Nick Buckles has quit as chief executive of G4S and will retire from the company. It has been confirmed he will be succeeded by Ashley Almanza on 1 June.
The world’s largest security company told the City that Buckles will step down at the end of May following a string of setbacks and a recent profit warning that damaged investor confidence and saw shares slump by 13 per cent in one day.
Almanza only joined G4S as chief financial officer (CFO) at the beginning of May and has been selected to succeed Buckles following a consideration of both internal and external candidates.
Buckle’s sudden departure comes only weeks before the firm’s annual meeting. He had been under mounting pressure since G4S’s high-profile failure to fulfil its Olympic contract, an issue which saw him brought before MPs to admit a “humiliating shambles” that damaged the company’s reputation.
G4S stated the initial search which ended with Almanza being appointed CFO had been designed to look for a candidate with the experience and skills to take over the role of chief executive “as part of the group’s succession planning process”.
Almanza has previously held senior executive roles at oil and gas group BG Group, most recently as executive vice-president from 2009 to 2012. He is currently a non-executive director of Schroders and Noble Corporation and a member of the Advisory Board of Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
The current CFO said there was “enormous long-term potential” for the company as he seeks to take the business forward in conjunction with the “highly-experienced and capable management team” at G4S under his new role.
John Connolly, chairman of G4S, hailed the “massive contribution” that Buckles made to the group over a 28-year career. He is seen as instrumental in creating the G4S business group as it is known today.
“As CEO he [Buckles] led G4S in the creation of significant shareholder value following the merger of Securicor and Group 4 Falck – building the world’s leading security company,” he said.
Connolly added: “The board is extremely pleased to have attracted Ashley Almanza to the group. He brings a wealth of experience from working across international borders in complex businesses and we are confident he will provide strong strategic and operational leadership to the group.”
Stuart Curl, the group’s regional CFO for the UK, Ireland and Africa, has been appointed acting CFO while a search for Almanza’s replacement commences.
Alongside the exit of Buckles, G4S has also announced that Eddie Aston will take up the new role of chief operating officer on 8 July. The new senior role was actioned following a board review of the Olympic contract.