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TOP NEWS: Travis Perkins hires new CEO plus DS Smith head as chair

10th Jul 2024 10:19

(Alliance News) - Travis Perkins PLC on Wednesday announced the appointment of Pete Redfern as its new chief executive officer, and Geoff Drabble as chair designate.

The Northampton, England-based builders' merchant has appointed Drabble with effect from October 1, and said he will officially take up the chair position as soon as his capacity allows.

Drabble is currently the chair of Wokingham, England-based heating and plumbing products distributor Ferguson PLC, and of London-based packaging company DS Smith PLC.

Travis Perkins noted that his experience also includes being a non-executive director and later the senior independent director of Howden Joinery Group PLC from 2015 to 2023; and serving as group CEO of FTSE 100-listed equipment hire firm Ashtead Group PLC from 2006 to 2015.

"I am delighted to be joining the we look to create a simpler, more efficient, customer-centric business, focused on maximising its inherent strengths," Drabble commented. "I am excited by the opportunity to contribute towards returning the business to growth and to create a pathway to improving profitability and creating significant shareholder value."

Travis Perkins also named Pete Redfern as CEO, with effect from September 16 when current CEO Nick Roberts will step down.

Redfern has been the managing director of his consultancy Pete Redfern Advisory Ltd, which serves the property, housebuilding, construction and building materials sectors, since late 2022.

He was previously CEO of Buckinghamshire, England-based housebuilder Taylor Wimpey PLC for over 14 years until May 2022. He "oversaw the transformation of the company into one of the largest housebuilders in the UK, and its elevation to the FTSE 100...building a strong financial position after the global financial crisis, refocusing the company on its UK operations and delivering a strategy that created significant shareholder value through a focus on organic growth", Travis Perkins noted.

Redfern also spent nine years on Travis Perkins' board as a non-executive director until September 2023.

"He has demonstrated his skills in managing costs, margins and cash generation, complemented by a rigorous approach to capital allocation," commented Interim Chair Jez Maiden, adding: "Pete joins at an important time for the group as we focus on improving profitability and enhancing cash generation, as well as accelerating changes to our operating model to create a simpler, more efficient business.

"I am confident that, together with Duncan Cooper, chief financial officer, the executive leadership team will accelerate the ongoing transformation of the group and deliver strong shareholder returns."

Shares in Travis Perkins rose 6.1% to 850.00 pence in London on Wednesday morning.

By Emma Curzon, Alliance News reporter

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