G4S, the international secure outsourcing group, has announced this morning that Nick Buckles will step down as CEO and retire from the company (and as a director) on 31 May 2013. Buckles will be succeeded by Ashley Almanza, who will take up the role on 1 June.
In the extensive search for the new CFO (which resulted in Almanza’s appointment to that role on 1 May this year), the Board sought candidates with the experience and capabilities which would enable them take on the CEO role as part of the group’s succession planning processes.
Following a process which considered both internal and external candidates to succeed Buckles, the Board has now appointed Almanza to the role.
Stuart Curl – the group’s regional CFO for the UK, Ireland and Africa – has been appointed acting CFO while a search for a new CFO is conducted.
G4S has also announced today that Eddie Aston will join the group on 8 July to take up the new role of chief operating officer. The creation of this new senior role is one of the actions announced by the group following the board review of the Olympic Games contract last year.
Aston joins the group from DHL where he’s currently CEO – Global Sectors.
Commenting on the changes John Connolly, chairman of G4S, said: “Nick Buckles made a massive contribution to the group over a 28-year career. As CEO he led G4S in the creation of significant shareholder value following the merger of Securicor and Group 4 Falck, in turn building the world’s leading security company. On behalf of the Board and everyone at G4S, I thank Nick and wish him the very best of luck for the future.”
Buckles was appointed to the Board of Securicor plc in 2000 before becoming its CEO in 2002. He was instrumental in creating G4S through the merger of Securicor and the security businesses of Group 4 Falck.
Buckles served as the company’s deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer from its formation in 2004 and was appointed Group CEO of G4S plc in July 2005.
Connolly continued: “The Board is extremely pleased to have attracted Ashley Almanza to the group. He brings a wealth of experience from working across international borders in complex businesses, and we’re confident he will provide strong strategic and operational leadership.”
He also stated: “We’re confident that, in introducing Eddie Aston into the new COO role, we will further strengthen our operating processes, including those in the key area of risk management. These senior management changes, together with the recently announced new Board appointments, will position the company strongly as we pursue our strategic goals.”
Speaking about his new role, Almanza added: “G4S is a great global business with enormous long term potential, and I’m looking forward to working with a highly experienced and capable management team as we take the business forward. I’m also delighted that we have strengthened the team with the appointment of Eddie Aston.”
Ashley Almanza and Eddie Aston: the career histories
Almanza joined G4S as Group CFO on 1 May 2013. He holds an MBA from the London Business School, and held a number of senior executive roles at BG Group from 1993 to 2012 (including CFO from 2002 to 2011 and executive vice-president from 2009 to 2012).
In the latter role he was accountable (during 2009 and 2010) for the strategic and operational management of BG Group’s UK, European and Central Asian businesses which had combined annual profits of around US$3 billion.
He also led a consortium of global companies through complex Government negotiations in Central Asia.
Almanza is currently a non-executive director of Schroders plc and Noble Corporation, and a member of the Advisory Board of Oxford University’s Centre for Business Taxation.
He was previously chairman of the Hundred Group of Finance Directors.
Over the last 13 years, Eddie Aston has held senior executive roles with Deutsche Post DHL including CEO of Global Sectors (responsible for improving the customer experience, building internal capabilities and driving margin improvement), CEO of Life Sciences, Healthcare and the Public Sector businesses (where he was also responsible for the NHS Supply Chain business) and a variety of managing director roles.
Prior to joining DHL, Eddie worked in a number of senior operational roles at Wincanton, Booker Cash and Carry, Tesco and Unigate.
Eddie has considerable experience and success in running large scale P&L, delivering transformational start-ups and business turnaround in a service-related industry.
Eddie will join the Executive Team which includes the regional CEOs and other senior functional directors.