Outsourcing group Mitie today said that Ruby McGregor-Smith is standing down after almost a decade as chief executive.
The firm, which last month issued a shock profit warning, said that McGregor-Smith, who has been at the helm since April 2007, will be succeeded in December by Phil Bentley, the former boss of Cable & Wireless Communications.
It has been a real honour to serve on the board of MitieRuby McGregor-Smith
“It has been a real honour to serve on the board of Mitie and in particular to hold the role of chief executive,” said McGregor-Smith, who has been a director of the company since December 2002.
“I am delighted that we are now in a position to appoint a new chief executive for Mitie and I wish Phil a successful future with the group.”
She added: “I would like to say a big thank you to everyone at Mitie who has helped make this such an extraordinary place to work, in particular my management team. Thank you also to all the people who have worked for us since I joined, and to all of our other stakeholders, especially our clients, for their support over the past decade.”
Mitie, whose string of high-profile contracts includes cleaning and maintaining the Scottish Parliament building, warned in a trading update last month that its first-half profits would be “very significantly” lower than a year ago, while revenues would be modestly down.
It said trading results would also be impacted over the full year as it was being hit by lower UK economic growth rates, changes to labour legislation, public sector budget constraints and uncertainty about how the UK will negotiate its exit from the European Union.
Bentley, who ran British Gas for seven years before joining Cable & Wireless Communications, will join Mitie as a director on 1 November and take over as chief executive on 12 December.
He said: “Ruby has done a brilliant job building Mitie into the admired industry leader it is today. Although it is a challenging time for the sector, we have a strong platform from which I am certain we can now prosper. I am really looking forward to working with my new colleagues, delivering world-class services to our customers and creating sustainable shareholder value.”
Mitie chairman Roger Matthews added: “I would like to thank Ruby for the very significant contribution she has made to Mitie over the past 14 years. Since becoming CEO, she has doubled revenue and profits, built a market-leading UK facilities management business, and been an inspiration to Mitie’s employees. I wish her every success for the future.
“I am delighted that Phil Bentley is joining Mitie. He has proven CEO experience with an excellent track record of significantly enhancing shareholder value in services businesses. I welcome him to the group and I am looking forward to working with him.”