The Board of Ultra announces today that Rakesh Sharma has stepped down as Chief Executive and from the Board with immediate effect. The Board has asked the current Chairman, Douglas Caster, to assume the role of Executive Chairman until a successor is appointed, and Douglas has agreed to take on the role. Douglas Caster was Chief Executive of Ultra from 2005 to 2010.
This announcement follows a period of reflection by the Non-Executive Directors on the future leadership of Ultra. The Board has concluded that now is the appropriate time for a change of leadership and that Douglas Caster, as Chairman and a previous Chief Executive, is ideally qualified to lead the Group until a successor is appointed. The search process for a new Chief Executive will now begin.
In addition, the Board has asked Sir Robert Walmsley, whose term as a non-executive director is due to expire in April 2018, to remain on the Board for a further year as Senior Independent Director to provide non-executive continuity and leadership.
Douglas Caster, Executive Chairman, commented:
“Throughout his 28 years of service to Ultra, Rakesh has contributed significantly to the Group’s development into an international provider of specialist capabilities with positions on a broad number of platforms and programmes. On behalf of the Board, I wish Rakesh well.
“While market conditions have been more challenging in the last few years, the Group has strong market positions, differentiated technologies and talented people. While the UK defence market is difficult, defence spending in the US, the Group’s largest market, is increasing. The Board is focused on identifying the right leader to deliver shareholder value through a renewed focus on organic performance in the next stage of the Group’s development.”
Rakesh Sharma commented:
“It has been a privilege to be Chief Executive of Ultra and I wish the Group and all its staff well for the future.”
The Group has also released a trading update by separate announcement today.
For further information contact:
Ultra Electronics Holdings plc
+44 (0) 20 8813 4300
Douglas Caster, Executive Chairman
Susan McErlain, Corporate Affairs Director
+44(0) 7836 522 722
+44 (0) 20 3128 8756