On Monday, the Group reported strong results for FY17, with excellent earnings visibility and the full statement can be found on the website.
It is, however, with regret that Mark Watkin Jones has notified the Board of his intention to stand down as the Group’s Chief Executive Officer once a suitable successor has been appointed, following an orderly handover period. For personal reasons, Mark is not able to undertake a full time executive role over the longer term and he and the Board believe that it is in the Group’s best interests to recruit a successor.
The Board will initiate a formal search process to identify a new Chief Executive Officer. The Board is keen to retain the benefit of Mark’s valuable knowledge and experience and the intention is that, following the transition the Board will look at how this might be achieved including the option of him becoming a Non-Executive Director of Watkin Jones.
After 15 years at the helm, the Board understands Mark’s desire to relinquish the Chief Executive Officer position and the associated demands of this role. Mark has played a pivotal part in shaping the Watkin Jones strategy and success. Under Mark’s leadership, Watkin Jones has gone through a transformational period, a key part of which has been the establishment and development of a strong senior management team who have increasingly taken on the day to day responsibility for the running of the business and who are capable of supporting the Group’s long-term growth aspirations. The Board will be seeking a successor to Mark who can build on this platform and maintain the Group’s track record of profitable, cash generative growth.
The Board would like to thank Mark for his enormous contribution and is also delighted that he has indicated a willingness to continue to support his successor and the business going forward.
Watkin Jones have delivered another impressive set of results demonstrating our ability to continue the strong momentum established during our first year on the AIM market. Mark believes that Watkin Jones is in the strongest position that it has ever been in, with an extremely capable management team committed to the future success of the business.
Making this change now allows Mark’s successor a great opportunity to have time to really get to know the Company, for the benefit of the business in the longer term.
Mark is, and will be, fully committed to the Company and its success during the search process to identify a new Chief Executive and for a measured and necessary transition period post appointment.
Why Announce Now?
Watkin Jones have excellent visibility on our revenues and earnings and it is a good and sensible time to be dealing with succession. Succession needs to be dealt with and we pride ourselves on being open and transparent with our shareholders and colleagues and Mark believes that our transparency puts us in a position of strength. By being open it allows us to seek the most appropriate successor and keeps our shareholders and colleagues fully informed of what is happening in the business.