Fleet services giant appoints new chief executive

Graham Hale, new CEO, Go Plant Fleet Services

One of the UK’s leading providers of specialist commercial vehicles has appointed a new chief executive.

Graham Hale has taken up the reigns at Go Plant Fleet Services, which has revenue of around £85 million and employs around 850 staff across 48 depots and service centres nationwide.

The 53-year-old takes over from Vaughan McLeod, who switches to a non-executive position on the Board of the company.

Mr Hale, who joined the company on March 1, brings with him a successful track record after running FTSE 100 bank-owned and private equity-backed vehicle management businesses.

His wealth of financial, sales and commercial experience provides the base for strong, clear leadership in pursuit of the company’s long-term strategy.

He said: “I’m delighted to be leading such a substantial company that’s now a UK leader within the commercial vehicle industry.

“I join the business at an exciting time within its evolution and am hugely looking forward to an exciting new challenge.

“Having been here for a few weeks, I’ve already been impressed by the financial, technical and operational expertise we have and the credibility we’re building in the market around our technical, operational and safety compliance.

“The business is well invested in a safety-compliant fleet, an operationally-efficient nationwide workshop network and a new leading-edge IT infrastructure.

“I’m looking forward to identifying areas in which we can grow value and market share by leveraging our market positioning coupled with a robust and compliant operational platform backed by the financial strength of our private equity partners, Endless LLP.

“The Board has a clear and joined up strategic vision for Go Plant Fleet Services to be the market-leading ‘go to’ specialist fleet provider in the UK – a company that delivers a safe, reliable and professional service to our customers.

“There’s a solid foundation to continue to build sustainable long-term growth.”

Mr Hale’s arrival is part of a controlled evolution of the business since the merger between Go Plant Ltd and Essential Fleet Services Ltd in July, 2017.

Indeed, a number of key Board appointments have been made over the last 15 months to provide strong depth and breadth of knowledge and experience.

Andrew Young was appointed Chief Financial Officer in October, 2018. Formerly with Serco, he has strong experience of large corporate financial controls and governance which will provide a solid reporting and operational platform.

Philip Quelch, also formerly with Serco, was named as the company’s Chief Engineering Officer in December 2017.

He has immense technical, operational and compliance knowledge and experience to build on Go Plant Fleet Services’ credibility within the specialist vehicle financing and workshop maintenance market.

Together with the existing Board members Mark Gallimore (Commercial Director), Paul Langham (Operations Director), Jeremy Hyland (IT and Innovation Director) and Cathy Potts (HR Director), the Board possesses diverse large company experience and a track record of delivery.

Andrew Cope, Executive Chairman of Go Plant Fleet Services, said: “The rationale for the Endless acquisition of Essential Fleet Services followed by Go Plant was borne out of recognising the exciting and compelling strategic positioning a merged entity would provide in terms of market positioning and economies of scale.

“Having decided to recognise the exceptional restructuring costs associated with the merger within the last set of filed accounts of £2.4m, we can now look forward to exciting growth prospects.

“Go Plant Ltd nevertheless delivered a £4m profit for the 18 month period to June, 2018 with a strong set of results confidently forecast to June, 2019.”

The business continues to grow organically, having won several new multi-million pound public sector contracts, through the acquisition of bolt-on regional businesses and investment in new vehicles.

With a strong capital base and a well-invested management team, the company is well-positioned to capitalise on market opportunities and continue to build a spread portfolio of sustainable long-term revenues.

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