21/05/2019 - 15:53

New CEO, chair for Sadleirs

21/05/2019 - 15:53

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New CEO, chair for Sadleirs
David Cole is a former Automotive Holdings Group general manager.

Family-owned logistics company Lionel Samson Sadleirs has recruited former Automotive Holdings Group general manager David Cole as its new chief executive, while chairman Michael Smith has given notice of his retirement after two new board appointments.

Mr Cole will replace Ian Kent, who has been chief executive since December 2015.

Announcing the appointment, Mr Smith also told Business News he plans to retire next February.

He said the group’s family shareholders had not yet confirmed their choice but he expected they would select independent director and deputy chair Eric Hooper as the new chair.

Mr Hooper has been on the LSS board since 2011. Like Mr Smith, he is a partner in consulting firm Black House.

The board also has two new directors this year, including former Wesfarmers executive Ann Robinson; she is also a director of Pioneer Credit, which is chaired by Mr Smith.

The second new director is Melbourne-based logistics expert Ingilby Dickson, who joined in March.

Lionel Samson Sadleirs traces its origins back to 1829 and is considered Australia’s second oldest family business.

Its core business is Kewdale-based logistics company Sadleirs while it also owns Sadleirs Global Logistics, Sadleirs Packaging (which has changed its name after joint venture partner Greif was bought out) and Plantagenet Wines.

Sadleirs is ranked as WA’s ninth largest trucking and logistics group in the BNiQ database, with 370 staff.

Mr Smith said the group expected to report annual revenue of $170 million this year and he praised Mr Kent for leaving the business in good shape.

“We’re now enjoying good profitability in a modern configuration for a logistics company,” he said.

“The new chief executive’s remit is to build on that and consider where we might take the business.”

Mr Smith said the group had also grown its east coast presence, helped by a major contract with Aldi.

He praised the incoming track record of Mr Cole.

“I have enjoyed working with David Cole previously during his tenure at AHG Refrigerated,” Mr Smith said.

“He was instrumental in redefining the strategic direction of the business by bringing together market leading companies in Scott’s, Rand, Harris and JAT to form one single business, which in turn saw growth in revenue from $140 million to $680 million.

“David is an exceptional leader with a proven ability to create sustainability and growth within the logistics sector.

“He is driven by commercially competitive businesses and is a strategic innovator, building teams to inspire others through collaboration, operational effectiveness and customer centricity.” 

Mr Cole’s most recent role was chief operating officer for Armaguard, part of the Melbourne-based Linfox Group.

His prior positions at AHG included general manager at Rand National Transport, and general manager at AHG Refrigerated.

He was also national sales manager at BGC Blokpave.

Mr Cole commences his new role on August 12.

Mr Smith said Mr Kent had always intended to retire this year, when he turns 65.

That gave the board an opportunity to conduct a rigorous and competitive recruitment process.

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