Sheffield’s SIG hires Grafton’s Gavin Slark as CEO

SIG plc, the Sheffield-based international building materials supplier, announced that “following its successful turnaround and return to profitability” Steve Francis will step down as CEO early next year after three years in the role.

SIG said outgoing Grafton Group CEO Gavin Slark will join SIG as Francis’ successor.

Slark will join SIG on a base salary of £675,000 plus an allowance in lieu of pension contribution of 5%.

SIG shares rose about 4%.

“Steve will continue to provide committed leadership as SIG’s CEO until Gavin takes up his role on 1 February 2023,” said SIG.

“Steve will remain employed by SIG until 8 March 2023 and he has agreed to remain available as a consultant to the company until 30 April 2023 to complete an orderly handover to Gavin.

“Gavin has a long track record of success in the pan-European construction distribution industry, having been CEO of Grafton Group plc for 11 years.

“Prior to Grafton, Gavin held a number of roles with BSS plc including as CEO from 2006 to 2011.

“As previously announced by Grafton, Gavin will step down from his role as Grafton’s CEO on 31 December 2022.”

SIG chairman Andrew Allner said: “Steve joined SIG in February 2020 at a time of huge uncertainty for the company.

“It is to his tremendous credit that Steve not only steadied the ship but went on to lead SIG out of turnaround and delivered a return to growth.

“It has been a pleasure to work with Steve, including in the decisions regarding the timing of this leadership transition.

“The board wishes to publicly recognise Steve’s significant contribution to SIG and to record its thanks to him.

“Gavin’s proven track-record of delivering shareholder value in our industry made him the stand-out candidate to succeed Steve, and the board is delighted that he will be joining us as CEO early next year.

“We look forward to working with him to continue SIG’s growth and development.”

Francis said: “I am proud that I will leave SIG as a growing and successful business.

“It is in a far stronger financial and operational position than it was when I joined early in 2020.

“I would like to thank my colleagues across the business, from the boardroom to our branches and warehouses, for their dedication and commitment during my tenure.

“I am very pleased that Gavin will be my successor, he is an ideal person to carry forward the company’s momentum and to build SIG for the future.”

Slark said: “Following the announcement that I would be stepping down from Grafton, I had anticipated a period without an executive role.

“However, SIG is a company I have followed for many years, and therefore when the opportunity arose to become its CEO, I was delighted to put my name forward.

“I was very pleased to see the progress SIG has made under Steve’s leadership and I look forward to continuing this journey.

“I am hugely enthusiastic to be taking up the role as SIG’s CEO and am excited by the opportunities for the business in the years to come.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.