Janet Entwistle began her career as a barrister before moving into the legal departments of first Bowater and then British Telecom. She then moved into operations at BT and for 11 year until 2010 was managing director of its fleet management company, BT Fleet.
In 2012 she was brought in by the private equity owners of property services group Knight Square Holdings (formally Peverel) to turn the business around from administration.
Ainscough said that Robin Richardson had decided to step down. Mr Richardson joined Ainscough as chief executive in 2013 from Aggreko, where he was managing director for Northern Europe and did not always get a smooth ride. A pay dispute with crane operators resulted in industrial action earlier this year. Particularly controversial were new contracts for temporary operators with a ‘no lift, no pay’ clause, meaning that if high winds or bad weather made lifting operations unsafe, the operator had to choose to take the risk or not get paid. Under the previous ownership of the Ainscough brothers, the company had set the industry benchmark for safety management. Ainscough Crane Hire is now owned by US private equity firm Oaktree Capital Management, through a vehicle called Accord Bidco. This is the third group of investors to have ownership since Martin, Brendan and James Ainscough sold it in 2007.
Like Mr Richardson before him, Janet Entwistle is new to the crane hire industry, but said she was looking forward to it. “I am delighted to be joining Ainscough and look forward to working with the team to continue to grow and strengthen the business,” she said. “In my first few weeks I will be meeting employees, customers and key partners to understand how the business works and what we can do to make Ainscough even better.”