CEO appointments

There are a number of paths that lead to the position of Group CEO. The majority within the FTSE stem from effective succession planning, with the minority coming in with fresh external perspective. The three roles most likely to lead to a CEO role are; COO, CFO and Divisional CEO – each advantageous in their own right. But the one common theme across both internal and external appointments is Boards will do what they can to ensure that they are bringing on the very best person for the job.

Divisional CEO to Group CEO

All those Divisional CEOs that were appointed to Group CEO were hired after proven and extensive experience within the function. Moving from Divisional to Group CEO is a well thought-out process for the company as they know it will reassure shareholders who will already be familiar with the person and how they operate, consequently making for a smoother transition with less fluctuation of share prices. It is a natural progression that requires the same or similar skills over a bigger remit.

Carphone Warehouse
Andrew Harrison

Harrison was appointed CEO of Carphone Warehouse Group in 24 July 2013 having worked for Carphone Warehouse for 18 years. He was a member of the Board of Old Carphone Warehouse from 2006 to the formation of the joint venture with Best Buy in 2008. Harrison was responsible for Carphone Warehouse and Phone House operations within the joint venture, before being appointed Chief Executive Officer of the joint venture in 2010.

BHP Billiton
Andrew Mackenzie

Mackenzie has over 30 years of experience in the oil and gas, petrochemicals and minerals industry. He joined BHP Billiton in November 2008 as Chief Executive Non-Ferrous and commenced as CEO in May 2013. His knowledge of the industry makes him the ideal person to execute the company’s growth strategy.

Royal Bank of Scotland
Ross McEwan

McEwan has more than 25 years experience in the finance, insurance and investment industries. He joined RBS in August 2012 as Chief Executive Officer for UK Retail and became Chief Executive Officer of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group in October 2013.

Gavin Patterson

Patterson joined BT nine years ago as Group Managing Director of BT Retail’s consumer division. He was then appointed to CEO BT Retail in May 2008, joining the Group’s Board a month later. Under his leadership he drove growth in IT services and built the largest Wi-Fi network in the UK and Ireland. In September 2013 he then stepped up to Group CEO.

CFOs to CEOs

With their extensive backgrounds in finance, CFOs appear to be chosen to succeed a CEO when growth is at the heart of the business strategy or when the company has perhaps faced recent economic difficulties. The CFO is often the only other executive to sit on the Board and so when being appointed to CEO, the key advantage is that the transition should be smooth. They already understand the Boardroom’s dynamic and are known by others around the table.

Ashley Almanza

Almanza became Group CEO in June 2013. A respected executive with extensive international business experience, he joined the company during a challenging period which saw many changes. Customer focus, governance and contract management and control are now a priority.

Stephen Young

Young has an extensive background in finance and will be putting his skills to the test as he strives to push profits forward for the diversified high-tech engineering company. Ambitious in his plans for the company, Young has said he aims to see Meggitt double in size every five to six years.

Brian Cassin

Cassin was appointed as Chief Executive Officer for Experian in July 2014, succeeding Don Robert. In making this decision the Board took into consideration his exemplary performance as Chief Financial Officer over the previous two years, where he evidenced a broad range of operational competencies.

External Hires

Just over half of the newly appointed CEOs held the same title at their previous company. While two of the newly appointed CEOs had most recently been Managing Director, another was previously Executive Head. For a business, sourcing new talent from outside the company circle can have the benefit of injecting a fresh way of thinking into the firm, particularly useful if the company is looking to change direction. It also allows companies to bring in a set of skills that don’t already exist internally.

Cable & Wireless Communications
Phil Bentley

Bentley moved to Cable & Wireless from British Gas where he was Managing Director between 2007 and 2013. Bentley led the turnaround of British Gas and with a trend of declining revenue Cable & Wireless will surely be looking toward the new CEO to repeat his success with them.

Anglo American
Mark Cutifani

Prior to his appointment at Anglo American, Cutifani was CEO of AngloGold Ashanti, the South Africa-based gold producer. He led the successful restructuring and development of its business and with such a strong mining background he will be able to execute the company strategy of creating sustainable value that makes a real difference.

African Barrick Gold (ABG)
Bradley Gordon

Gordon has had a consistent career in mining and was appointed as ABG’s CEO in August 2013. He joined from his role as CEO of Intrepid Mines. Gordon has a proven ability to deliver the maximum potential from the operations he has managed, from reducing costs and increasing production to achieving operational efficiencies and extending mine lives.

Essar Energy
Sushil Maroo

Maroo took the role of CEO at Essar Energy in September 2013. Prior to this he was Deputy Managing Director and a Board Director of Jindal Steel and Power Limited. He replaced Naresh Nayyar after his decision to step down. However, Nayyar will be appointed as a member of the Essar Corporate Centre, an oversight advisory committee, and therefore will continue to have a presence in the company.

Ben Magara

Magara took his role as CEO for Lonmin in July 2013. He has 26 years of experience in the mining industry acquired through working his way up from being a miner at Anglo American. After rising through the ranks to become Head of Business Development with the company, Magara took the CEO role at Anglo Coal South Africa. Prior to joining Lonmin he was Executive Head responsible for Engineering & Projects at Anglo Platinum.

COOs to CEOs

The COO role has often been considered a ‘Deputy-CEO’ position and is frequently used as a succession post internally. Since many of these newly appointed CEOs have been with the company for a large period of their career it is clear that a thorough knowledge and understanding of the business and industry, with a proven record of generating results, is the chosen path for organisations when appointing a COO to CEO.

Capita Group
Andy Parker

Following a decade long career at Capita, Parker succeeded Paul Pindar as of March 2014. Parker was selected for his proven ability in smoothly guiding the company through its exceptional growth and performance.

Albert Manifold

Manifold assumed the role of Group CEO in January 2014, following the retirement of Myles Lee. He has been a Board member and CRH COO since January 2009 and brings a deep knowledge of the industry with him.

Travis Perkins
John Carter

Carter joined Travis Perkins in 1978. He has held position of CEO since January 2014 prior to which he was Group COO from February 2005 and Deputy CEO from January 2012.

Enterprise Inns
Simon Townsend

Townsend took the role as CEO in February 2014. He has worked for Enterprise Inns since 1999, with his most recent role being COO.

Spirax-Sarco Engineering
Nick Anderson

Townsend took the role as CEO in February 2014. He has worked for Enterprise Inns since 1999, with his most recent role being COO.