New chief for Connect Group

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Connect Group, parent of Smiths News and Tuffnells has appointed Jozef (Jos) Opdeweegh as chief executive to replace Mark Cashmore who is stepping down.

Opdeweegh, who takes over on 1st September, describes himself on LinkedIn as a “global CEO with an extensive track record of rapidly transforming underperforming businesses and unlocking value”.

Most recently, he was chief executive of Premier Farnell, the distributor of technology products. Before that he lead the carve-out of Caterpillar Logistics Services (now called Neovia) from the parent group.

He said: “This is an exciting time to be joining the Group. With two strong brands and a leading position in each of our markets there is every opportunity to drive an improvement in performance and establish a strategy that delivers value for all stakeholders.”

The company announced in June that Cashmore would be stepping down after a trading update that revealed that the group’s performance since its interim results on 1st May had been “extremely disappointing”.

The group also revealed that Pass My Parcel, its click and collect services was closing because of unsustainable losses.

Connect chairman Gary Kennedy said: “Jos brings a wealth of experience in delivering value driven strategic change. A results driven executive, his energy and relentless focus on delivery will be central to our turnaround and in sustaining performance improvement. I am grateful to Mark Cashmore for his invaluable contribution during his tenure.”

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