SSP Group CEO to step down & replaced by UK & Ireland CEO

SSP Group has announced that after more than five years with the company, Kate Swann has decided to step down from her role as Group Chief Executive Officer on 31 May 2019.

Swann will be succeeded by Simon Smith, currently Chief Executive Officer UK & Ireland. Smith has joined the PLC Board with immediate effect and will be appointed as CEO on 1 June 2019. He will work closely with Swann during the next six months to ensure a smooth transition.

Vagn Sorensen, SSPs Group’s Chairman, said, “It has been a pleasure to work with Kate, and on behalf of the Board I want to thank her for her enormous contribution to the Group. In the past five years, Kate has transformed SSP into an industry leading Food Travel Retail business, which has grown significantly around the world, and she has generated significant returns for our shareholders.

'Succession planning is deeply embedded into the Group and following a thorough process, we are delighted with Simon’s appointment. Simon joined SSP Group in 2014 and has contributed significantly to the performance of the Group as CEO of UK & Ireland for the past four years.

'Since joining, Simon’s role has expanded and he has taken on wider global leadership responsibilities, most recently looking after the integration and development of our joint venture business in India, which has delivered excellent results.

'Simon’s strong leadership skills combined with his considerable experience in the food travel and retail space, as well as his track record at SSP, make him well placed to lead SSP to continued future success. Simon will work alongside our CFO Jonathan Davies who has provided excellent support to Kate and will continue to bring his wealth of experience to the Board.”

Kate Swann, Group Chief Executive Officer, said, “Today we’ve announced another record set of results, growing earnings a further 24% and proposing £150m return of cash to shareholders, so I am stepping down at a time when the business is clearly in great shape, with a strong senior management team and enormous future growth potential.

'It’s been a privilege to work with the many talented people that make up the SSP team and who have contributed to making it a world class business. I look forward to working closely with Simon in the next six months to ensure a smooth handover, and I am confident that he will lead the Group to even greater success in the future.”

Simon Smith, UK Chief Executive Officer, said, “I am delighted to be appointed as SSP’s next Group CEO. SSP is a fantastic business with excellent on-going growth potential. We have a strong senior management team and thousands of dedicated colleagues around the world, and I am confident that together we will continue to build on the success achieved. I look forward to working closely with Kate over the next six months to ensure a smooth transition.”