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Fri April 16 2021

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Change at the top for HSS

25 Sep 15 HSS Hire Group chief executive Chris Davies has stepped down, succeeded by current chief operating officer John Gill.

John Gill is the new chief executive of HSS
John Gill is the new chief executive of HSS

Chris Davies is 61 and has been chief executive for seven years. The handover is effective immediately but Mr Davies will stay with the company until the end of the year to help with the transition.

John Gill, aged 48, joined HSS in 2009 as chief financial officer and was made COO in 2014. Before joining HSS he was finance director at Screwfix Direct and prior to that he held a number of roles at Kingfisher and GE Capital.

In a statement, the company said that there would be no change to the company's strategy of rolling out new-style local branches and developing the logistics and distribution network. HSS’s National Distribution Centre is scheduled to open in the first half of 2016.

HSS floated on the London Stock Exchange earlier this year and in the first six months of 2015 made a pre-tax loss of £14.1m (2014 H1: £11.1m loss). [See previous report here.]

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The share price has suffered:

Chairman Alan Peterson said of the new CEO: "John's record and strong leadership skills as both CFO and COO have ensured that he has been a central part of the board's thinking on succession planning for some time.   John has been closely involved in developing and implementing the group's distribution and logistics strategy and is ideally placed to lead the rebasing of our cost structure and make improvements to operating margin. I'm confident that he will make the step-up to the chief executive role quickly and effectively.”

He also paid tribute to Chris Davies, saying: "Chris has made an outstanding contribution to the development of the business since 2006 when he led the company through a change in strategy and steered it successfully through the financial crisis. He is an excellent leader of people with very strong sales and marketing skills and on behalf of the whole company I would like to thank him for his professionalism, hard work and leadership and for the clear strategic direction that he has set for the group."

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