Speedy Hire PLC


Speedy Hire plc are a £395m turnover tools, equipment and plant hire business. In 2019, the business reviewed its business development process, as it wanted to shift towards a more commercial mindset.

Following the recent separation of the Speedy group to become regional specialists, with separate regional MDs (North, Midlands and South), the company required:

  • Complete restructure of team – move from procurement to commercial.
  • Move from a reactive model to a proactive, responsive customer proposition.
  • New talent required to drive commercial growth.
  • Greater commercial support for regional network.

Rowan was retained by Speedy Hire Commercial Director, Jeremy Jowett, to support the company through this period of change – appointing a number of key roles.

Journey: Why Rowan?

Speedy was introduced to Rowan through an executive (who had previously gone through Rowan’s Search & Assessment process as a candidate) who was highly impressed with the rigour of the process.

Other Executive Search agencies used by Speedy did not understand the core needs of the business – meaning the wrong candidates were being put in front of the management team.

Straight away, it was clear that Rowan’s “consultative approach” allowed us to understand the cultural, skill and vision requirements that the business needed.

As a result, Rowan were retained for all Executive Search appointments across Speedy.


Rowan suggested and agreed on a “Commercial Business Partner” title, which was much more aligned to the needs of the business and the skillset available in the market.

The Board at Speedy was looking to appoint 3 new hires (North, Midlands, South) reporting to the Commercial Manager (also placed by Rowan).

Rowan consulted with the Commercial Director, Jeremy, and internal HR department to:

  • Assist on the redundancy / TUPE process – creating bespoke job descriptions and skills matrices.
  • Assessed internal & external candidates.
  • Understand key drivers of proposed changes.
  • Evaluate the current culture alongside future vision.

This exercise allowed us to design a tailored process for each appointment, agreeing each competency framework prior to conducting our research & assessment process.

Rowan, as experts in Executive Search, found depth and knowledge across the team – meaning each appointee had complementary & blended skills / experiences:

1: Tom Gillespie – commercial & sales background

2: Joe Miller – data & analytics background

3: Marc Wilson – commercial manager / business analyst experience within the SME world


After the restructuring, the Rowan appointed Commercial Team won the internal Speedy “innovation award” for changing business mindsets (over 1,000s employees)

Rowan have since appointed the following roles for Speedy:

  • Commercial Manager (now Head of Commercial and sits on the Operational Board)
  • 3x Commercial Business Partners (1x since promoted to Commercial Manager)
  • Tender and Bids Manager
  • Head of Finance
  • Managing Director for Lloyd’s British (subdivision of Speedy)
  • Head of Digital
  • Interim Finance Manager
  • Divisional director for Speedy Retail (new division)