Wood appoints Richmond as chief strategy officer

Jennifer Richmond

Aberdeen-based global engineering and consulting giant John Wood Group plc said it has appointed Jennifer Richmond as chief strategy officer (CSO).

Richmond joined Wood in 2022 as executive president of strategy and development following a 19-year career at Jacobs.

“The newly created role will combine and streamline several of Wood’s corporate functions to drive progress on the company’s growth strategy and priorities,” said Wood.

Richmond will be based in Houston, Texas.

This development follows the appointments of Arvind Balan as the new CFO, Marla Storm as chief human resources officer and Michael Rasmuson as group general counsel.

Last week, Wood announced that Catherine Michel will join its board as a non-executive director on May 10, 2024, following the AGM.

Michel is currently chief technology officer of health and safety device maker Halma plc, a FTSE 100 firm.

Wood chair Roy Franklin said Michel’s appointment was “an important reflection” of Wood’s direction.

Earlier in April, Wood was urged by activist investor Sparta Capital Management — which claims to be a “significant” Wood shareholder — to either move its stock market listing from London to the US or consider a sale of the firm.

Since joining Wood, Richmond has been instrumental in the development and execution of the company’s three-year growth strategy launched at its last Capital Markets Day in November 2022. 

Wood operates in 60 countries and employs around 35,000 people.

The chief strategy officer will report to Wood CEO Ken Gilmartin, who said: “I am delighted to appoint Jennifer to the new role as Chief Strategy Officer.

“Jennifer has a strong track record of delivering transformational growth at Jacobs and has played a leading role in our strategic progress in the past 18 months.

“Jennifer’s new remit will ensure that we are laser-focused on keeping our 35,000 people safe, accelerating sustainable growth in energy and materials, enhancing the quality of our business and realising further value for our stakeholders.”

Richmond was recognised as one of the “Top 25 Execs to Watch” by Washington Exec in 2020. 

The breadth of the chief strategy officer’s remit includes safety, sustainability, corporate development, marketing & communications, IT, quality, supply chain, security and travel.