May appointments

A run down of the latest appointments in the manufacturing world throughout the month of May.

James Simester, Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering

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James Simester, Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering

The Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME) has appointed James Simester as its new technical director.

Mr Simester, who arrives from Jaguar Land Rover, will be responsible for developing new forming, joining, metrology and simulation processes at the £32m Coventry site.

He will also be charged with co-ordinating a team of industry experts and professors to work in partnership with research organisations, including the EU Commission, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Technology Strategy Board.

The long-term aim is to develop technologies that can be used to give UK industry a competitive advantage in delivering lighter, cleaner and more efficient vehicles.

Mr Simester said of his appointment: “I’m very excited about joining AME and playing a role in creating a world class R&D facility that will use the best automation, the best engineers and the best academic minds to create new production lines for fuel rails and powertrain systems.

“The initial focus will be on the automotive sector with the intention of applying the cutting edge research and advanced manufacturing and engineering capability to other sectors, such as aerospace, power generation, oil and gas and rail.”

Mark Fields, Ford

What does the future hold for Ford’s new CEO
Mark Fields, Ford

Automotive giant Ford has named Mark Fields as the successor to retiring CEO Alan Mulally, a role he’ll take up from July 1.

Mr Fields, who has held the role of chief operating officer since December 2012, has served in a variety of roles across the world over the last 25 years.

These have included posts in Europe, North America and South America, after joining the company in 1989 from fellow automotive manufacturer Mazda.

Ford chairman Bill Ford said: “Mark has transformed several of our operations around the world into much stronger businesses during his 25 years at Ford. Now, Mark is ready to lead our company into the future as CEO.”

Neil Grocock, Burton’s Biscuit Company

Neil Grocock
Neil Grocock, Burton Biscuits Company

Burton’s Biscuit Company, owner of the Maryland and Wagon Wheels brands, has announced the appointment of Neil Grocock as its new chief operating officer.

Having previously held the role of chief supply chain officer, Neil’s responsibilities in his new role will broaden to include HR and IS.

Ben Clarke, chief executive officer at Burton’s Biscuit Company, said: “This appointment recognises the highly successful transformation of all supply chain activities under Neil’s leadership since he joined us in 2010.

“I am delighted to recognise Neil’s terrific contribution to the business with this new role.”

Andrew Stark, PPMA

Andrew Stark
Andrew Stark, chief operating officer, PPMA Group

The PPMA Group has announced the appointment of Andrew Stark as its new chief operating officer.

Mr Stark, who started the role this month, comes from a sales and marketing background and has spent the last nine years in the processing and packaging industry working for Multivac across several roles.

PPMA Groupchairman, Richard Little, said: “Andrew has many years experience of the packaging machinery market, including in-depth knowledge of end users and the supply chain.”

“He will add value to the already excellent PPMA team and allow us to build on our rapid progress in developing our PPMA Show and related events, and also facilitate the introduction of new strategic initiatives such as the PPMA BEST (Business, Education, Skills and Training) programme.”

Kevin Baughan, Technology Strategy Board

Kevin Baughan
Kevin Baughan, Technology Strategy Board

The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) has appointed Kevin Baughan  as the new director of technology and innovation.

In his new role, Baughan will lead the Innovation Programmes team and will develop and deliver innovation support for accelerating the growth of UK businesses across the breadth of the thematic innovation programme.

Mr Baughan joins from Virgin Media Business, where he was responsible for the company’s technical strategy, which included guiding the company into leadership positions through the rollout of next generation broadband (DOCSIS 3.0) and TV (Tivo) platforms.

Having achieved BSc, MSc and MBA qualifications, Baughan was also an Honorary Professor from 1999 to 2008 at Birmingham University, where he advised the University’s communications research team.

Vic Azam, Pet’s Choice

Vic Azam
Vic Azam, Pet’s Choice

Pet food manufacturer Pet’s Choice has appointed Vic Azam as its national account manager as part of its team expansion.

The appointment of Mr Azam, who has experience of working within Armitage Pet Care, comes at a time which sees increased demand influencing Pets Choice’s growth plans.

He will be charged with managing and progressing key retail partnerships to aid business growth ahead of the company’s move to a new facility later in the year.

Tony Raeburn, CEO of Pets Choice said: “Vic’s wealth of experience and enthusiasm for the pet food industry will be instrumental in building our business.”

Sarah Gannon, Demica

Sarah Gannon
Sarah Gannon, Demica

Working capital solutions specialist Demica announced Sarah Gannon as its new director of business development.

Gannon will be responsible for establishing key customer relationships with financial institutions, private equity firms and large corporates across the globe, as well as developing strategic business plans to maximise sales opportunities.

With an extensive background in financing of securities, Gannon will play an active role in driving sales of the company’s consulting, advisory and processing services for trade receivables securitisation, supply chain finance and invoice discounting products.

Demica CEO Phillip Kerle said: “Sarah’s abundant experience in driving better client interactions and identifying growth opportunities, along with her background in finance, made her an ideal candidate for this role.

“Her proven track record in developing strong relationships with key clients in her previous capacities will be an invaluable asset for Demica.”