– UK, London – Bunzl plc, the international distribution and outsourcing Group, today announces that after more than 10 years in the role Michael Roney has decided to retire as Chief Executive of the Company. He will stand down from his position and the Board following the conclusion of Bunzl’s Annual General Meeting to be held on 20 April 2016 and will be succeeded by Frank van Zanten who is currently the Managing Director of Bunzl’s Continental Europe business area. Mr van Zanten will join the Board on 1 February 2016 and assume his new role upon Mr Roney’s retirement.
Michael Roney, aged 61, was appointed to the Board in 2003 as a non-executive director before taking up the position of Chief Executive in 2005. Frank van Zanten, aged 48, first joined the Group in 1994 when Bunzl acquired his family owned business in the Netherlands where he was General Manager and he subsequently assumed responsibility for a number of businesses in other countries. In 2002 he became Chief Executive Officer of PontMeyer NV, a listed company in the Netherlands, before re-joining Bunzl as the Managing Director of the Continental Europe business area in 2005. Since that time Mr van Zanten has overseen substantial growth in both the size and profitability of the business area, with revenue of €450 million in 2004 rising to €1.4 billion in 2014, a compound annual growth rate of 12%, and adjusted operating profit increasing from €30 million to €128 million over the same period, a compound annual growth rate of 16%. Mr van Zanten has been a non-executive director of Grafton Group plc, a FTSE 250 company based in Dublin with annual revenue of more than £2 billion, since 2013.
Commenting on the change, Philip Rogerson, Chairman of Bunzl, said: “I would like to thank Mike for his outstanding contribution to Bunzl. Under his careful stewardship the Group has gone from strength to strength and grown significantly with sustained increases in the Company’s earnings, dividends and share price. Mike will leave the Board with our very best wishes and our sincere thanks and appreciation for everything he has achieved.
We carried out an extensive search and selection process to identify Mike’s successor overseen by a sub-committee of the Board with the assistance of an executive search firm. A number of both internal and external candidates were considered following which the Nomination Committee made a unanimous recommendation to the Board that Frank be appointed as the Company’s new Chief Executive. Frank has extensive knowledge and experience of our business gained over many years and has a successful track record of implementing the Company’s long-standing strategy for developing and expanding the Group both organically and by acquisition. His appointment will provide continuity for the business as well as its customers and employees going forward.”
Michael Roney said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of this great company and I will be sorry to leave Bunzl after 13 years on the Board but feel that the time is now right to move on. I am very pleased that Frank has been chosen to take over from me as Chief Executive. His excellent leadership has been instrumental in the successful growth and development of the Continental Europe business area over the last 10 years and he has both the right skills and relevant experience to lead Bunzl through the next stage of its development. Finally, I would like to thank all of our employees worldwide for their relentless hard work and commitment without which we would not have achieved our success over many years.”
Frank van Zanten said: “I am delighted to be taking on my new role to lead Bunzl. The Group has a well-established and successful business model which underpins the Group’s consistent and proven strategy to grow and develop. I look forward to continuing the ongoing implementation of this strategy with a view to delivering further profitable growth and long term shareholder value.”
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