12/01/2012 - 11:36

Forge gets new CEO and new business

12/01/2012 - 11:36


Save articles for future reference.
Forge gets new CEO and new business

Forge Group has completed its search for a new chief executive with the recruitment of a senior executive from UGL Resources on a $1 million-plus package, and by coincidence has called a trading halt ahead of the announcement of a major acquisition.

The engineering and construction contractor has recruited David Simpson, until recently the Sydney-based chief executive of UGL Resources, to take over as CEO and managing director, though the six-month notice period on his current job means he may not start until August.

Current executive chairman Peter Hutchinson will remain during the transition period, before reviewing his role. He told WA Business News the company would look to appoint a new chairman later this year, and that his future would most likely be in a non-executive capacity.

Mr Hutchinson also said the company was aiming to make an announcement tomorrow mornng on its acquisition, which would give Forge a new suite of services.

He scotched speculation the takeover may be tied to Forge's 33 per cent shareholder Clough, which itself has become the subject of takeover rumours after South Africa's Murray & Roberts said it was reviewing its majority shareholding in Clough.

Mr Simpson's remuneration package will make him one of the higher-paid chief executives in Perth, judging by WA Business News' annual CEO Salary Survey (see related article).

He has extensive experience specific to the engineering and construction sectors both in Australia and internationally.

He is currently responsible for leading UGL's Resources division with an order book of around $1 billion, servicing the mining and mineral processing, oil and gas, chemicals and petrochemicals, and industrial processing industries. 

Mr Hutchinson said that he was pleased that Mr Simpson had accepted the challenge of leading Forge through its next stage of development and growth. Forge is undergoing a period of significant expansion both geographically and into other growth sectors including LNG in Queensland.

The company's current pipeline includes over $500 million of comitted work.

"One of Mr Simpson's key priorities will be to deliver on the growth and stretch targets set by the Forge Board," Mr Hutchinson said in a statement.

"He was considered by the Board to be the most appropriate candidate to lead the company into this new era with his professional capability, experience and knowledge of the engineering and construction sectors in a listed environment, as well as a strong background in M&A."

In accepting the appointment, Mr Simpson said he was looking forward to the significant opportunities for growing shareholder value for Forge investors.

"From my extensive due diligence, Forge is on the cusp of a period of unprecedented growth and the company has a solid footing to increase shareholder returns by successfully delivering on the current work pipeline and future opportunities. I look forward to being a part of this tremendously successful organisation, " Mr Simpson said.

Mr Simpson has worked at UGL since 2006, initially as Group General Counsel, then as Chief Commercial Officer in 2009. This role saw him lead the company's Strategy, Development, M&A and Major Project teams. He has also served as a Director for most of UGL's global divisions.

Prior to joining UGL, he spent 13 years working in engineering and construction companies including Leighton Contractors, Daimler Chrysler Rail and Asea Brown Boveri (ABB).



Subscription Options