Dawsongroup has confirmed its chief executive, Mike Williams, is stepping down with immediate effect due to underlying health reasons. Mike Williams had been with the company for 40 years, becoming managing director of Dawsonrentals in 1979 and rising to the chief executive role with the group in 1993.
Speaking about the decision, group chairman, Peter Dawson, said, “It is a simple commercial truth that nothing stays the same: change is inevitable. After working so closely with Mike for 40 years however, it is hard to accept. His energy, commitment and commercial ability have been instrumental to the development of the business we have today. As has his very individual, slightly acerbic sense of humour; used so often to very good effect as he made his points both to suppliers and his own team alike! However, he would be the first to acknowledge the huge part played by the input and support of that team, a number of whom have been with him for many of those 40 years.
“I am sure I speak for all who know Mike when I wish him a full and speedy recovery.”
Mike Williams added, “I had been planning my eventual retirement from the business for some time and had hoped to finish toward the end of 2017. However, this new situation has been forced on me by the need to deal with a health matter that fortunately, I am being told, should be managed successfully. Sadly, the time this may take means my retirement plan is not going to work, so it is with real regret and a sense of unfinished business that I must now complete my time with Peter and the team. It’s been good, very good at times, but as the saying goes, all good things come to an end.”
Steve Miller, who has worked alongside both Mike Williams and Peter Dawson for 30 years, the last seven as group managing director, has been announced as Williams’ successor. He said, “You don’t spend 30 years working with Peter Dawson, Mike Williams and the others without learning an awful lot. That doesn’t mean my new role will be simply to deliver ‘more of the same’. As Peter has said, change is an inevitable part of commercial life, but it can also bring fresh opportunities and directions.
“This a strong and successful business, more than capable of developing further in the sectors where we are already established, and in new ones going forward. I am delighted to enjoy the backing of the current group board: Tony Coleman, our group finance director; Lucinda Kent, our group company secretary; and Ian Jones, a non-executive director, and for 10 years the managing director of commercial vehicles and vans at Mercedes Benz UK – a formidable team. There are things we do outstandingly well as a business and others we can to do better. Certainly, we need to be more people-focused, both internally and externally. Assets are simply our operational ‘fuel’, it’s our people that will drive this business further and faster than our competitors – that’s our goal.”