Ian Stokes has returned to Knauf UK & Ireland as managing director after five years managing the Knauf Northern European region.
He replaces Ian Dean, who left last summer after 20 years with Knauf to join the block paving and landscaping materials producer Marshalls as director of emerging businesses.
Ian Stokes has worked for Knauf since 1995, joining the marketing team initially and progressing through commercial roles before being appointed managing director in 2010. His transition back into the UK business has been gradual, the gypsum board producer said, and it expects his international experience to prove a benefit.
“I have always felt frustrated at how slow UK construction has been to change,” Ian Stokes said. “But now there is a whirlpool of challenges that I think will force radical innovation; some are entirely beyond our control, others could have been anticipated.
“As an industry we have been slow to accept that the sheer volume of housing demand requires a radical re-think in the way we build. We have chosen to ignore the warning signs of an aging workforce in our sector and the challenges of leaving the European Union and we have had to watch the failings of our industry being ruthlessly exposed in the aftermath of the Grenfell tragedy.
“Change is finally inescapable. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to radically re-think the way we do things and that represents an exciting challenge for Knauf as a business and for the whole construction sector.”