Chief Engineer



Established in 2008, our client is a leading manufacturer of electric, CNG, and clean-diesel buses and trucks within the municipal and commercial transit industry. Led by an industry pioneer, our client’s success is due to an executive team that is second to none within their industry and exemplary products. They have grown the company’s market share by delivering high-quality, efficient, eco-friendly, and innovative transit solutions coupled with expert full turnkey services. They are expanding their reach into new regions and markets. The company has cultivated a culture with a strong emphasis on integrity, collaboration, accountability, teamwork, and excellence.


Our client is looking for a collaborative experienced engineering executive to lead and grow a global engineering team. As a member of the leadership team, the Chief Engineer will play a key role in day-to-day operations and long-range planning. They will provide strategic and technical leadership in the development and implementation of functional engineering best practices and the planning, design, testing, and ongoing support of products. They will be challenged to motivate, mentor, and inspire the team, improve group dynamics and train them to think beyond merely finding the best technical solutions but to also ensure they are in alignment with the needs of the customers and the company’s strategic goals. The Chief Engineer will work cross-functionally with other leaders to ensure all functions are aligned and working as one team.

This position reports to the COO and has 5 direct reports in the United States, Canada, and Europe.


This leader must be passionate about providing leadership, direction, and mentoring to the engineering team. They will put in discipline, systems, processes, and procedures to accomplish the company’s overall short- and long-term goals and objectives. The ideal candidate will have held progressively responsible engineering leadership positions within a global manufacturing organization. They will have demonstrated ability in building a confident, aligned, and motivated global engineering team that is focused on execution. This leader will look at the big picture and develop a plan to reach it.


  • Work to ensure the CEO’s strategic vision is understood and clearly communicated internally and externally.
  • Completely responsible for the health of the assigned value stream/product lines and projects from an engineering perspective, which includes new product development, maintaining the current products, and manufacturing engineering.
  • Assist in business development, customer meetings, and proposal generation as a subject matter expert.
  • Partner with the COO, VP of Sales and Development, and their teams to ensure that the voice of the customer is communicated throughout the organization.
  • Partner with the COO and their team to ensure the engineering team supports operations as an internal customer and helps operations increase throughput.
  • Work closely with the C-suite leadership team to identify the need for and marketability of new products, processes, and technology.
  • Develop an annual business plan including, manpower, budget, and capital expense focus on ways to drive cost savings.
  • Track and communicate project progress to company leadership and develop project costs and integrate them into the corporate budget and forecasting process.
  • Plan, organize, direct and manage optimum day-to-day engineering operations that meet or exceed internal expectations.
  • Responsible for nurturing an engineering culture that values reliability, accountability, quality, on-time delivery, and cost adherence.
  • Define procedures and responsibilities for the engineering team.
  • Directly responsible for the recruitment, training, mentoring, and supervision of the engineering team.
  • Build a performance-driven team through the development of internal talent as well as external hiring.
  • Assess “bench strength” within the team; grow capabilities that support ongoing business, customer, and product strategies; hire the right candidates, and develop and retain key high-potential employees.
  • Clearly and effectively communicate initiatives, objectives, issues, and performance including developing and implementing organizational metrics that drive results and positive behaviors with a clear plan for direction and focus.
  • Maintain knowledge of emerging technology trends, new products, features, and functionality and recommend new product capabilities for the corporate portfolio.
  • Responsible for ensuring the compliance of all products to the requirements of the U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. states, Canadian Departments of Transportation, and local agencies.
  • Review product designs to ensure compliance with engineering principles, company standards, and customer requirements and specifications.
  • Foster and maintain highly effective internal partnerships with key departments (e.g., operations, sales, program management, and quality).
  • Support partnerships with technology companies and integrate new technologies.
  • Leverage information from cross-functional teams to develop, manage and lead engineering project plans, timelines and execution throughout the production stages.
  • Present to customers, internal partners, and the board.
  • Implement and optimize flexible global resource models and build a flexible and adaptable engineering organization to meet current and future business needs.
  • In-depth understanding of product roadmap, existing product line opportunities and issues, key technical challenges, team technical competencies and gaps, and working understanding of important business segment, market, and geographies.


  • At least 10 years of experience leading and managing global engineering teams in an OEM or Tier supplier within the automotive, heavy truck, RV, or agricultural equipment industries.
  • A straight shooter with the ability to communicate directly, honestly, and clearly.
  • Must be a “hands-on,” “roll-up-your-sleeves” team player who will thrive in an entrepreneurial environment.
  • Ability to respectfully challenge ideas and offer a different perspective.
  • Knowledge of business and management principles (budgeting, strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources) and how different functions integrate into an overall business plan.
  • Demonstrated success in managing complex, large, and multidisciplinary projects.
  • Proficient in translating engineering speak into business speak and vice-versa.
  • Ability to analyze risk vs. reward.
  • Proven ability to proactively develop, manage and encourage an action-oriented and solution-minded engineering team.
  • Integrity within their personal and professional life.
  • Proven ability to create and maintain a fun, team-oriented, and enjoyable work environment.
  • Excellent team-building, decision-making, and people management skills.
  • Able to deliver results in a fast-paced, high-growth, nimble culture, and dynamic industry.
  • Exemplary interpersonal skills, including executive presence and the ability to establish and maintain rapport and trust with stakeholders at a variety of levels, both internal and external to the company.
  • Ability to travel internationally and work within a global team of professionals.
  • Education:
  • Bachelor’s degree in Engineering or related field is required; a Master’s in Engineering or MBA preferred, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
If you have these qualifications and are looking for a challenging career, please submit your Resume using the button below.
Eric Hohauser
President & Lead Consultant
Kate Scott
Director, Executive Recruitment
Sam Frank
Vice President, Executive Search