China biotech, CEO and leadership team search project



An innovative biotech specializing in PROTAC, antibodies and small molecule drugs, based in Shanghai China, with whom we had an existing partnership, engaged us to support their search for a new CEO and to build out their leadership team.

Our partner required the new CEO to have a general management mindset and broad skillset, including a high level of emotional intelligence, and motivation to drive the internal board, employees and external partners. They needed someone with a proven track record of leading successful organizations and preferred someone with a PhD from a top international university.

This meant that there was only a very small, niche group of people in the industry who met our partner’s criteria and could lead the business to achieve its strategic goals.


Our existing long-term relationship with the company meant that we already had a firm understanding of their story and the reasons behind the departure of the former CEO.

With this being an exclusive senior search, we provided a dedicated project team to map the market thoroughly. Given the niche skillset required and seniority of the role, we made our partner aware that we would not send a high volume of profiles, but the ones we would submit would be ideally suited to the brief. 

Our team ran initial screening calls with candidates to save our partner time, and submitted a shortlist of five candidates whom we were confident the hiring manager would be interested in. This included candidates with varying backgrounds, including CMO, CSO, and COO, who all fit their criteria of holding an overseas PhD and had excellent knowledge of the market in China. After several rounds of interview, they chose to hire an up-and-coming executive with a high EQ, who was a former COO and had ambitions of creating a meaningful legacy.

With the new CEO in place, we were tasked with supporting the business with multiple director-level hires to lead the company’s research and development teams.


Our partner was impressed by the speed of our delivery and the quality of the candidates we presented them with. In addition to the new CEO, the new hires we supported them with included; Medicinal Chemistry Director, Associate Director Biologics, Associate Director Pharmacology and Principal Scientist.

We further consolidated our ongoing partnership with the company and continue to work closely with the CEO and Head of HR to restructure the organization and provide strategic consultation. Since this project, we have secured further roles to support them in hiring for Head of Regulatory Affairs, CSO, BD, and VP Biology roles.