Change at top

Harris fills void at Vert after departure of founder and CEO Dmitriev

Phil Harris: pivotal time

Scottish engineering firm Vert Rotors has appointed a chief executive to replace founder and CEO Olly Dmitriev who left the business last October.

Phil Harris joins Edinburgh-based Vert from Glasgow medical device company Clear Surgical where he was chief executive and will continue as a non-executive director.

He replaces Mr Dmitriev, who set up the company in 2013 to develop a revolutionary new type of compressor technology.

Mr Dmitriev left “to pursue new opportunities” and five months later he established Startup Network Scotland, an association of business founders that supports independent entrepreneurs and CEOs of young Scottish businesses. His wife Elvira, who worked in health and safety at the firm, left at the same time. In April Mr Dmitriev took up the position of head of technical operations at space technology company Skyrora.

In a statement, Vert said Mr Dmitriev “achieved considerable success at Vert”, leaving the company in October 2018 to “pursue new opportunities.” He retains an interest in the company as a shareholder.

Olly Dmitriev

Olly Dmitriev: left last October

Birmingham-born Mr Harris earned a PhD in Chemistry in 1985 from Staffordshire University before joining Swiss pharmaceutical giant Ciba-Geigy. He moved in January 2000 to Ilford Imaging, a manufacturer of photographic materials, where he spent nearly five years as a programme manager in charge of restructuring across the US and Europe.

He then became chairman and managing director of Harman Technology, which was formed following the management buy-out of the UK operations of Ilford. He remained there until 2008, when he then embarked on a series of appointments heading up firms through periods of transformation.

He moved to Scotland in 2014 upon joining Bellshill-based equipment manufacturer Sphinx Medical as chief executive. He led a successful trade sale of that business in the following year.

In addition to the change in leadership, Vert has also strengthened its management team with two further key appointments. John McNeil has joined the team as sales engineer in charge of driving new business, while Vicky Thomas, formerly of Edinburgh Innovations, has been appointed marketing manager.

“This is a pivotal time in what will become the history of Vert Rotors,” Mr Harris said. “The company is in transition from a technical push to a commercial pull – our focus now is on giving the market what it wants.

“This amazing technology has already proven many people wrong who thought it simply couldn’t be achieved. I am looking forward to leading a business with such huge potential, and which is full of talented individuals all pushing to bring this incredible technology to life.”

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