international Interim Manager

Jonathan selby

jonathan selby


Jonathan Selby has been an interim manager since 2007 and  has completed assignments in the UK, Italy, USA and China. He is particularly skilled at managing “growth and transformation” projects whilst sustaining operational efficiency.

His competencies are in general management, operations, design engineering, project management and quality assurance.

He comes from a technical background in the Aerospace  Industry and has since widened his experience in other business to business sectors (electronics, contract manufacturing, semiconductors, industrial machinery and automation).

These were typical client briefs for his past projects:

  • “Make our company in China profitable in a year or close it”.

  • “Recover the poor quality, design issues and delays at our Italian automation supplier, or we must change our corporate strategy”.

  • “Reduce the order backlog and relocate the US plant, we must increase capacity to meet market demand”.

Jonathan Selby has often been the “cultural bridge” between  Italian medium-sized companies and private equities and corporations.  He is a British national, actually resident in Italy and a native Italian and English speaker.

Functional Experience


Sector EXperience

interim management

Olimpia Splendid shanghai (Air Conditioners, € 11M, 150 employees)

General Manager (Interim) - 14 months - Shanghai, China

This Italian company in Shanghai was in economic difficulty and had severe quality problems, it was to be closed if significant improvements were not made within the financial year. Jonathan successfully implemented an aggressive action plan and achieved the following results:

  • Slashed the cost of goods sold by 31% by qualifying production processes and drastically reducing the non-quality costs.

  • Reduced fixed costs by 10%, by HR restructuring and stores downsizing.

  • Retained key personnel and brought the staff turnover to an acceptable level of 8,2%, in comparison to a disastrous 28% at the start of the project.

  • Implemented the complete information system (ERP) in finance, purchasing, manufacturing, quality and logistics within just 5 months.

  • P&L responsibility.

Mondelez International (Automation for the Food Industry, $ 35 Billion)

Project Management Officer (Interim) - 9 months - Alba, Italy

Mondelez had a world-wide investment plan to replace traditional chocolate production lines with standardized solutions, but the first installation in Brazil suffered technical problems and delays. This put at risk the whole corporate strategy and the immediate objective was to recover the industrial plan at the Italian machinery supplier.

  • Integrated quickly with the design teams and took the lead for project management, design reviews, supplier quality and inter-company communication.

  • Reported to the Mondelez Global Program Manager and the board steering committee, escalating issues and requesting support when required.

  • Stopped technical issues leaving the supplier by successfully managing the pre-qualification and Factory Acceptance Testing of the production lines before shipment to the plants.

Bitrode Corporation, Sovema Group (Electrical Battery Test Systems for Automotive Market, 22M$, 130 employees)

General Manager (Interim) - 13 months - St. Louis, USA

The company was acquired by a private equity and merged within the Italian Sovema Group. Jonathan resolved an operations crisis that was due to problems of leadership, organization and employee motivation.

  • Implemented an emergency action plan in sales, design, purchasing and production that reduced the delivery lead-time by 3 months.

  • Eliminated production downtime due to component shortages by updatng the purchasing policy, the supplier payment terms and the MRP process.

  • Revised the workers' salary scale to a competitive level and compensated it by a 50% overtime reduction and increased productivity.

  • Strengthened the HR management and established company rules for employees (recruitment, evaluation, training, and pay scale).

  • Planned and executed the transfer to a green field manufacturing plant, increased production capacity by 80% and took sales from 16M$ to 22M$.

  • P&L responsibility

Sovema (Industrial Machinery for Lead Acid Battery Production, € 65M, 150 employees)

Project Manager (Interim) - 6 months - Verona, Italy/ China

The company had difficulty in entering the Chinese market because it’s strategic “Ball Mill” product was overpriced and over-specified. The objective was to produce at a lower cost in China without reducing product quality, reliability or customer satisfaction.

  • Prepared the business plan for the Chinese joint venture and the “lower cost” product specification.

  • Developed the supply chain in China for the critical cost drivers and visited suppliers and partners to certify the technical, quality and production capabilities (also reduced overall costs by 22%).

ELES (Semiconductor Test Equipment, € 15M, 74 employees)

Marketing Manager (Interim) - 12 months - Perugia, Italy

ELES was a family owned company specialized in advanced test solutions for semiconductor products, mainly to one key customer in Europe. It needed new products, new clients and increased penetration in the USA and Asia. Having a relevant technical background and product marketing experience enabled a quick integration with the ELES team.

  • Facilitated the “strategic thinking” entrepreneur to define the new direction for the company and prepared the strategic plan.

  • Deployed the strategic change within the company and externally to the market (new website, email campaigns, trade fairs, technical papers and presentations).

  • Organized detailed sales plans for customers/products and installed a management system for follow-up actions of the technical department.

CEBA srl (Industrial Machinery for the Steel and Oil & Gas Sectors, € 13M, 44 employees)

Technical and Operations Manager (Interim) - 12 months - Bergamo, Italy

CEBA was a successful family owned company that made burners for the Steel and Oil & Gas industries. The brief was to improve operations management, reorganize the engineering department and help the family define a succession strategy.

  • De-personalized the management of work orders, purchasing and production by introducing a master plan, control gates and action tracking.

  • Prepared purchasing contracts for the design, development and production of critical high-value components for Oil & Gas projects. These contracts were negotiated with suppliers, cost reductions were achieved and the technical risks mitigated.

  • Facilitated the innovation of the electronics and software and guided the cost reduction of standard sub-assemblies.

Intercos Group (Contract Manufacturing of Cosmetic Pencils, € 65M, 350 employees).

Technical and Industrial Director (Interim)- 12 months - Milan, Italy / Fengxian, China

  • Project managed the post-acquisition phase of a Spanish company and in particular the manufacturing transfer to China.

  • Functional responsibility for the packaging development, process automation, maintenance and efficiency improvements and project managed the development of automated production lines for cosmetic pencils.

TMDirect (Consultancy and Interim Management)

Freelance Consultant - 2007 to present - Milan, Italy

The TMDirect association was founded by Jonathan to provide interim management solutions and consultancy to small and medium-sized companies in Italy. It is focused on business developement, operations, project management, supply chain and finance.

  • In the last consultancy project (3 months in UK) he defined a recovery plan for the UK plant of an Italian tier 1 automotive company that was in an operations crisis due to poor quality, high HR turnaround, inaccurate ERP implementation, lack of technical expertise and inadequate middle management.

  • Other consultancy projects have included technical product marketing, company check-ups, reliability engineering, and specific improvements in R&D/ Operations.

We hired Jonathan as broadly experienced freelancer to build, facilitate and manage relationship turn-around with our very important supplier. Jon’s excellent interpersonal savvy skills brought transparency, fairness, and efficiency into our cooperation already within the first few weeks. This very convincing achievement drove the decision to prolong and deepen Jon’s involvement in the role of program director embedded at the supplier’s site. Jon’s contribution was one of the most important enablers to the overall long-term success of our critical global program. Well done & many thanks!
— Branislav Fintor, Global Program Manager Mondelez International

permanent employment

MEG Italia (Electronics Contract Manufacturing, € 15M, 80 employees.)

2000 / 2007 - Technical and Operations Director – Milan, Italy/Hungary/China

  • Managed the daily planning of product industrialization, materials purchasing and production to satisfy the sales and budget targets.

  • Project managed company transformations in production, test solutions, customer support, ERP implementation and quality control.

  • Transferred assembly operations to a start-up company in Hungary and production of electronic boards to China. Cost reductions greater than 25% were achieved.

GEWISS Group (Building Automation, € 300M, 1000 employees)

1998 / 2000 – R&D Manager Electronics - Bergamo, Italy

  • Managed the design team, external technical consultants and sub-contractor manufacturing.

  • Developed competitive “low cost” products for building automation and defined product test qualification guidelines for design validation.

FIAR Finmeccanica (Aerospace and defense, € 100M, 450 employees)

1994 / 1998 - Quality Manager and Total Quality Leader, Aerospace - Milan, Italy

  • Managed all aspects of quality within the design process, such as development plans, reliability analysis, design reviews, and the qualification testing of parts, materials, and processes.

  • Managed the Quality Systems (IS09001, AQAP 13, ECSS, EFQM) and reported to corporate the quality performance and planning.

FIAR Finmeccanica (Aerospace Electronic Systems, € 100M, 450 employees)

1989 / 1994 - Project Leader (European Space Agency Contracts) - Milan, Italy

  • Designed switched mode power supplies and photovoltaic power regulators. Project managed multi-disciplined teams (HW, SW, mechanics) engaged in the research, design, development and production of satellite power systems.

  • Performed reliability analysis on the projects (DFMEA, Parts Stress Analysis, MTBF, WCA six sigma design analysis).

SGS Thomson (Semi-conductors, € 1800M, 4500 employees)

1986 / 89 - Application Engineer “Power and Automotive” – Milan, Italy/ London, UK

SONY UK (Televisions and Consumer Electronics)

1982 / 84 - Production Supervisor PCB Assembly and Test – Bridgend, UK


manchester university, uk


Graduated 1986 



Graduated 1982



it skills

  • microsoft office


  • erp: axiomA (oracle)


  • Erp: ufida (chinese)

  • db: access, Crystal reports

  • crm: salesforce, ZOHO

  • web: wordpress, squarespace, WIX


Phone: 0039 3473600093
Address: milan, italy

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