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Rod Francis new MD for CHEP UK & Ireland

CHEP, the global leader in pallet and container pooling services, has appointed Rod Francis as Managing Director of its UK & Ireland Pallets operation.

Mr. Francis replaces Howard Wigham, who has reluctantly decided to return to Australia with his wife for family reasons, following almost two-and-a-half-years leading the CHEP UK & Ireland business.

CHEP President for European Pallets operations, James McCarthy, said: "Naturally, we’re disappointed to lose Howard. He has shown strong leadership throughout his tenure, enhancing our commitment to the customer experience as we continually seek to build better supply chains. His work built a solid foundation on which Rod can now consolidate our position as the market leader in one of our largest European markets."

Mr. Francis has been with CHEP for 22 years, predominantly serving the Middle East and Africa region. He has spent the past four years setting-up and leading the launch of CHEP’s service offer in Central and Eastern Europe, which is now established across seven new countries. During his career, Mr. Francis has been involved mostly in commercial roles focused on customer service, business development and general management of various lines of business and geographies.

Commenting on his new role Mr. Francis said: "This is an exciting new challenge for me. The UK market operates within a very sophisticated FMCG supply chain and compared to the emerging markets, is highly penetrated with pallet pooling service offers. My objective is to improve the CHEP experience for our existing customers by focusing on customer service delivery and collaborating to jointly build better supply chains that reduce costs and improve last mile efficiencies".

"I look forward to meeting all our customers, in manufacturing, logistics services and in retail with a view to developing strong and meaningful working relationships for our mutual benefit. I would like to thank Howard for the excellent foundation he has built, and I wish him and his family well in Australia."

Mr. Francis will be relocating from Istanbul with his wife, Kim. He will be based in CHEP UK’s headquarters in Trafford Park, Manchester.

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