HR Owen chief executive Nick Lancaster has left the company, according to a brief statement issued by the listed group this morning (6 May).
The statement said a search for a successor has begun and Jon Walden, currently non-executive chairman, will take on the role of executive chairman. Walden has extensive experience within the automotive sector having formerly been managing director of both Lex Retail Group and Lex Vehicle Leasing, and a former executive director of RAC.
Walden joined the group in December 2009 and announced a far reaching “strategic review” in March this year when he said the business needed to “develop and execute a strategy for profitable growth if it is to sustain itself as a public company”.
“Nick Lancaster has been with the company for many years and has made a significant contribution to its development,” said Walden.
“On behalf of the board I would like to both thank him and wish him all the best for the future.”
Lancaster has led the London-based group since 1994 when his company, Malaya Group, bought the business for £14m. More recently he downsized the group by selling its Volkswagen, BMW and Volvo sites to concentrate on luxury brands. He retains a 20 per cent stake in the company.
HR Owen recently reported increased profits for 2009 of £6.2m (2008: £1.4m) on reduced turnover of £125.4m (2008: £144.5 m).