Ashley Wright will take over as the next Chief Executive Officer of GHD following the retirement of Ian Shepherd on 31 March 2016. The Perth-based Ashley is currently General Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa and has previously led GHD’s Western Australian operations.
Wright’s appointment is part of an internal leadership transition plan put in place by GHD to implement the next phase of its strategy, which aims to deliver sustained growth by connecting clients with the technical capabilities of its global network.
With a career spanning 27 years of professional experience across Australia, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and the UK, the incoming CEO brings an international perspective that’s aligned to GHD’s expansion plans.
Wright believes GHD is well positioned for future challenges, with more than 8500 people across five continents. He notes that GHD’s business model is confident, reliable and innovative, its business is diversified and geographically balanced, and the brand is renowned for client service and a culture of safety.
GHD Chairman Russell Board explains that their long-term succession planning process allows the Board to focus on highly experienced internal candidates when assessing potential CEOs. He adds that Ashley brings passion and energy to his leadership and is a highly strategic thinker.
Current CEO Ian Shepherd will retire after a career of over 30 years at GHD, including almost eight years as CEO. Under his leadership, the company has grown significantly, from an annual turnover of AUD0.9 billion in 2008 to AUD1.6 billion in 2015. Attributing some of GHD’s success to the company’s model of employee ownership, Shepherd says their people understand they are custodians of value who build up a business and then pass it on to the next generation. He adds that in a constantly changing industry with new types of services and demands from clients, one thing that hasn’t changed is the company’s ability to grow and develop its leaders. Shepherd is confident he is leaving GHD in very capable hands.
Image: Ashley Wright