the retail sector and then professionalised by the automotive sector in the 90s. Some other industries, like healthcare, paid later attention to purchasing input on the business because of their historically excellent financial performance.

Our client, an international company and one of the top five pharmaceutical leaders, decided to create a purchasing business unit covering its European markets in order to implement a global corporate purchasing strategy. Instead of choosing someone from a healthcare or life science business, the CEO expressed the wish to hire a CPO from a sector recognised as a very advanced in terms of purchasing maturity, such as automotive. He was looking for a European professional able to join his direct report team and ready to relocate to Paris, if required.

The group chose Page Executive to lead their search because of our ability to introduce 3-5 candidates from different countries in a very short timeframe.


Our first goal was to identify relevant profiles in the automotive sector. Since it can be difficult to convince professionals to leave this sector, Page Executive offered the client an alternative to attract the right professionals by looking for CPOs in the cosmetics or food industry.

All of our European Page Executive offices directly approached the top talent, based on an agreed target list of 10 UK/US companies with a key positioning in Europe.

Our shortlist was comprised of three good profiles coming from the automotive, cosmetics and food industries. The last candidate was the preferred one, and he accepted the offer to join our client as CPO.


The duration of the search, selection and offer process was nine weeks.

The new CPO came from a worldwide leader in the food industry. He quickly realised how diverse and autonomous his job was, as he was able to shape and build the function from scratch. He has to lead and develop specialised purchasing managers by introducing new methodologies. After less than a year, his performance was recognised with an award by the CEO who appreciated how the new incumbent quickly deployed a global purchasing strategy within the group.