Following the personal announcement from David Leng via his Linkedin account, there has been a statement released by Customade Group via their website. It reads as follows:
After leading Customade through a successful refinancing process during the 2020 lockdown and restarting the new group David leng has announced he is stepping down as Group CEO.
David commented “As we come out of lockdown Customade Group is in good financial shape. Faced with the need for cash to restart the business after Covid, we had to restructure the business. After a huge refinancing process, when we reviewed all the options, we decided that Nimbus were the best choice to take the business forward. We restarted the business with real enthusiasm and support, and I am delighted with the progress we have made given how difficult industry supply has been in these unusual times.
We have moved factories, expanded capacity at every factory, opened new Stevenswood depots and closed some poor depots, hired new transport fleets, upgraded our IT systems, built new websites, launched new products, and improved both our quality and on time in full performance. How we measure our service performance is improving all the time. We now have a best-in-class credit control system and the business is in a good cash position.
As a result of all this hard work our customers and suppliers have remained loyal to us and we have a full order book. We are grateful to them all for their continued support.
Most importantly of all we have some very good people in place to keep up the momentum. Having successfully led the business through such an intense period of major transition, I believe that this is a natural time to hand the Chief Executive reins over. I have decided, not without regret, to step down as CEO of Customade. I will remain a shareholder and firm friend of the business and look forward to seeing it grow from the strong base it now has.
The business has very supportive shareholders in Nimbus and in the meantime, Glen Sabin will pick up the overall leadership role until a successor is appointed.”
Nimbus are the majority owners of Customade Group. They are very experienced investors in manufacturing with a strong track record in supporting management teams to build strong, market leading businesses.
Alexander de Haas, of Nimbus, commented “We are pleased with progress in the Customade Group. David leaves the business in good shape and I would like to thank David for his contribution and wish him and his family all the best for the future”.
I wrote my own analysis and opinion on the breaking news yesterday, and general overview of the journey and how we got to this point here.
There are some new nuggets of information in this statement. David confirms he will still own shares in the company, but it also confirms what we already know that Nimbus are majority shareholders.
We also find out that Glen Sabin will take charge until a full-time replacement is found. There is no indication as to who this might be at this point.
There are some additional comments in this statement that will raise eyebrows. The mention of a best-in-class credit control system will be a sore one, considering the amount that was owed by the old company to so many creditors. Then there was the mention of loyalty by their customers. You may remember the anger that arose after very tough terms were imposed on installers which left them little choice but to stay with the new company else risk no help on previous warranties.
This is the end of a long chapter in this company. Whilst this will make headlines now, attentions must turn to the future of this business and the good brands it has within it. The company needs good, solid, honest, decent leadership. Someone, or a team, that will guide it through the most difficult period the industry has had to endure for a very long time. One that will reset it on a stable foundation. One that can rebuild the bridges that were burned down. The positive here is that there is plenty of work out there in the sector, Nimbus just have to make sure they put the right people in place to help rebuild the business.
You can read the statement on the Customade website here: https://www.customade.co.uk/david-leng-steps-down-as-customade-ceo/
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