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Change at top of engineering group

Cochrane steps down as Weir Group CEO

Keith CochraneKeith Cochrane is stepping down as chief executive of Scottish engineering giant Weir Group and will be replaced by finance director Jon Stanton.

Mr Cochrane (pictured), who joined as group finance director, has served as CEO since 2009,.

He will leave the board at the end of September, and will remain on hand to assist until the end of December.

Jon Stanton, who takes over on 1 October, joined Weir in 2010 as group finance director and has worked closely with Mr Cochrane on the strategic and operational development of the business alongside providing strong financial leadership during that time.

Before joining Weir Mr Stanton was a partner at Ernst & Young, advising several large international businesses.

The announcement was accompanied with half-year figures showing the effect of the lower oil price. Pre-tax profit fell from £108 million to £82m. The company declared a standstill interim dividend of 15p per share.

Mr Cochrane said: “Our first half performance was ahead of market expectations and demonstrated the Group’s fundamental strength and resilience.”

Commenting on Mr Cochrane’s departure, Charles Berry, chairman, said: “Keith has demonstrated strong leadership over the last seven years and the substantial progress we have made during that time has been achieved through his passion, drive and determination.

“He has strengthened the group’s market position, extended our product portfolio and developed a customer-focused business model which is both robust and agile in responding to changing market conditions.

“He leaves Weir in very good shape with a clear and successful strategy, strong operational performance and an experienced and capable leadership team. We are grateful for all he has done, and when he steps down, it will be with our very best wishes.”

Mr Berry added: “Succession planning is a key task for the board and we have carefully considered the attributes we require in the new chief executive.

“Having assessed external and internal candidates, we are delighted that Jon will step up to the role.

“He has a strong track record both during his time at Weir and in his previous career and has developed a deep understanding of Weir’s culture, operations and markets.  The board is confident that Jon will be highly successful as he leads the business forward.”

Mr Cochrane said: “It has been an honour to lead Weir and I am very proud of what we have achieved in the last 10 years.

“This is a great business with great people and I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the success we have achieved. I know they will give Jon their full support as he takes the business forward. I wish him and Weir every success in the future.”

Mr Stanton said: “Weir is a special company and I am delighted to have been chosen to lead it through the next phase of its development. We have a very talented team and I am excited about working together to build on the success achieved over recent years.”

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