Illy - Cesium Group
100% of our clients are either 'likely' or 'very likely' to recommend us
85% of the business we did in 2020 came via recommendation


The Challenge

Illy acquired their distribution rights for the UK Market with a view to building a high performing team and business unit. This change in strategy to a wholly-owned RTM, coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic making attracting, onboarding and engaging talent particularly challenging during a significant period of change.

The Solution

Cesium Group was engaged initially to hire an Interim UK CEO to help manage the transition period. Subsequently we have hired several other key senior leadership team members including:

  • Interim MD
  • Permanent MD
  • Finance Director
  • Head of Marketing
  • Head of Revenue Growth Management
  • Demand & Supply Manager
  • Management Accountant
  • Category and Customer Manager

Recent international executive search Assignments have included:


  • HRBP


  • Managing Director
  • Head of Finance


  • Finance Controller
  • HR Business Partner


  • Cluster Finance Director


  • Head of HORECA
  • SNAM Modern Trade


As most of the team were hired and onboarded virtually, Cesium Group was engaged to design and deliver a multi-module leadership development program (LDP) for the board and second line of management. Key areas of focus included: building management capability, authentic leadership, influencing and stakeholder management, coaching skills, and building aligned goals and shared values.

To bring alive the sessions around communication and influencing skills, we finished one of the sessions with a magician / mentalism doing mindreading. Similarly, we finished one of the sessions with the team receiving bespoke, illy branded mixology kits (that Cesium Group created) and an Espresso Martini masterclass with a world-renowned mixologist. The first ever Espresso Martini was made with illy and it’s one of our favourite drinks so we sort of couldn’t help ourselves…

We are currently designing a leadership development model, that will in part, be delivered via an immersive theatre experience for the teams to bring to life the academic learnings in an engaging and interactive way.

We have also rolled out leadership development programmes to other key European markets and hired an MD to run Iberia and a Finance Director to support the same region.