Menzies chief resigns; two MDs appointed

Jeremy Stafford

Edinburgh-based aviation logistics and news distribution company John Menzies said on Wednesday its chief executive Jeremy Stafford had resigned for personal reasons after 15 months in the job.

Menzies also said it had appointed a managing director for its aviation business and an interim managing director for its distribution division.

Menzies shares rose about 4%.

The company has been under pressure to split in two from some shareholders who believe its aviation services and distribution divisions would be worth more as separate businesses.

Menzies said on Wednesday its board  “will continue to review its strategic and organisational options to enhance shareholder value.”

Menzies said that Forsyth Black, previously managing director of Menzies Distribution, had been appointed managing director of Menzies Aviation and will join the board of the company.

Black has been with the group for over 16 years.

Mark Cassie, currently distribution operations director, has been appointed as interim managing director of Menzies Distribution. Cassie joined Menzies Group in 1984.

Iain Napier, chairman of John Menzies, said: “I am delighted to welcome Forsyth to the board with his extensive and relevant experience which we are confident will drive forward the implementation of our existing aviation strategy.

“I also look forward to working closely with Mark Cassie as he continues to develop our distribution business into the e-commerce fulfilment market.

“The board wishes Jeremy Stafford well for the future.”

In November,  Menzies warned shareholders it expected full year earnings to be £2 million below previous expectations due partly to issues with a handling contract at London Gatwick.

Menzies also provided a trading update on Wednesday. It said that trading “continued to be in line with our forecasts and the board remains confident of meeting expectations for the full year ended 31 December 2015.”

It said that Menzies Aviation had “satisfactorily concluded” contractual negotiations with its major customer at Gatwick.

Menzies will announce its preliminary results on March 8, 2016.