Phil Bentley set to succeed Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE as CEO at Mitie Group plc

Phil Bentley

Phil Bentley

Mitie Group plc, the facilities management company, has provided an update on its CEO succession plans. Late last year, at the request of current CEO Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE, the Board commenced a detailed review of its succession plan for the role of CEO. External advisors were appointed to support this detailed process, in turn assessing a range of both internal and external candidates.

The Board is now in a position to confirm that, on 12 December this year, McGregor-Smith will step down as a director and CEO of Mitie and also relinquish her role on the Board . The company has just appointed Phil Bentley to succeed McGregor-Smith as CEO. Bentley will join as a director of Mitie on 1 November, and assume the role of CEO on 12 December. McGregor-Smith will work closely with Bentley to ensure an effective transition period for clients, employees, investors and other stakeholders.

McGregor-Smith has been a director of Mitie since December 2002 and has served as CEO since April 2007. She has led the business for nearly a decade, steering it through significant industry and company transformation. During that time, McGregor-Smith has been instrumental in building strong working relationships with key customers and creating what’s widely recognised as a market-leading integrated FM business.

For his part, Phil Bentley brings a wide range of executive and leadership experience from across industry to his new role, including that gained during his most recent role at Cable and Wireless Communications plc, where he served as Group CEO until the business’ acquisition by John Malone’s Liberty Global. Previously, Bentley ran British Gas, the UK’s leading energy and home services provider, for a period of seven years. Prior to that, he held a range of senior management and finance roles at Centrica and Diageo, while much of his early finance-focused career in BP was spent overseas.

Bentley is a qualified accountant and holds an MBA from Insead.

rubymcgregor-smithwebCommenting on these changes, Ruby McGregor-Smith said: “It has been a real honour to serve on the Board of Mitie and, in particular, to hold the role of CEO. I’m delighted that we’re now in a position to appoint a new CEO for Mitie, and I wish Phil a successful future with the Group. I would like to say a big Thank You to everyone at Mitie who has helped make this such an extraordinary place to work, and in particular my management team. Thank You also to all the people who have worked for the business since I joined, and to all of our other stakeholders, especially our clients, for their huge support over the past decade.”

Roger Matthews, chairman of Mitie, stated: “I would like to thank Ruby for the very significant contribution she has made to Mitie over the past 14 years. Since becoming CEO, she has doubled revenue and profits, built a market-leading UK FM business and been an absolute inspiration to Mitie’s employees. I wish her every success for the future. I’m also delighted that Phil Bentley is joining us. He has proven CEO experience, and comes to the business with an excellent track record of significantly enhancing shareholder value in services organisations. I welcome him to the Group, and I’m very much looking forward to working with him.”

On his new position, Phil Bentley explained: “Ruby has done a brilliant job building Mitie into the admired industry leader that it is today. Although this is presently a challenging time for the sector, we have a strong platform from which I’m certain we can now prosper. I’m really looking forward to working with my new colleagues, delivering world class services to our customers and creating sustainable shareholder value.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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