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Chief Operating Officer

About the role


WN Lindsay, founded in 1864, is the UK’s leading independent agricultural merchant. The company remains in family ownership with the 5th generation of the Lindsay family running the business alongside an experienced management team. WN Lindsay is focused on building long term supplier and customer relationships, across a supplier base of thousands of farmers and customers that include some of the biggest names in food and drink.

The role of Chief Operating Officer (COO) is being created to help improve the company’s core operations, as it transitions to a new management team over the next three years. The COO, a full Board appointment, will form part of the new management team and be central to the development and operations of the company for years to come. This is a fantastic opportunity to help change, modernise and strengthen a long term, successful family business. One of the main challenges will be to adapt to the new post-Brexit agricultural and trading landscape.

Working in close partnership with existing management and family members, the COO will run the company’s core operations, improving processes and procedures and driving operational excellence and profitability. The COO will be expected to develop close working relationships with all internal and external stakeholders.

Key responsibilities:

  • Strategic Direction – work closely with CEO to implement overall company strategy of long term, sustainable growth alongside identifying and implementing M&A opportunities.
  • Key Customer Account Management – developing close relationships with existing customers, identifying new opportunities and expanding existing partnerships.
  • Operations – manage investment in processes and systems across all six sites, standardising operations and maximising efficiencies.
  • HSE and Quality – responsibility for Health and Safety function and developing ‘best in class’ systems and procedures to guarantee quality.

The COO will demonstrate a strong understanding and proven track record of operational excellence and delivering change in a manufacturing or a similar process or operations driven environment. Preferred candidates will ideally understand the supply chain of the whisky or spirits industry, food manufacturing more generally and will likely have held senior operational roles within the FMCG sector, but we are not restricted to this. Some connection to the rural economy will also be a distinct advantage.

Interested candidates should send their CV, with full remuneration details, to Graham Burns of FWB Park Brown at For a confidential conversation, please call 0131 539 7087.