PageGroup boss set to step down after 16-year tenure

Chief executive Steve Ingham will remain in post until a successor has been appointed.

Holly Williams
Tuesday 12 April 2022 09:19
Recruitment firm PageGroup has kicked off the search for its own boss (Jonathan Brady/PA)
Recruitment firm PageGroup has kicked off the search for its own boss (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Recruitment firm PageGroup has kicked off the search for its own boss after chief executive Steve Ingham announced plans to step down following a 16-year stint at the helm.

The group said that, after talks with Mr Ingham, it was decided now was the “appropriate time” to begin the search for his successor, but confirmed he will remain in post until a new chief executive has been appointed.

It comes after PageGroup reported another record quarterly performance, with March seeing gross profits top £100 million for the first time.

Overall gross profits jumped 42.6% to £258.2 million in the first quarter as the global hiring spree continued unabated.

UK gross profits rose 43.4% to £36.9 million, it added.

Steve's contribution and leadership of the group over the last 16 years has been exceptional and the board looks forward to continuing to work with him until a successor has been appointed

David Lowden, chairman of PageGroup

The group said the first quarter performance puts it on track to “slightly” beat market expectations for £202 million of earnings in 2022.

Mr Ingham said: “Having consulted with me, the nomination committee has decided that now is the right time to commence the process to identify my successor, and I have indicated my support for their decision.

“I have been privileged to lead PageGroup over the last 16 years and I am immensely proud of everything we have achieved together.”

He added: “We delivered another record quarter for the group, with record performances in 19 countries.”

He flagged a “high degree of global macro-economic and geo-political uncertainty”, sparked by the Ukraine conflict, but said the firm has “minimal exposure” to either Russia or Ukraine.

Mr Ingham has been chief executive of the group since 2006, but has been with the company since 1987, during which time it has grown from a few hundred staff to nearly 6,500 employees worldwide.

He suffered a near-fatal skiing accident in March 2019, which has left him in a wheelchair after suffering a severe back injury, but was back in the office just a few months later.

David Lowden, chairman of PageGroup, said: “Steve’s contribution and leadership of the group over the last 16 years has been exceptional and the board looks forward to continuing to work with him until a successor has been appointed.”

The group’s trading update showed the so-called global war for talent showed little sign of slowing in the first three months of the year.

Its strongest performance was seen in the Americas, which account for 17% of the group, where gross profits jumped 56.6%, followed by the UK, then its biggest region covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa with a 41.1% rise.

Gross profits rose 35.8% across Asia Pacific.

But official figures released separately on Tuesday by the Office for National Statistics showed a slight easing back in UK jobs growth, with the smallest monthly increase in payroll numbers since February last year, up 35,000 between February and March to 29.6 million.

Wages also lagged further behind soaring inflation, with real regular pay seeing the biggest fall for nearly nine years – down 2.1% in February alone.

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