Case Studies: Blue Coat Systems


Blue Coat Systems uses Access Search Partners (ASP) firms to recruit executives in California and Asia Pacific.

Blue Coat SystemsBlue Coat Systems is a $500 million provider of security and cloud solutions worldwide. Founded in 1996, Blue Coat Systems (NASDAQ: BCSI) is a publicly traded company based in Sunnyvale, California.

As Blue Coat began to experience tremendous growth, it turned to Schweichler Price Mullarkey & Barry (SPMB), a leading U.S. based technology search firm, to help build their senior management team. Over the last five years SPMB has recruited nine Senior Vice President and VP level candidates and two Board Members for Blue Coat. The firm delivered consistent results that far surpassed Heidrick and CT Partners for the company, and as they began to think about re-building the international team, they were hesitant to turn to large firms, wanting to replicate the success they'd had with SPMB in international markets.

In the fall of 2010, Blue Coat needed to add several executives to their operations in Asia Pacific and turned to SPMB for advice. SPMB was a founding member of Access Search Partners (ASP), the leading global technology search partnership with offices in Boston/New York metro area, Canada, Asia Pacific and Europe. Andy Price, Managing Partner for SPMB, introduced the then-CEO of Blue Coat, Brian NeSmith, to ASP's firm in Asia that was retained to conduct a search for Vice President, Marketing, APJ for Blue Coat. Since Andy Price had just started a Chief Marketing Officer for Blue Coat in California, the ASP firm in Asia Pacific worked closely with Andy so candidates could be informed of the progress of finding "their next boss". Both the Chief Marketing Officer and the Vice President, Marketing APJ were successfully completed in November, 2010. The coordination between both ASP firms were very tight and the timing was flawless, in that very soon after SPMB hired the CMO for Blue Coat, the candidate for APJ was also closed.

Brian Nesmith commented on how similar the level of quality and execution was between both ASP firms. This resulted in two additional searches for Blue Coat in Asia Pacific, a Human Resources Director, APAC based in Singapore and a Director of Product Development based in India.

According to Andy Price at SPMB, "Access Search Partners (ASP) gives us the ability to effectively serve the global needs of our clients. The idea of a "global boutique" is delivered here as a perfect example of how medium sized firms are better equipped than large firms to deliver consistent results without restrictions, limitations and internal competitive factors that plague large firms. We were able to educate our partners in Asia Pacific on the cultural aspects of Blue Coat in order to insure a great candidate "fit" with the company," saving the CEO precious time and energy and delivering a consistent result for them in two very different geographies."

Brian NeSmith stated "The Access Search Partners member firms were able to deliver a consistent level of quality for us running searches in the US and Asia simultaneously, and coordinate a complex situation where we needed to hire a CMO to close an APJ person but couldn't do the searches serially for obvious reasons. These firms delivered both candidates within 30 days of each other."

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