Glasgow-based global engineering and mining giant Weir Group said on Friday that Charles Berry will retire as chairman at the firm’s AGM in April 2022 — and that it has appointed Barbara Jeremiah as chair-designate with immediate effect.
Jeremiah, a qualified lawyer, will be the first woman to chair Weir in the group’s 150-year history.
Weir is one of Scotland’s biggest listed companies and it employs more than 11,000 people in 60 countries around the world.
“Barbara will succeed Charles as chair at the conclusion of the company’s AGM, currently scheduled for April 2022,” said Weir.
“Barbara has been Weir’s senior independent director since 2020, having joined the board in 2017.
“Her previous experience includes more than 30 years with Alcoa Inc., the global aluminium producer, where she was executive vice president, corporate development and chairman’s counsel.”
Jeremiah also previously served as the chairwoman of Boart Longyear Limited and as a non-executive director of Aggreko plc, Premier Oil and Russel Metals.
The process of choosing the new chair was led by employee engagement non-executive director Mary Jo Jacobi, who said: “After a comprehensive search and selection process the board was unanimous in viewing Barbara as the best choice for chair-designate.
“Barbara has extensive and highly relevant international executive and non-executive experience alongside a deep passion for Weir and its people.”
Jeremiah said: “It is a privilege to be appointed chair-designate of Weir as we celebrate our 150th anniversary.
“I am honoured to succeed Charles who in all respects has been an exemplary leader of our board.
“I look forward with great enthusiasm to continue working with Jon Stanton, the Weir team and the board to chart our path forward as a global leader in mining technology, creating value for all of our stakeholders”
Weir CEO Jon Stanton said: “Charles has been an outstanding chairman, providing constructive challenge and incredible support during a period of significant change for the business.
“His experience, wise counsel and commitment to the highest standards of corporate governance have been vital in Weir’s success.
“I am also delighted with the appointment of Barbara Jeremiah as chair-designate and I look forward to working with her and the rest of the board as we pursue the multi-decade growth opportunities ahead of us.”
Berry said: “It is an incredible privilege to serve as chairman of Weir, a business where my father spent much of his career and a group that I have had a life-long affection for.
“Since joining the board in 2013, and becoming chairman in 2014, Weir has successfully completed one of the biggest transformations in its history and is now ideally placed to prosper in the decades ahead, with a clear strategy and first-class leadership team.
“I am also delighted that Barbara will be succeeding me.
“She is an excellent choice for chair, and personally, having served on the Hampton-Alexander Review, it is also great to be handing the baton on to the first woman to chair Weir in the group’s 150-year history.”