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GHD's EMEA managing director to take over as CEO

Ashley Wright will take over as chief executive officer of GHD following the retirement of Ian Shepherd on 31 March, 2016

Ashley Wright will take over as CEO of GHD at the end of March, following the retirement of Ian Shepherd.
Ashley Wright will take over as CEO of GHD at the end of March, following the retirement of Ian Shepherd.

Ashley Wright has been selected as the next chief executive officer of engineering firm, GHD.

Wright will assume take over as the company’s chief at the end of March 2015, following the retirement of incumbent CEO, Ian Shepherd.

Based in Perth, Australia, Wright is currently general manager for GHD’s Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) operations, having previously led the firm’s business in Western Australia.

Commenting on GHD’s place in the market, Wright said: “GHD is well positioned for future challenges, with more than 8,500 people across five continents. In an industry increasingly exposed to global competition and the volatility of resource prices, GHD has developed a business model that is confident, reliable, and innovative.”

GHD’s incoming CEO boasts 27 years’ industry experience across Australia, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, and the UK.

Russel Board, chairman of GHD, said: “Thanks to our long-term succession planning process, the board has been able to focus on highly experienced internal candidates in assessing potential CEOs. Ashley brings passion and energy to his leadership and is a highly strategic thinker.”

Shepherd announced his retirement after a career of more than 30 years at GHD. During the course of his tenure as CEO, the company’s annual turnover has grown from AUD0.9bn in 2008 to AUD1.6bn in 2015.

Speaking on his upcoming retirement, Shepherd said: “When I became CEO, GHD had fewer than 100 people in the USA and none at all in Canada. Today, nearly half of our revenue is generated in North America. We have also grown the proportion of our private sector clients, including multinational companies that operate assets around the world. At a time when some economies are stagnant and with commodity and energy prices trending down, having a diversified business in helping us adapt, grow, and add value for our clients.

“Our industry is constantly changing with new types of services and demands from our clients for more insights across their asset. What has not changed is our ability to grow and develop our leaders. I will leave GHD knowing it is in very capable hands,” he concluded.

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