David Woodhead steps into Chairman role after 39 years at the helm

It was announced today that Woodhead’s Managing Director of almost 40 years, David Woodhead, will step into the role of Chairman on August 1st, paving the way for a new management structure to ensure sustainability and resilience. He will be succeeded by an established leadership team, which has been developing for the past seven years.

Glenn Slater (Business Development Director) takes up the new role of Chief Visionary Officer, working alongside Teresa Westwood (HR Director), who has been appointed Managing Director.

Existing Directors, Hilary Cheshire, and Craig Pygall, will continue in their roles as Finance Director and Director accountable for operations and commercial respectively. They are joined on the board by:

– Leo Woodhead, who joined the family business two years ago after returning from ten years working in Australia. He will take up the role of Business Development Director
– Tom Woodhead, who has been working on the strategic leadership team for the past four years, and will now be taking up the role of Business Services Director.

David, who qualified as a Building Surveyor with Leicester Polytechnic and left Nottinghamshire to work in London, joined the company as Managing Director in 1979 when his father and company founder, Robert (Bob) Woodhead, passed away suddenly at the age of 60.

Leading the business through five decades of change and growth, recessions and booms, David has always focused on building a sustainable company, with the ability to grow and develop through investing in its people. In the past 39 years, he has taken the business from turning over £279,000 in 1980, to last year showing a turnover of £52.5m

David said: “I came into the business very suddenly, at a difficult time for our family, and for the company. My father had grown his business from a humble workshop in 1946, to this growing company, which he incorporated as Robert Woodhead Ltd in 1978.

“The decision to step back has not been taken overnight, it has been very much in the planning for several years. We will remain a family-run company, with our head office in the village where it all began, and still with three members of our family on the Board of Directors. I have every confidence in the Strategic Leadership Team that is now in place and in particular Teresa and Glenn’s ability to lead that team having both worked at a senior level in the business for over 10 years.

“I’m very proud to look at the business today and see what we have created. I know the coming years will see Woodhead Group continue to be a resilient business, socially responsible, with a strong vision and values, continuing to not just develop, build, manage and maintain, but create a better experience for all those we work with.”

As Teresa and Glenn start their new roles, Glenn Slater as Chief Visionary Officer, will focus on developing future strategy and vision, building strong long-term relationships and championing the core values.

He said of his appointment: “I have been privileged to work with Woodhead for a number of years now, having started my career here in 1995 and I am honoured to have been appointed to this new role. I look forward to working with our strategic leadership team on building effective strategy for sustainable growth, while ensuring the business never loses its unique sense of social responsibility and commitment to its people, our customers and the environment we work in. When you look back over Woodhead’s adventures over the past 72 years, it excites me even more to look ahead to the future of this business.”

Teresa Westwood will direct the implementation of our strategies through a robust business plan, ensuring their efficient delivery and successful outcomes. She added: “We have really big shoes to step into, but we have been working hard as a team over the past five years to develop ourselves personally, build on our strengths as a group, and focus on how to get the best out of our employees. We have a strong leadership team here at Woodhead Group, who I am really looking forward to working with to take the company into the future.

“We will continue to develop, build, manage and maintain, as we always have done, focussing on the areas where we have always shown strength, ensuring we continue to strive for the best. Our plans to further establish our regional presence across the Midlands and South Yorkshire will continue to be at the forefront of our activity, as we move into the next era of Woodhead Group.”