New CEO to take over at building products company

Sheffield-headquartered building products supplier, SIG, says Steve Francis will step down as CEO early next year, after three years in his role.

The business has confirmed Gavin Slark has agreed to join the company as Francis’s successor.

Francis will continue to provide leadership as SIG’s CEO until Slark takes up his role on 1 February 2023. Also, Francis will remain employed by SIG until 8 March 2023 and has agreed to remain available as a consultant to the company until 30 April 2023 to complete an orderly handover.

Slark 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, he held a number of roles with BSS plc including as CEO from 2006 to 2011. As previously announced by Grafton, Slark will step down from his role as Grafton’s CEO on 31 December 2022.

SIG’s 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 he will be joining us as CEO early next year.”

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 added: “SIG is a company I have followed for many years, and therefore when the opportunity arose to become its CEO, I was happy 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.”