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Van Elle CEO steps down

Geotechnical contractor Van Elle has announced that CEO Jon Fenton has stepped down as a director for personal reasons.

GE understands that Mick Mason will take on the role of CEO following Fenton’s departure but it has not yet been confirmed if this is a permanent appointment.

“Jon has played an important role in the significant growth and development of the company in recent years for which we are very grateful,” said Van Elle chairman Adrian Barden. “He and the management team have delivered a robust performance in the first half and the Group is well placed for the future.

“While we are disappointed that Jon cannot continue as chief executive in the long term, the board understands and supports Jon and his family in this decision. Van Elle is fortunate to have strength and depth across our management team and whilst Jon will remain in post until his successor is appointed, we have organised responsibilities amongst the team to ensure continuity and also to allow Jon to take time away from the company as required.”

Contacts close to Van Elle have confirmed that Fenton’s decision to leave the business is unrelated to the board recommending that shareholders vote against proposals by Michael Ellis, who owns 20% of the business. Under the “Ellis Resolutions”, company founder Ellis is trying to remove anyone appointed as a director since the requisition date, which would affect Thomas Lindup and Robin Williams as well as Fenton.

The board said that the proposals “reflect the failure of Ellis to a accept that Van Elle is no longer his private family business and that the Ellis Resolutions serve to promote the interests of Ellis and his family and not necessarily to the benefit of the company and other shareholders”.

Despite the management issues, the company has released a trading statement that revealed that it expects its half year revenues to be £53M, up from £43.1M for the same period last year. Pre-tax profit is also up 15% to £4.7M.

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