RWS Holdings plc (“RWS” or “the Group”), a unique world-leading provider of technology-enabled language, content and intellectual property services, today announces the appointment of Julie Southern as Non-Executive Director and Chairman Designate. The appointment forms part of the Group’s succession planning, with the intention that Julie takes up the role of Non-Executive Chairman in October 2023, at which time Andrew Brode will become a Non-Executive Director.
Julie, who will also become a member of the Group’s Audit Committee, brings a wealth of business and governance experience from her previous executive career and her Non-Executive Director roles.
Julie is currently a Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit committees at Rentokil Initial, Ocado, NXP Semiconductor and easyJet, where she is also Senior Independent Director. She will have served as a Non-Executive Director at Rentokil Initial for a period of nine years in July 2023. Julie has also previously held Non-Executive Director positions at DFS Furniture Company and Cineworld Cinemas, where she chaired the respective Audit Committees, at Stagecoach where she chaired the Remuneration Committee and at Gategroup where she chaired the Nomination and Compensation Committee. Julie’s executive career included a number of senior finance, operations and marketing roles including at Porsche Cars, as Group Finance Director from 1996, before she joined Virgin Atlantic in 2000 as CFO with a broad management role, later becoming its Chief Commercial Officer in 2010.
With world class leadership established across the Group, following the appointment of Ian ElMokadem as CEO and the SDL acquisition, Julie’s appointment will further strengthen the Group’s highly experienced Board and provide a high calibre successor to Andrew Brode as Chairman.
Andrew has indicated his intention to step down from his role as Chairman with effect from October 2023 at which time he will become a Non-Executive Director. Andrew remains fully committed to supporting the Board in driving the business forward and intends to remain a significant shareholder in the Group.
Lara Boro, Senior Independent Director of RWS, commented:
“We are delighted to welcome Julie to the Board of RWS following an extensive search process which identified her as the ideal candidate to enhance the Board, and as Andrew’s successor. Her breadth of experience in executive and non-executive positions across a range of blue-chip businesses will be of great value to the Board as the Group capitalises on its unique platform to drive accelerated, sustainable organic growth, complemented by acquisitions. Julie’s appointment, ahead of Andrew stepping down to a Non-Executive Director role, will enable a smooth transition of roles.”
Julie Southern, Non-Executive Director and Chairman Designate, commented:
“I am delighted to be joining RWS as Chairman Designate at such a key stage of the business’ development. RWS has an exceptional platform combining leading technology and expertise and a very successful track record of growth. I look forward to working with the Board to lead such a world-class company and team as it delivers on its clear strategy for value creation.”
Ian El-Mokadem, CEO of RWS, commented:
“I would like to add my warm welcome to Julie as she joins our Board. Julie brings broad experience from a range of high-quality customer-focused organisations and I look forward to Page 1 of 3working with her to capitalise on the Group’s expanded scale, footprint and capabilities, and strong financial position, to deliver on our medium-term strategy and five year accelerated growth plan, as set out at our recent Capital Markets Day.”
“We are thankful that Andrew will be remaining with us as Non-Executive Director, once he steps down from the role as Chairman, thereby enabling the business and the Board to continue to benefit from his broad knowledge of our industry, his entrepreneurial flair and his wise counsel. Andrew’s contribution to RWS’s growth has been huge, guiding the business from a c.£40m company, upon its listing in 2003, to a c.£1.4bn market capitalisation today, with leading positions in attractive end markets.”