Embracing Strategic Shifts in Aerospace & Defense


Changes in compliance and regulatory obligations, shifts in the global market, and advances in mission-critical technology can all drastically impact how companies operate within the aerospace arena. Successful firms require steadfast leadership that can handle today’s problems and react to the needs of the future. During a period of significant restructuring, the Chairman of the US Board of Directors for several European-based aerospace and defense companies and the Independent Director for a public UAS company approached Dinte seeking assistance in finding two new Presidents, replacing several Board members, and installing multiple new C-Suite executives.

“We had worked with Dinte before and watched them go beyond what other executive search firms had done for us. From that first assignment, we knew that we had found a good partner.”

– Global Aerospace and Defense Chairman

From then on, Dinte carried out several executive search assignments for the client across their operations and several affiliated companies, eventually leading to the job at hand. With a central value proposition of delivering advanced technology and services to support modern defense applications, the aerospace manufacturing company needed leadership that embraced innovation and could advance its operations toward a more impactful future.

The Problem

The client’s specific need for an executive search partner arose from the significant restructuring occurring across company operations at the time of the assignment. High-level adjustments to corporate strategy took hold, North American headquarters were in the process of relocating, and company operations were expanding into new regions across the country. Potential candidates would need the necessary qualifications their roles demanded, advanced business acumen, and a forward-thinking mindset to support strategic expansion. The client specifically noted that they required candidates who could work successfully within the aerospace and defense space and any of the diverse industries the company might break into during restructuring and acquisitions.

The Approach

Considering client specifications, Dinte began tailoring its search strategy to prioritize innovative thinking and adaptability without devaluing aerospace capabilities. A holistic approach to candidate evaluation and extensive preliminary vetting ensured that any candidate positioned before the client fit their desired profile exactly.

“Dinte has a great depth of knowledge of the global aerospace and defense marketplace and a thorough understanding of what qualities to identify in candidates. They were truly able to take into account the specifics that our companies were looking for.”

– Global Aerospace and Defense Chairman

During interviews and internal deliberations, Dinte presented clients with exhaustive written reports and key points from their research. Supporting resources enabled the client to comprehensively evaluate the candidates and drive critical insights into their abilities for more successful hiring outcomes.

“With other search firms, it felt like they just brought us heads, and then we were on our own to sort through them by ourselves.”

During a period of growth and restructuring for the client, new leadership needed to simultaneously empower new initiatives and uphold consistency in the company’s values. Throughout the assignment, Dinte staff prioritized building a personal relationship with the client to better connect with and understand them. Through careful consideration of elements like company culture and the personalities of existing executive personnel, Dinte produced candidates whose value to the client extended beyond tangible abilities.

“A personality mesh between your company and your executive search firm is essential. When you’re looking for the next generation of leaders for your company, you need to know your search partner truly understands your mission, culture, and values. From day one, we had that with Dinte.”

Delivered Outcomes

Placed candidates possessed a combination of aerospace-specific and broad business experience that significantly aided the company during restructuring.

“The first President we hired through Dinte had substantial experience working with US subsidiaries and specific contracts. He was a natural fit to take over a role that manages a distributed workforce (East coast to Texas).”

“One Board candidate came out of an aerospace background but had extensive COO and CFO experience in his previous assignments, providing an invaluable perspective in the acquisition process. He was a valuable resource in an area not many of us were familiar with.”

Key placements into the Board of Directors also supported the company’s expansion outside of the pure aerospace and defense industry. During the company’s previous growth phase, its Board of Directors was largely “military-oriented,” with most executives possessing backgrounds solely in the defense sector. While the Board’s military expertise was crucial in establishing the company within the aerospace and defense industry, the new growth phase required leadership to possess a broader business understanding. In pursuit of a more rounded Board, Dinte delivered candidates that had experience within aerospace and defense and maintained strategic toolkits tailored to the company’s broader business goals.

“A military-oriented Board is invaluable when you’re building your reputation in the aerospace and defense space, but when you’re looking to expand, you need to be able to fill a different role. Dinte candidates injected a fresh perspective to the Board.”

By providing candidates that holistically met client needs, Dinte facilitated easier restructuring, empowered strategic shifts, and drove more significant business outcomes for the company.