(Alliance News) - Bodycote PLC on Wednesday said it appointed Jim Fairbairn as its future chief executive officer, set to succeed the retiring Stephen Harris

The Cheshire-based supplier of heat treatmmegents and specialist thermal processing services said Fairbairn is expected to join the company and board in March, before becoming CEO in May following an orderly transition.

Meanwhile, Harris is expected to formally step down from the board and retire from the company at Bodycote's next annual general meeting on May 31.

Bodycote said Fairbairn has "considerable" experience in managing engineering businesses, noting a career having worked at John Wood Group PLC, Clyde Bergemann Ltd, Howden Joinery Group PLC and Megger Group Ltd.

Bodycote said this included "substantial" experience as a divisional and group CEO. Fairbairn joins Bodycote having been CEO of Megger since 2017.

"The board is delighted to appoint Jim as Bodycote's next group chief executive. His track record in leading and developing specialist global industrial businesses and teams is outstanding and will enable him to contribute rapidly," said Bodycote Chair Daniel Dayan.

"His understanding of many of our processes, many of our customers, and the nature of our highly varied markets will be of enormous value. I look forward to working with Jim to drive the continuing development and growth of Bodycote."

Chief Executive Officer Stephen Harris commented: "I am confident Jim has the right skills and experience to continue to drive the company's strategy and performance over the coming years. In the meantime, I remain focused on the initiatives we have in place to develop and solidify Bodycote's leadership position in its chosen markets."

Shares in Bodycote were down 0.7% to 597.50 pence each in London on Wednesday morning.

By Greg Rosenvinge, Alliance News reporter

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