In its efforts to commercialize and grow, a small digital health start-up in San Francisco had experienced a number of ups and downs. The company attempted several strategies that took them away from their core product offering that were ultimately unsuccessful. They were working to get back on track and needed someone who could help them gain traction quickly. Having hired a few leaders over the years who did not achieve their objectives, the CEO decided to enlist a retained search firm. The client’s private equity firm, which was also involved in the search, had a lasting relationship with Ashton Tweed and recommended partnering with them again to search for a Chief Commercial Officer (CCO).



For this position, the client required someone with commercial experience within the digital health space; including sales, marketing, and business development. They were also seeking someone with pre-existing relationships within the organizations of their core targets in order to hit the ground running. The ideal candidate would be an individual who thrives in a small, start-up environment. Lastly, the client stressed their preference for a local candidate, but would be open to looking elsewhere if necessary.

New CCO Brings BD Relationships to the Table The Ashton Tweed team was familiar with the burgeoning digital health space – this life sciences sector is highly competitive, and it’s a race to the finish line to finalize product offerings and secure customers for its players. Therefore, Ashton Tweed approached this search with the same attitude. They thoroughly researched the target population and efficiently screened over 250 potential candidates. As the candidate pool was narrowed down, it became clear that the best fit for the position might not be local due to the new and challenging space they were recruiting within.

The client closed in on two top candidates, one local and one not. Ashton Tweed led numerous discussions between all parties in order to help select the candidate that was in the best interest of the company: the non-local professional. This candidate was a perfect cultural fit who truly enjoyed working in the start-up environment. The individual had very strong, prior commercialization experience in the digital health space and brought pre-existing business relationships to the table. Embodying the strategic and tactical qualities they needed to get the company off the ground, it was decided that this executive was the obvious choice.



As desired by the client, the CCO hit the ground running. After just two weeks at the company, the new hire was already out on the road meeting with customers. Hiring management commented on the CCO’s great performance so far and is looking forward to the progress ahead. Despite the initial preference for a local candidate, with the help of Ashton Tweed, the company was able to make a strategic hiring decision for the long-term health of the company, which is already proving to pay off.


Recent case studies: