De La Rue names turnaround guru Clive Vacher as CEO

De La Rue has found its replacement for outgoing CEO Martin Sutherland, appointing Clive Vacher, who has a reputation for turning around embattled businesses.

The security document company – which issued a profit-warning this year, faced down an investor revolt and is under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office – said Vacher (pictured) brings “significant experience of international business transformation and operational performance improvement.”

The new CEO took the helm at De La Rue yesterday as Sutherland officially stood down, and has more than 16 years’ experience with profit and loss (P&L) responsibility at industrial companies in the commercial and government/defence sectors – most recently at Canadian firm Dynex Power.

Vacher (pictured) has previously worked at Pratt and Whitney, Rolls-Royce, General Dynamics and B/E Aerospace.

De La Rue, which has already seen the departure of long-serving chairman Philip Rogerson in the last few weeks, said it would continue with the plan to pivot the company away from manufacturing-based operations and towards a technology-led business in areas like product security and brand protection.

New chairman Kevin Loosemore, who took over from Rogerson on October 1, said Vacher’s “experience of business turnarounds will be invaluable to us as we work to address the challenges we face as a business.”

The company is already facing a tougher competitive environment in its traditional banknote and identity document business – witnessed by the loss of a contract to produce the UK passport to rival Gemalto last year – but was also hit by an £18m charge caused by a debt owed by the Venezuelan central bank.

Among other moves on De La Rue’s board, senior independent director Andy Stevens has agreed to step down earlier than previously announced to “align with…organisational changes.”

Sabri Challah has become senior independent director and non-executive director Maria Da Cunha will succeed Challah as chair of the remuneration committee.The group's operating model is being realigned to focus on two businesses, currency and authentication.

Ruth Euling has been named managing director of the currency business, while Andrew Clint – previously global business development director for what was known as product authentication & traceability – will become managing director of the authentication division.

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