Northern Bear makes big board changes

Newcastle-based building services group Northern Bear plc has announced changes to its board, with John Davies, 57, becoming group chief executive officer on April 1, and group operations director Keith Soulsby retiring as a director on March 31.

Northern Bear also announced the reappointment, with immediate effect, of Steve Roberts, 57, as an executive director of the company.

“Keith Soulsby, group operations Director, has notified the board of his decision to retire and accordingly will be ceasing his role with the company and retiring as a Director with effect from 31 March 2024,” said Northern Bear.

“Keith has enjoyed a long and successful career in the construction industry, having founded Wensley Roofing Limited and built it into an established, well regarded roofing contractor in the North East of England.

“Wensley Roofing was one of the four companies that were amalgamated to form the initial Northern Bear Group upon admission to AIM in 2006.

“Keith has been a board member of the company for the majority of the subsequent period. He has made a huge contribution to the group’s success and has been a trusted and valued colleague to everyone at Northern Bear.

“Keith has overseen the group’s commercial and operational activities since March 2020 and has helped to steer the group through some major challenges since then, including the COVID-19 pandemic and related labour and supply chain issues.

“Keith retires with the best wishes from all of his colleagues, and we wish him and his family every success and happiness in his retirement …

“The board is pleased to announce the appointment of John Davies as an executive director of the company with immediate effect.

“John was appointed as managing director of Arcas Building Solutions Limited in June 2023, and has since made significant operational and commercial improvements to that business.

“John has had an illustrious career in the construction industry and held senior positions as managing director of Meldrum Group and chief operating officer of Esh Group, at which he oversaw substantial profitable growth.

“The ultimate aim when John was recruited was to provide succession for Keith Soulsby, and John has operated as part of the group’s senior management team in recent months.

“John will become group chief executive officer with effect from 1 April 2024. We would like to welcome John to the board, and all look forward to working with him. In the short term, John will also continue to oversee operations at Arcas …

“The board is also pleased to announce the reappointment, with immediate effect, of Steve Roberts as an executive director of the company.

“Upon standing down as executive chairman in August 2021, Steve remained part of the group’s operational management team and a director of all subsidiary companies.

“Steve has also been involved with the group since inception and has served as both group finance director and executive chairman.

“Given his vast experience of the group and its employees, Steve will provide valuable continuity to the board and support John as he transitions to his role as group CEO.”