Friday 27 April 2018

GKN announces leadership shake-up after further £130m hit

The group said Kevin Cummings had left with immediate effect, with non-executive director Anne Stevens appointed interim chief executive.

FTSE 100
FTSE 100

By Holly Williams, Press Association Deputy City Editor

Engineering firm GKN has parted company with its chief executive-designate as it revealed another hit of up to £130 million in its troubled North American aerospace arm.

The group – which makes wing tips for Airbus and parts for car giants including Mercedes and Jaguar Land Rover – said Kevin Cummings had left GKN with immediate effect after it decided “the next stage of GKN’s development is best  delivered under alternative leadership”.

Current GKN boss Nigel Stein will continue as chief executive until he retires from the role on December 31.

The firm has appointed non-executive director Anne Stevens as interim chief executive from January 1, while it has launched a search to appoint a permanent successor.

The management overhaul comes as GKN said a review of its US aerospace plants has uncovered a further hit, with additional write-offs of between £80 million and £130 million.

It had previously expected to write off £15 million on its Alabama facility, relating to “revised assumptions” on programme inventory and receivables balances, which sparked a wider review across the division.

The group has now brought forward the start date of new hire Hans Buthker, formerly chief executive of Fokker Technologies, to head up GKN Aerospace immediately in light of its woes.

GKN – which is has its headquarters in Redditch, Worcestershire – said he will “work with the rest of the executive team to develop plans to improve margins and cash flow across the group”.

Last month, GKN warned that profits will only be “slightly above” 2016 after it disclosed a £40 million hit linked to legal claims and the Alabama writedown.

It is also reportedly looking at a radical break-up plan to split its aerospace and automotive businesses and create two FTSE 100 companies.

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