Blue Solutions is a leading provider of water treatment specialty solutions, from industrial water purification to pool care. Clients range from swimming pool- and spa distributors to horticultural businesses and governmental water management organizations. The Chief Executive Officer unlocks the full potential in water treatment activities and accelerates the international development of the Group to consolidate its dominant Northern European position, supported by an excellent product portfolio and a crystal clear strategy.
About Blue Solutions
Blue Solutions is a value-adding distributor, whose activities are organized across two core divisions: Pool Care and Waste Water Care. Together, they are responsible for 30 million euros in sales, with the largest part of the revenue coming from the Netherlands. Pool Care consists of chemical water treatment products for public and private pools, as well as the actual selling and installing of pools, saunas, and infra-red cabins. Blue Solutions operates under the brands Melspring and Interhiva.Waste Water Care focuses on tailor-made chemical waste water treatments, for industrial, agricultural, and public contexts.
The Pool Care division offers a complete line of chemical water treatment products for public and private swimming pools and spas under brand name Melspring. It distributes a full range of premium chlorine products, pH stabilizers, flocculants, anti-algae, and cleaning products, as well as pool accessories for water analysis and maintenance. Under the brand name Interhiva (further split into Interhiva Retail and Interhiva Projects), the division also distributes pools, spas, and saunas on a turnkey basis, including the installation service. The globally sourced products are primarily sold in a B2B market, through an extensive supply and distribution network, underpinned by long-standing relationships. The group also sells products directly online through their own ecommerce channel.
The Waste Water Care division is an application technology-oriented business. It sells tailor-made waste water treatment solutions to municipalities and industrial clients, as well as potable water solutions for marine and industrial applications. It recently entered the dynamic and promising field of water treatment and purification solutions for greenhouse horticulture, including production and supply of drip water treatment, irrigation, disinfection, and cleaning.
Blue Solutions is located in the Netherlands, but the company is active on several continents, with the bulk of the business in Germany, the Benelux, and Scandinavia. Supply and sourcing holds a global scope, from Asia to Eastern Europe to the United States. With the majority share held by a private equity fund, there is a mandate to refresh the company’s strategy through three pillars: 1) capitalizing on the team’s expertise and market knowledge to develop innovative solutions; 2) accelerating activities in the horticulture sector; and 3) implementing a targeted external growth policy to consolidate Blue Solutions’ positions and enter adjacent markets. This will happen under the leadership of the new Chief Executive Officer.
Job description: Chief Executive Officer
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is responsible for leading all-in-house functions, defining and executing an ambitious growth strategy, setting up proper processes and methods, and implementing action plans to achieve the expected financial objectives. They will lead the transformation towards a scalable, data-driven organization, and build a streamlined (portfolio) strategy to ensure growth across all divisions. The CEO reports to the shareholders and is responsible for the global P&L. The directors of the four business units and two support functions report directly to the CEO.
Despite Blue Solutions’s strong brand and position in the market, there are challenges ahead. Given the many different products, channels, and customers, Blue Solutions’ sales processes are inherently diverse. Some sales cycles are tender-driven, whereas other sales funnels are based on consultative selling or online retail. While the commercial team performs well, in order to scale there will need to be more focus on knowledge documentation and knowledge sharing. This needs to happen in a strategic way that allows Blue Solutions to bundle the organization’s full expertise, and use it for growth into new markets, geographies, or product lines. The CEO will ensure a solid and nuanced grasp of the company’s structure and unique assets, and uses this knowledge to bring focus in the complex organization – both culturally and from a portfolio and business model perspective. After defining Blue Solutions’ optimal position(s) in the value chain and implementing measures to ensure scalability, it is up to the CEO to define an ambitious growth strategy – based on data-driven methods that they continuously role model within the organization.
“It is now time to find Blue Solutions’ sweet spot when it comes to our multiple operating models, in order to optimize Blue Solutions’ market fit. The CEO brings a data-driven and structured way of decision-making, while respecting Blue Solutions’ inherent complexity and showing a degree of sensitivity to the team culture and in-house expertise.” – Henri van Oyen
This is an exciting opportunity for a seasoned general or commercial manager who has a clear affinity with engineering, chemistry, or related fields. The right candidate has a track record in leading international, commercial organizations or business units and in optimizing portfolios. The candidate is interested in fully understanding the value chain that Blue Solutions is a part of, and the different roles it plays along that value chain. This allows the candidate to then, with input from the team and shareholders, build a solid forward-looking strategy that helps Blue Solutions reach ambitious growths, by pulling on levers that may be related to solution offerings, clients, or geographies, to name a few. In order to successfully do this, the candidate builds a good understanding of market trends, including expected regulatory changes, the changing industrial and agricultral landscape, and trends around sustainability and (water) scarcity.
Importantly, the right candidate also has strong communication and people leadership skills. Under their management, the team gets the chance to adapt to the new strategy and the reshaped operating model. The CEO will lead by example and coach the team (primarily through the four direct reports) in this phase of change. They will also enable the team to continue using, as well as sharing and expanding on, their knowledge and expertise, to ensure commercial success.
In this role, an experienced leader who is strong both on process management and people management will have the chance to solidify a unique organization’s European presence and ensure growth – all with the support of an ambitious shareholder and a loyal team.
Blue Solutions is working with Top of Minds to fill this vacancy.
To express your interest, please contact Stephanie Stuit at firstname.lastname@example.org.