Alex Thorpe

Associate Partner, Industrial Practice

Alex has over a decade’s worth of experience in executive search and, for the majority of that time, has focused on the industrial and manufacturing markets. He has worked with some of the largest firms on the FTSE and high-growth listed companies as well as capital-backed consortiums and companies. Alex has experience placing executives across the C-suite as well as non-executive directors on various Boards.

My Story

From a military family, I joined the Royal Navy whilst still at university.  At the age of nineteen, I was commissioned and the journey of understanding people and leadership began.  I held a number of appointments both ashore and at sea and these taught me a tremendous amount about how to lead and motivate a diverse range of people in some incredibly demanding environments.  Knowing I wasn’t going to spend my life in uniform, I looked at commercial careers and, having made a number of contacts within the search and recruitment world, realised there were a number of parallels to being an officer and a headhunter.  Of paramount importance is understanding what makes people tick, encouraging them to do things they might not consider of their own volition and above all, making things happen.  Ten years later, I enjoy engaging with some of the most senior business figures in industry and advising them with confidence on managing their people and teams.

My Focus

As part of the Industrial practice, I work across a broad spectrum of B2B manufacturing and supply organisations, where I have a particular focus on the aviation, aerospace and defence markets where I work to place executives across the C-suite.  In addition, I have placed a number of non-executive directors, not only to Boards but specifically as Chairman and as Chairs of sub-committees.  I also lead Savannah’s work in the supply chain function across sectors, with a particular focus on procurement, having successfully placed a number of Chief Procurement Officers across the FTSE 100 and 250.  In addition, I have completed a number of benchmarking and succession-planning assignments for FTSE Boards and ExCo teams as part of covering a broader range of their talent management needs.

My Motivation

Being able to see the impact that my placements make to a company and its people is a real motivator and means a lot to me.  Whether it be turning a company around after a string of profit warnings and saving plants and jobs, or maximising a company’s potential to launch new products and extend into new geographies, are all tangible results of work I and my colleagues do.  Headhunters, by their nature, work discreetly and do not publicly take acclaim, so for me, I take quiet satisfaction in watching what our clients achieve with the benefit of the help we have provided them.

Why I like working at Savannah

Knowing the quality of the people Savannah already had on board, I was assured of the standard of work that was being produced.  Since beginning, I now further understand that the people we have in the company are not just strong headhunters, but are indeed trusted partners for executives both in the UK and abroad.  The term, ‘leaders in leadership’ is a soubriquet that can be applied to so many of my colleagues.  As I learn from them, so do I help develop our next generation of talent with our team of researchers that apply dedication, intelligence and ingenuity to help ensure the valuable work that our clients perform can continue.


Where we work

Global coverage

Our global model ensures that the partner who you have the relationship with, and is best placed to deliver the best results, runs the search from start to end, with the support of local market knowledge where it’s needed.
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