Security Firm G4S’ CEO Nick Buckles to Retire

on May 21, 2013

G4S’ share price (LON:GFS) jumped by more than three percent on the opening bell on Tuesday, May 21 after the world’s largest security company announced that its chief executive Nick Buckles would step down. The share price retraced its gains in early morning trading and at 09.35 GMT was up 0.36 percent at ₤2.5190.

Buckles will leave on May 31, to be replaced by the company’s chief financial officer Ashley Almanza, who joined the group only three weeks ago. Almanza was appointed following a process which considered both internal and external candidates.
**About Nick Buckles**
Nick Buckles became chief executive in 2002 and under his guidance G4S’ share price has climbed by more than 177 percent as the company expanded into some 125 countries. But his tenure is likely be remembered for a succession of incidents that have battered the reputation of G4S over the past 18 months.

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Buckles had to admit late last year during an inquiry into the London Olympics contract by a parliamentary committee that G4S’ handling of the contract had been a “humiliating shambles” after the government had to call in army officers because the security firm failed to provide the agreed numbers of personnel. The company was forced to take a ₤88 million loss on its Olympic and Paralympic Games contracts after a strong public outcry.

Earlier this year G4S decided to put an end to a contract with Israel, where it employed 6,000 people, due to complaints over its handling of the Ofer Prison in the Occupied West Bank. G4S told the FT in April that to ensure that its practices in Israel remain in line with its business ethics policy, it would exit the contracts “which involve the servicing of security equipment at a small number of barrier checkpoints, a prison and a police station in the West Bank area”.

Pressure on Buckles has intensified over the past weeks after a poor trading update on May 3 caused the shares to slip by 13 percent in a single day. G4S revealed that weak European markets and pricing pressure on its cash transportation division in the UK and Ireland had narrowed margins.
**About Ashley Almanza**
Almanza climbed to the top of G4S in just three weeks. He holds an MBA from London Business School and had held senior chief executive roles at oil and gas firm BG Group from 1993 to 2012, including CFO from 2002 and 2011 and executive vice president from 2009 to 2012.

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“The board is extremely pleased to have attracted Ashley Almanza to the group. He brings a wealth of experience from working across international borders in complex businesses and we are confident he will provide strong strategic and operational leadership to the group,” the G4S chairman John Connoly said in a statement on Tuesday.
“G4S is a great global business with enormous long term potential and I am looking forward to working with a highly experienced and capable management team as we take the business forward,” Almanza commented.
**G4S’ share price was ₤2.5190 as of 21.05.2013, 09.35 GMT.**


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