Senior Director, Project Management, Automotive

Sector: Automotive
Location: United States


Our client, a Lidar organisation who have recently gone public, were in a strong position to hire external talent for key leadership positions. Still with a startup approach in many ways, they had a large budget to support their plans based on funding from large auto and industrial organizations. The business is headquartered in San Francisco, and although they have global offices, they were looking to create most of their executive talent injection into their California team.

In order to continue to build stability after a period of significant growth, the client was looking to hire an experienced program management leader to set up program management from scratch. Until this point, separate individuals were completing the program management tasks, but there was not a full program management office. Miramar was tasked to support our client to find an individual who could set up the program management office, build its processes and also continue to grow the program management team.



Our first challenge was to spark interest for our client in the market. In California, and especially San Francisco, the market is buoyant and great leadership people are approached frequently and the demand is high. This can mean it is more challenging to gain candidate interest. Taking this into account, our search was done through multiple channels, reaching out to recommendations and new ID so that we could create the optimal amount of interest.

The search focused on people within the automotive sector (key Tier 1s and 2s) and the semiconductor space (businesses like NXP, NVIDIA, Qualcomm). In addition to this, in order for us to present a strong shortlist, we looked in horizontal markets and adjacent sectors like robotics, aerospace and defense. We were happy to speak to individuals who had a good understanding of the process of delivering a sophisticated electronics product from concept to manufacturing.



Our shortlist was made up from candidates in various sectors, all of which were highly skilled in working with electronics products and setting up and re-organizing program management offices and teams. We noticed that candidates coming out of similar sized organizations had broader experience in setting up processes and teams, but also had strong entrepreneurial skill sets that were highly relevant for this type of position and business.

The selected candidate had a strong mix of startup experience as well as working for a larger organization earlier in their career. He was recruited from a direct competitor to our client.


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