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Executive Team and Board, Olympic Delivery Authority

On the winning bid for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Rockpools, led by our Managing Director Balvinder Sangha, was immediately engaged as the sole consultants to recruit the entire top team of the Olympic Delivery Authority.  Rockpools undertook the international search for the leaders who would deliver the venue, infrastructure, and facilities for the Olympic Park, a mega-project with a value of circa £9.2 billion.  Our clients and stakeholders were the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and Greater London Authority.

The ODA, had a key role as a strategic commissioning body, acting as the 'Intelligent Client' to plan, procure, assess, and effectively manage the delivery of a major infrastructure programme and contractors.  Our relevant expertise in partnering the recruitment of leaders who will shift focus from advisory to delivery is second to none.  Rockpools has considerable insight into how to identify diverse, credible talent and how to put balanced teams together.

The scope of the combined recruitment campaign for the ODA included: 

  • Chair
  • Deputy Chair
  • Board Members
  • Chief Executive
  • Executive Director of Transport; Executive Director of Planning & Design; Executive Director of Property; Executive Director of Construction; Executive Director of Utilities & Infrastructure; Executive Director of Communications

The recruitment campaign was truly international, identifying world-class people with proven track records in a range of key areas including: mega-projects; sustainability and environment; accessibility and diversity; construction; property; regeneration; design; finance; marketing and communications; transport; utilities; infrastructure; planning; human resources; programme management and procurement.

The Olympic Park represents one of the largest construction programmes in Europe and our search was international; whilst all five candidates on the CEO shortlist came from search, three were originated from international search and had delivered global mega-projects valued in the region of £5bn – £21bn.  Our CEO candidates had a track record in major infrastructure and transport projects, including the ‘Boston Dig’, Ground Zero and T5.

The following were unsolicited comments made by our clients:

'With one year to go to the Olympics it's worth marking the fact that Balvinder Sangha recruited the Olympic top team - executives and Board members - who built the venues to time and (revised) budget.  The Olympic Delivery Authority Board included world-class figures like Sir John Armitt, Sir Peter Mason, Chris Garnett, Tony Ball, Sir Nick Serota, Baroness Sally Morgan and Sir Roy McNulty.  Balvinder also recruited Sir David Higgins who has gone on to head National Rail.  All this was done against breakneck deadlines and is a great tribute to Balvinder.'

Andrew Lean, Director, Department of Culture, Media and Sport.  July 2011).


'…notable is the excellent recruitment policy being used to bring on board senior management.  The recruitment has taken some time, but it has been time well invested, and we see that reflected in the work being done.'

Denis Oswald, Chairman of the IOC


'Balvinder has been a great supporter and fantastic help to me in the Olympic Delivery Authority.  He has a real knack of spotting talent and pulling together a great team of professionals.  This was certainly the key differential in building the ODA into such a high performing organisation right from day one.'

Alison Nimmo, Director of Regeneration & Design Olympic Delivery Authority.


The then Permanent Secretary, Sue Street, also commended Rockpools for our efforts in: '…putting forward a world-class team to deliver a world class project under very tight timescales and under unparalleled scrutiny.'

In addition to the executive and Board search campaigns, Rockpools also seconded a team into the ODA to support the recruitment of over 100 professionals and Heads of Service.  This design and development phase, establishing the organisation and putting together a high performing team, involved a close working relationship between the Chief Executive, Sir David Higgins, and Balvinder

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