Back at the helm: McGuire will implement the company’s new business plan

UK/INTERNATIONAL. Scorpio Worldwide has announced that Chairman Stuart McGuire will take on the new role of CEO with immediate effect.

In related news, Managing Director Ian Cowie has decided to move on from the company to continue his career development. Cowie joined the company seven years ago from TUI UK as Operations Director, becoming MD when McGuire took the Chairmanship.

International Sales Director Richard Kennedy, who joined Scorpio full-time 11 years ago, will retire from his role at the end of the financial year. Based in Dubai, Kennedy will hand over his accounts to existing Scorpio Sales Managers Chris Jennings and Nathalie Benham, depending on the territory.

McGuire said: “I took the role of Chairman some five years ago, after building a great business with our partners at Heinemann in 2007. The role helped me take a more helicopter view, which enabled me to spend some long overdue time organising the personal side of my life.

“In the last six months I have conducted a broad strategic review of Scorpio and the opportunities within the wider business. The result of this is an exciting new business plan, consolidating Scorpio’s position in the market, while also identifying further opportunities through diversification and potential acquisition.

“I am delighted to be stepping back in to take a full hands-on role implementing these plans. Over the last couple of months I have already been more closely involved and it’s great to be back at the helm.”

Cowie oversaw Scorpio’s continued business development with Gebr Heinemann, followed by the transition of that business to the Hamburg-based powerhouse, which is now complete.

Cowie commented: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Scorpio, working with Stuart, Heinemann and the team, and delivering the business plan we had in place. Now that this is complete, slightly ahead of schedule, I am happy to be able to take some time off in the summer, and already have a couple of promising irons in the fire for autumn.”

Richard Kennedy (left) and Ian Cowie (centre) will leave the company after several years of service

McGuire said: “Ian has done an excellent job at Scorpio as Managing Director; he is thoroughly professional and well-respected throughout the company, Heinemann and the trade as a whole. I thank him greatly for successfully completing his remit at Scorpio, and wish him very well for the future. We are close friends as well as business colleagues, and I am sure we will be working together again, or at some time in the future.”

Of Kennedy, McGuire said: “Richard is without a doubt the most loyal person I have ever had the privilege to work with. His work rate is legendary, as is his reputation within the business both internally and externally, and I am extremely grateful to him for all his hard work and support over the years. I totally understand his decision to retire from his full-time role, but we are already looking at some exciting opportunities to work together on a project basis. Nathalie and Chris have also been working with Scorpio for many years, and it’s a great testament to the Scorpio values that they can take over seamlessly from Richard moving forward.”

Kennedy added: “I feel so lucky to have worked many years in such a vibrant and diverse industry, through the years of pioneering spirit and rapid development of duty free. I have met amazing people, seen incredible places and take an enormous amount of satisfaction from my career at Scorpio. Working with everyone at Scorpio has been an adventure and total pleasure, and I have honestly enjoyed every single minute and will leave in December with a tinge of sadness.

Centre of operations: Scorpio Worldwide office headquarters and warehouse in Crawley, near London Gatwick Airport

“I want to thank Stuart especially and all my customers for their friendship and support in my role as International Sales Director. I have not made full plans for the future, but anyone who knows me will acknowledge that I am not great at ‘resting’. Stuart and I are already looking at some project and consultancy work and I look forward to new opportunities and adventures the future brings.”

Lance Hayward, former Strategy and Integration Director at Alpha LSG, joins Scorpio with immediate effect as Non-Executive Director. Hayward will guide and advise Scorpio in its diversification and acquisition plans, as well as looking at systems integration and synergies within the business.

Hayward said: “I have respected Stuart and Scorpio for a long time, and am delighted to be given this exciting role. We have already identified several opportunities which we will implement, putting Scorpio in a very commanding position moving forward. Traditional business methods are so open for disruption right now, inflight particularly, and we are thinking out of the box to meet and beat these new challenges. My experience of inflight catering and the development of BOB should prove very useful in this regard.”

Gebr Heinemann Executive Director Distribution and Scorpio board member Peter Irion commented: “Since our partnership with Scorpio in 2007, we have developed a great business, securing all the goals that we set out together. We are delighted that Stuart is once again taking the role of CEO, and we support him and the company 100% into the future to deliver the new business plan.

“At Gebr Heinemann we view the inflight channel as an important one, and we have grown into a major product provider for the largest European airlines. Stuart has a clear vision for the future, and we look forward to sharing in the next years of success. We have a very close business and personal relationship with Stuart, and the family, and it is great that this will continue into the future. Of course we would also like to thank Ian and Richard for their fantastic efforts over the last few years, and wish them all the best for the future.”

Irion sits on the Scorpio board together with Heinemann executives Kay Spanger and John Baumgartner.

Click here to read an interview with Stuart McGuire on the company’s 20th anniversary.