Datacenter People Launches Executive Search Subsidiary

  • May 16, 2019

Datacenter People, the #1 recruitment firm to the datacenter industry worldwide has established a new London-based subsidiary – Portman Partners – to focus on Executive Search, Consulting & Advisory and Interim Executive assignments.

Datacenter People is pleased to announce the formation of Executive Search subsidiary, Portman Partners, to focus on “C-level”, leadership and senior executive roles within the datacenter industry worldwide.

Datacenter People was formed in 2010 as the first Talent Acquisition firm to focus on the data center industry worldwide. Since formation the company has risen to become the #1 talent search firm, working with the leading clients in the Internet and Cloud Infrastructure sector, from hyperscale operators to regional colos, designers, builders and plant & equipment manufacturers around the world, providing talent with skills ranging from executive management, sales, engineering, software and operations.

Datacenter People’s founder, Peter Hannaford has been involved with datacenters for over 40 years, from computer operations through programming and systems development, to starting his own company Waterfields in 1989, which became one of the biggest datacenter design & build companies in Europe before being sold in 2001.

His next venture was to found Tecnikon, which designed and patented the first water-cooled server rack with an integrated vertical cooling coil specifically for high-density computing. Tecnikon was acquired by APC in June 2003.

At APC Peter helped develop Tecnikon’s innovative cooling solution into one of APC’s most successful product lines, envied and imitated by a large number of competitors. APC was itself acquired by Schneider Electric in February 2007, and Peter move to Schneider where he was made Vice President of Datacenters and Alliances.

As APC became more and more integrated into the Schneider organisation, Peter’s entrepreneurial instincts resurfaced and he left in September 2010 to form Datacenter People to offer specialist recruitment services and consulting to the datacenter industry.

Datacenter People is now the leading talent sourcing firm servicing the datacenter sector worldwide, headquartered in London but with subsidiaries in Singapore, Tampa and Dublin. A regular
speaker at conferences and events around the world, Peter was named as one of 50 most influential people in the industry by Data Economy in 2017.

Peter has now decided to move over to Portman to focus on leadership positions and has handed over the managerial reins of Datacenter People to Steve Brown, who joined the company in 2012. Steve has over 35 years’ experience in technology and telecoms executive search and recruitment.

Before joining Datacenter People he founded and was Managing Director of his own multi-office IT recruitment company for 20 years. That was preceded by a stint as Sales Director for a mid-sized London based IT recruitment company, having started his recruiting career working for two of the largest European IT recruiters.

“This is a new chapter in the growth of the firm” said Peter. “We’re well established and have built a loyal following from our clients with whom we enjoy repeat and regular business. Our work has brought us into contact with many of the leaders in our industry who now form part of our extensive global network.

“Finding the ideal candidate to fill a vacancy on an executive board, in a senior team or for a  specialist position requires the services of a consultancy with an intimate inside knowledge of the  datacenter industry and the digital economy that it supports. Recruiting for C-Level executive and leadership positions requires a different approach to traditional recruiting.

“Discrete and confidential discussions on both sides.And whilst clients may decide to look outside the industry to bring in new ideas, our intimate knowledge of the datacenter and associated landscapes can ensure that the right senior executive with appropriate skills qualities can be rapidly found to effectively manage the tasks in hand.

“Our clients have told us that traditional Executive Search firms just don’t understand the special nature of our sector” said Peter.

“So we’re hoping that this new focus will continue to deliver the same level of personal service at board level, be it permanent hires or the provision of consulting,  advisory, non-executive directors or simply the provision of Interim Executives – very experienced and highly qualified senior executives for full-time assignments for fixed terms, typically between six and twelve months, and at short notice, to provide cover during mergers and acquisitions, business transformations or crisis management”

“I will remain Chairman of Datacenter People and will continue to work with clients with whom I have a personal relationship. Steve Brown will also be available to work on Portman assignments as needed”.

“We are confident that this re-alignment of Group services can only result in improved delivery of appropriate talent to the the industry at all levels”.