Vice President Contracts & Commercial | Cobham Mission Systems

Cobham protects lives and livelihoods with its differentiated technology and know-how, operating with a deep insight into customer needs and agility. The Group offers an innovative range of technologies and services to solve challenging problems in harsh environments across commercial, defense and security markets, from deep space to the depths of the ocean, specializing in meeting the growing demand for data, connectivity, and bandwidth.

Position Summary

The Vice President of Contracts and Commercial is responsible for leading the Contracts and Commercial function within the Davenport Business Unit and as a business partner to the Business Unit Leadership Team to support revenue growth that optimizes EBITA to provide win/win solutions through innovation and commercial excellence.  The VP Contract and Commercial is a manager and has direct reporting relationships from the Contracts and Commercial team.

Cobham Mission Systems has been experiencing steady growth and is by far the most successful sector within Cobham. Currently, the Davenport location, which houses five business units, has the most orders they have ever received in recent history. Cobham sites their high product diversity for much of this success. The 50/50 split between Commercial and Defense work deepens the foothold they have in their markets. Currently, their Commercial market is growing faster than Defense but there are promises of increased Defense spending which is also encouraging.

Cobham is in need of a really well-rounded business executive who can make business decisions beyond reviewing contracts. Promotional opportunities exist beyond this position with the option to either remain local or work in the UK.

Key Responsibilities

  • Work as a business partner to Business Unit VP, GM and other members of the Business Unit leadership
  • Build and maintain a high performing function that meets the strategic needs of the business
  • Management of the engagement of Advisors and Distributor/Resellers for the Business Unit
  • Performance management of Contracts & Commercial staff to meet Business Unit goals and objectives and functional objectives
  • Functional development of Contracts & Commercial staff to support Business Unit in support of the Business Win process
  • Manage the liabilities of the Business Unit to customers and intermediaries (advisors, distributors, and resellers)
  • Manage dispute resolution with customers and intermediaries (advisors, distributors, and resellers), drawing on Cobham (or external) expertise as required
  • Management of advice from external legal counsel
  • Provide terms and conditions lead/support to Cobham negotiations with strategic suppliers as required
  • Ensure export Compliance
  • Train the Business Unit cross-functional staff on contract issues to raise contracting awareness
  • Where nominated, lead support of a strategic customer
  • Management of intermediary health checks

Core Competencies

  • Self-starter with the ability to build, lead and operate as part of high performing teams
  • The ability to work within the wider context of a large organization in a matrix management structure
  • Demonstrates business acumen
  • Strong communication skills with the ability to simplify complex situations and to influence decisions
  • The ability to build strong relationships both internally and externally and manage stakeholders
  • Strong negotiation skills
  • Logical problem solving ability, numeric skills, and IT competency
  • Role model for behaviors and the demonstration of Cobham's SPIRIT values (Safety, Performance, Innovation, Relationships, Integrity, and Trust)

Overall Competencies

  • Vision: identifying long-term goals and championing the implementation of different or alternative ideas
  • In-depth Problem Solving and Analysis: solving difficult problems through careful and systematic evaluation of information, possible alternatives, and consequences
  • Championing Change: Taking action to support and implement change initiatives effectively with a strong emphasis continual improvement utilizing process improvement techniques
  • Driving for Results: Challenging, pushing the organization and themselves to excel and achieve
  • Influencing and Persuading: Convincing others to adopt a course of action
  • Organizational Savvy: recognizing and understanding organizational politics and working within organizational dynamics to accomplish objectives
  • Business Acumen: understanding general business and financial concepts, understanding the company’s business and using both general and specific knowledge to be effective
  • Integrity: upholding a high standard of fairness and ethics in everyday words and actions
  • Courage of Conviction: Having the personal courage to address difficult issues in the face of potential opposition
  • Presentation Skills: having the skills to effectively communicate to an audience in a formal setting including training
  • Flexibility: demonstrate adaptability and openness to alternative solutions and flexibility when interacting with others, understanding their attitudes, needs, interests and perspectives

Qualifications and Past Experience

  • BS/BA in Business Administration, Economics or Law; JD desired
  • *Due to export compliance, must be a US Citizen or US Permanent Resident
  • Must have experience working for a Tier 2 supplier and how "deals" are affected with other companies that are involved with subsystem experience
  • Must have experience interfacing with customers
  • Must have experience working on projects in which there are often "blurred" lines of responsibility
  • Must have some experience and or knowledge of how to effectively work in a matrixed organization
  • Prefer someone come from a company that was in a growth mode
  • Will need to work with people outside of the Davenport operation
  • Will need to understand and have a keen sense of risk and tolerance to ensure the company is always on the correct side of the law
  • Must have a keen sense of delegation of authority issues at all levels in the company
  • At least 12 years in a senior level decision-making in a similar role in the aerospace, defense or security sector
  • Demonstrable experience in developing and negotiating contractual agreements
  • Experienced in the governance (Anti-Bribery, Anti-Corruption, due diligence and local law requirements) in the engagement of intermediaries (advisors, distributors, and resellers)
  • Experience in US Export compliance and international trade laws*