Weir appoints Neilson head of $1bn Esco division

Jon Owens (left) and Andrew Neilson of Weir Group

Glasgow-based global engineering giant Weir Group said on Tuesday that after 32 years’ of service Jon Owens has chosen to retire as president of Weir’s Portland, Oregon-based ESCO division with effect from July 15, 2020. 

Owens will be succeeded by Andrew Neilson, currently regional managing director of Europe, Russia, Central Asia and North Africa for the Weir minerals division. 

Neilson will join the Weir group executive on April 1, 2020, and work with Owens during a three-month transition period. 

The 2018 acquisition of ESCO for an enterprise value of $1.3 billion was the largest in Weir’s history.

Weir describes ESCO as “the world’s leading provider of ground engaging tools for large mining machines.”

A graduate engineer, Neilson led the integration of ESCO into Weir and has held a number of senior posts in the group including director of strategy and corporate affairs and vice president of finance for Weir Minerals. 

Weir Group CEO Jon Stanton said: “I’d like to pay tribute to Jon Owens for his enormous contribution to ESCO and Weir.  

“He agreed to stay on with the business after Weir’s acquisition to ensure it was successfully integrated into the group. 

“With that mission now complete, and after more than three decades of service, he has decided to retire. 

“On behalf of everyone at Weir I would like to thank him for his hard work and wish him a happy retirement. 

“I am delighted that Jon will be succeeded by Andrew Neilson, who successfully led the ESCO integration team and brings a wealth of experience from across our business. 

“I am certain he will make a big contribution to ESCO and the group executive.”

Neilson is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde where he was awarded a Masters in Manufacturing Sciences and Engineering. 

He is also member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland. 

Before joining Weir in 2010 Neilson’s experience included a number of strategy and finance roles with Bank of Scotland, ScottishPower plc, HSBC and KPMG.