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Airea Plc is an AIM listed manufacturer of floor tiles; head quartered near Wakefield, the company uses a two-stage process to weave the yarn into a decorative fabric and then attach it to a bitumen base. The products are used in offices both in the UK and Poland.
Covid had had a negative effect on the business and sadly the former CEO had passed away. The chairman was due to step down but agreed to stay on and recruit the new CEO with the business requiring a visionary leader to spur growth. The objectives were numerous but essentially the new CEO needed to take hold of a business which had been stifled financially and had not developed an ESG strategy.
The search focussed both on local talent as well as other territories with someone who wanted to return to the UK. With an experienced Chair, previous plc experience was not required, and this person would not need to have been a CEO beforehand. The shortlist of four candidates came from retail and textile manufacturing, all were psychometrically assessed, and the chairman spent a day interviewing in Leeds.
The successful candidate was Mederic Payne who had grown up in the local area but had lived overseas for a large part of his career. He was living in Dubai where he was CEO of a regional retail business but following the pandemic, the family wanted to relocate to the UK.
Mederic has faced the energy crisis as well as the Truss budget but has pulled the team together and focussed on ESG and product innovation.