Chief Operations Officer

Bothell, WA 98011

Industry: C-Level Job Number: 239

Job Description

We have successfully completed this engagement. 
You can’ t spell “ cool” without COO.

It’ s a bit ironic, I suppose, to invoke the word “ cool” about a water-heater company that, by definition, thrives on making things (water, namely) less cool.

But check out this logo:

Never in the history of Peckman Search Partners position announcements have we included a company’ s logo in the text. But Fast Water Heater had this little work of art at the top of its posting for the job that I’ ll ultimately get around to telling you about, and I wish to offer my (unironic) praises.

I mean, look at it: The logo depicts – no mistake about it – a fast water heater. The churning legs. The pumping arms. The blur. And it’ s a water heater! A fast water heater, yet not one so distracted by its exertions that it can’ t flash us an easy sidelong grin under those baby-blue eyes, easily the most evocative pair of peepers I’ ve ever seen on a major appliance.

What I love so much about this is the absolute literalness of the imagery, to say nothing of the retro ambiance of it all. Those quotation marks around “ The Water Heater Experts” – so bonus. This is a company whose brand is totally straightforward and self-explanatory: the logo, the name, the whole shebang.

And in an economy full of businesses selling “ solutions” that take a half-hour to kinda sorta explain, with company names that sound like they came out of a late-night drinking contest between Homer and Dr. Seuss, the sheer clarity of this outfit is downright bracing. You immediately know what they’ re about – and it’ s clear they do too.

Who wouldn’ t want to help run a company like this? Well, guess what – Bothell-based FWH is looking for a COO who would lead the enterprise in concert with the CEO.

This company is growing, and they’ re looking for someone with M&A experience as well as operational expertise and a very strong command of the financial side – you could almost look at this role as a COO/CFO hybrid, responsible for all accounting, financial, and operational activities of the organization.

Not surprisingly, Fast Water Heaters is looking for an MBA – or a master’ s degree in accounting, financial analysis, or a related field. A CPA with deep understanding of GAAP accounting principles is preferred. In addition, they’ d love to see 15+ years of senior business leadership experience, ideally in route-based services such as plumbing, HVAC, construction, or municipal/utility service.

This position directly supervises up to 10 employees, and has ultimate responsibility for a wide range of business functions, including (but not limited to) purchasing, inventory management, warehouse management, facilities, fleet management, and IT.

If you’ re a really talented executive interested in working for a company that’ s all about keeping it real, get in touch.

PS From PSP: Here in the hyper-dynamic Seattle area, the emergence of new skyscraper normally doesn’ t attract much notice anymore, but the Rainier Square project downtown has recently begun to look like exactly what it’ s going to be – the second-tallest building in the entire metro area, after the Columbia Center.

It’ s still under construction, but its top is now clearly visible over its neighboring structures, and its striking, glassy skin has begun to appear on the lower floors. Originally, Amazon was going to take up office space there – it will be interesting to see who goes in there now (and the effect on commercial real-estate values), as well as who’ s going to be roosting in the super-luxurious residential units on the topmost floors. (Hint – not me.) ###


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Gina Peckman

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