De La Rue appoints turnaround specialist as new CEO

Richard Stuart-Turner
Monday, October 7, 2019

De La Rue has appointed a business transformation specialist as its new chief executive as Martin Sutherland stands down following his completion of a handover.

Clive Vacher, who has also become an executive director at the Basingstoke-headquartered security printer as of today (7 October), has more than 16 years’ experience running P&Ls for global industrial companies in the commercial and government/defence sectors.

He was previously chief executive and president of Canadian publicly listed company Dynex Power, where he led the privatisation sale of the company in March 2019. He was also a director and chief executive of Dynex Semiconductor to April 2019.

Previously, Vacher has also held senior positions with Pratt and Whitney, Rolls-Royce, General Dynamics and B/E Aerospace. He currently sits on the advisory board of the Lincoln International Business School at the University of Lincoln.

Elsewhere on the De La Rue board, senior independent director Andy Stevens has agreed to step down earlier than previously announced to align with the company’s organisational changes.

Sabri Challah has become senior independent director while non-executive director Maria Da Cunha will succeed Challah as chair of the remuneration committee.

De La Rue also reaffirmed that it will continue with the proposed reorganisation of the business into two divisions, to enhance strategic focus and generate greater efficiencies.

The group's operating model is being realigned to focus on two businesses, Currency and Authentication, each requiring distinct products and pursuing different strategic and operational priorities.

Ruth Euling, previously global sales director for Currency, will be managing director of the Currency business, while Andrew Clint, previously global business development director for PA&T [Product Authentication & Traceability], will become managing director of Authentication.

De La Rue chairman Kevin Loosemore, who succeeded retiring Philip Rogerson in the role on 1 October, said: “We are delighted that Clive will be joining De La Rue as chief executive officer. His experience of business turnarounds will be invaluable to us as we work to address the challenges we face as a business.”

Embattled De La Rue has issued three profit warnings in the space of 15 months and lost the flagship UK passport contract. It was also forced to make an £18.1m provision for a bad debt relating to a Venezuelan customer that is currently unable to pay its bill while in July the SFO launched a probe into its activities in South Sudan.

De La Rue’s share price jumped by nearly 5% to 233.57p in early trading this morning but has since settled down to 229.5p at the time of writing (52-week high: 513.32p, low: 204p).

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