Martin Hellawell to step down as Softcat CEO, becoming chairman
Softcat announced on Wednesday that Martin Hellawell had decided to step down as chief executive officer once a successor is in place, at which point the board intended to appoint him to take over as non-executive chairman.
The FTSE 250 company said Brian Wallace, currently the non-executive chairman, would then retire from the Board.
A search for the new chief executive officer would be led by Brian Wallace and Lee Ginsberg, senior independent director.
Softcat said the decision to appoint Hellawell as non-executive chairman had been discussed with a number of the company's largest shareholders, and reflected the board's “strong view” that, in addition to the leadership role Hellawell had played in driving the business forward, he also enjoyed an “outstanding reputation” in the sector and had well developed relationships built over many years.
As such, the board said it was in the interest of the company and its shareholders to continue to benefit from those attributes going forward.
“It has been a great pleasure for me to have led Softcat for the past 11 years,” Martin Hellawell said.
“It has been an intense period and it is my sincere belief that it is now the right time to step down and for the board to appoint a new leader to the business, one with fresh energy and approaches to capitalise on the fantastic opportunities ahead of us.”
Hellawell said the business was in “robust shape” and had great people, a unique business and a highly motivated corporate culture that celebrated success and drove growth.
“We reported a strong first half earlier this year and have confirmed this morning that the business continued to trade well in the third quarter.
“I am delighted that the intention is for me to continue being part of the organisation in the role of non-executive chairman.”
Brian Wallace said it had been a “privilege” to have been on the board of the “hugely positive, vibrant and successful” company since 2013.
“Following Martin's decision to step down as chief executive officer, and having chaired the company through its highly successful IPO and first two years as a plc, I strongly believe that the appointment in due course of Martin Hellawell as non-executive chairman is in the best interests of the company, its employees, shareholders and other stakeholders.”
At the same time, Softcat updated the market on its third quarter trading to 30 April, saying it continued to trade well during the period, in line with management's expectations, with customer demand “robust” and costs well-managed during the period.
“The board remains confident that the company will deliver a strong result for the full year,” it said in its statement.