Arco announces significant board changes including appointment of first CEO

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 16 May 2017

Arco has unveiled significant changes to its board in a bid to continue and support its ambitious expansion plans.

The company has been led by joint managing directors for the last 58 years; however the family firm will now be led by one person in a move Arco says is designed to "achieve its aims of growth and expansion, maintain its effectiveness and guarantee its sustainability".

Thomas Martin, who has led the business as joint managing director for more than 15 years, has now stepped into the role of non-executive chairman.

Neil Jowsey, who since 2013 has held the role of joint managing director alongside Mr Martin, has been appointed the safety company's first ever CEO and sole business leader.

Mr Jowsey's appointment marks the first time in more than 110 years that the Hull-based family firm has been led by a non-family member.

Thomas Martin said: "We have been thoughtful, strategic and practical with our decision to change Arco's Board structure. As previous joint managing director, I have been involved in some of the great developments within the business and am proud that my fingerprints are all over our 'Great Place to Work' strategy and our phenomenal National Distribution Centre (NDC). "

The changes mark a historic shift in the business's governance, aiming to ensure the organisation continues to thrive and that the 3rd, 4th and 5th generations of the Martin family are fully engaged in the business.

Thomas will be supported by Tom and Stephen Martin as non-executive directors, and by his cousin Richard Martin on the exec board.

Thomas Martin said: "For over 130 years, Arco has been a family business; my appointment as non-executive chairman, supported by the two family non-executive directors, will maintain this legacy."

Mr Jowsey joined Arco in 2007 as sales and marketing director and has since been instrumental in upskilling boardroom executives and diversifying Arco's offering through the introduction of safety services.

His appointment as CEO formalises the sole leadership he has provided the business since becoming the lead partner of the joint managing directors in 2016, when Thomas Martin stepped away from the business's day-to-day management to dedicate his time to philanthropic work, particularly in his appointment as High Sheriff of the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Mr Jowsey and Thomas Martin's unified way of working enlisted the full support of the non-executive board members, and was enthusiastically ratified by the Martin family shareholders over 18 months ago.

Mr Jowsey's core focus now is to ensure continued growth and to drive core business projects, such as the development of NDC2 and Arco's transformation to a digital business.

He said: "We have set ourselves some ambitious targets that centre around our core purpose of keeping people safe at work; we want Arco to be seen as the UK's leading safety experts, whilst also being considered 'a great place to work' by our amazing colleagues.

"Clear direction and leadership will enable Arco to continue to be focused on its purpose and retain its culture whilst maintaining its commercial success. Ultimately, my vision is that Arco will be the most admired safety company in the world."

Thomas Martin takes over from previous non-executive chairman, John Theakston, who has now completed his fourth, three-year term with Arco.

Arco to create new 40-strong telesales team in Hull

A Hull business is creating a new national telesales team, bringing up to 28 jobs to the city.

Arco is now recruiting for the 40-strong team, which will be based at its head office in Waverly Street. The move will create up to 28 new roles, with the remaining 12 posts being filled by existing Arco employees.

The UK's leading safety expert says the changes form a part of the family firm's expansion plans, and demonstrate its continued contribution to supporting economic growth in the local area.

Neil Jowsey, joint managing director at Arco, said: "During a recent pilot scheme, which started in January this year, it became clear to us that our outbound telesales would benefit from being centrally located in Hull.

"As a result of this, we are in the process of building the new team and are pleased to be able to offer exciting job opportunities to people in the region."

Arco already employs about 800 people from Hull and the surrounding areas, however this figure is set to increase significantly with the expansion of the company's National Distribution Centre (NDC) on Priory Park Way.

Scheduled to open in 2019, the new NDC2 is expected to create more than 200 jobs. Arco said the new expansion plan has been initiated to help improve the efficiency of the company and the overall customer service experience.

The new plan will impact a small proportion of Arco's workforce in other UK branches, but the safety company said it was "actively managing the process" and seeking to minimise the number of people affected, adding that the changes "will enable Arco to better coordinate its resource and increase its customer engagement".

Mr Jowsey said: "As part of our growth strategy, we are investing heavily in our technology and infrastructure and regularly explore the most efficient ways of working for the benefit of our customers."

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