Former Ford Boss To Steer GUD Holdings

GUD, the Sydney based diversified manufacturer lost a CEO yesterday, gained a replacement and settled on a $20 million dollar expansion into the aftermarket for car parts. The company announced yesterday that the CEO of the past five years, Jonathan Ling had resigned as CEO and will be leaving the Company at the end of September 2018.

The company paid tribute to Mr Ling who started as CEO back in mid 2013, saying he had led "the transformation of the Company from a diversified group of companies with many product lines and brands across a broad portfolio to a company focused primarily on automotive aftermarket and water products, as well as introducing programs at executive level to further drive the focus on safety, innovation and high- performance.”

"Jonathan indicated his broader and longer term personal plans to the Board earlier in the year; giving the Board the opportunity to engage an executive recruitment firm to undertake an extensive search to identify and select his successor from a high-quality field of potential internal and external candidates,” director said.

As a result the Board revealed the appointment of Mr Graeme Whickman to the role of Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer with effect from October 1 2018.

"Graeme is the former president and chief executive officer of Ford Australia and New Zealand, a position he has held since 2015. Ford Australia has annual revenues of around $4 billion and Graeme has led Ford’s transformation resulting in a world-class marketing and sales organization serving the wants and needs of customers in Australia,” directors said.

His career with Ford spans over 20 years including numerous senior executive roles in Australia, Asia Pacific, Europe and North America, and he has served on industry bodies, here and overseas.

Chairman, Mark Smith said in yesterday’s statement “The Board is delighted with the appointment of Graeme. He has had an outstanding career at Ford, and is a well-qualified and capable successor to Jonathan. Graeme is a global executive with a deep knowledge and understanding of the automotive industry and its customers, the challenges it faces and the opportunities that it offers”.

Mr Smith added that “The Board thanks Jonathan Ling for his excellent contribution to GUD over the last five years and wishes him well in his retirement. The Board welcomes Graeme Whickman and looks forward to a successful transition and continued success in the Company’s business operations.”

Meanwhile GUD said it had completed the acquisition of Disc Brakes Australia Pty Ltd (DBA), The DBA business has an annual sales turnover of around $20 million and generates an annual EBIT of around $3 million. Consideration for the acquisition is $20 million, with a net working capital adjustment at Completion.

DBA will form part of the GUD Automotive business under the Ryco Group and, in combination with GUD’s Ryco, Goss, Wesfil, Narva and Projecta brands, will be positioned as the major independent supplier of disc brake rotors to the Australian aftermarket.

GUD shares dipped 1.5% to $13.95.

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

View more articles by Glenn Dyer →