John Menzies shock as CEO Forsyth Black quits

UPDATE 2 — Edinburgh-based John Menzies plc, the global airport services firm, said on Tuesday that its CEO Forsyth Black “has decided to step down from his role …”

The latest executive upheaval at Menzies came as it reported 2018 revenue of £1.29 billion, up from £1.27 billion in 2017, and pre-tax profit of £21.6 million, up from £9.9 million.

Menzies shares fell 8%.

Menzies said chief financial officer Giles Wilson will become interim chief executive while it undertakes “a thorough process to appoint a new chief executive officer who will prioritise growing the underlying business in what is an exciting growth market.”

Menzies’ main business is now Menzies Aviation, a global provider of passenger, ramp and cargo services.

Menzies Aviation operates at 212 airports in 36 countries and employs 32,000 people.

“During his 19 years with the group, Forsyth has built strong operations including the revival of the Menzies Distribution business prior to its sale last year and the transformation over the last three years of Menzies Aviation having built a solid platform for the future,” said Menzies.

Menzies chairman Dermot Smurfit said: “We would like to thank Forsyth for his dedication to the group for the past 19 years and we wish him all the best for the future.

“Led by Giles, we are confident that the strong and experienced team we have in place will move the business forward in the short term.

“Simultaneously the board will immediately undertake a thorough search for a new CEO, both internally and externally.”