Robinson Manufacturing Leadership

In just over six years, CEO Simon Kidney and MD Mark Smy have transformed the business they bought from founder Tim Robinson from a small regional truss and joist manufacturer into a national timber engineering pioneer.

This has been achieved through combinations of thought leadership, diversification, organic growth, acquisition and modernisation, as well as a lot of hard work! In this time, the company’s factory network has grown from three to seven, allowing the business to serve the whole of mainland UK. Turnover has tripled, and a senior leadership team established to drive continued profitable growth. With two of the six years affected by a global pandemic, Simon is justifiably proud of what the business has achieved:

“The business is in a wonderful position; we have brilliance, talent and an external reputation far beyond our industry friends. We are known as thought pioneers, leaders and drivers of change. We have capacity, position and one hell of an order bank.” He continued: “The sign of good leadership is twofold. Grow your team so you are surrounded by brilliance and know when it is time to hand over the reins to enable the next generation to flourish, grow and move forward. That time is now.”

To ensure the dynamic of the business reflects the external world, great strides have been made in ensuring greater diversity in the business. With just four female employees back in 2015, RML has worked hard to recruit and retain female talent at all levels of the business and that figure now stands at around 20%. Now with a far more balanced workforce at every level, Simon is delighted to announce that the next leader of the business will be female.

“I have asked Sam Gartside to take over as CEO, ably supported by the very talented Matt Korny as General Manager. As Group Finance Director, Sam has demonstrated all the skills and traits of an outstanding CEO, especially so during the difficult pandemic days, and I am confident she will steer RML to new heights.”

New CEO Sam Gartside is hugely proud to be leading RML into its next exciting chapter:

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Simon and Mark. They have been nothing short of outstanding in terms what they have delivered with RML – the business is in an amazing place and is ideally placed to continue to grow and develop,” she explained. “Stepping out to start filling Simon’s boots is a massive challenge, and not one I would undertake without the support of General Manager Matt Korny, the rest of the very talented SLT and, of course our amazing people.”

Simon and Mark remain active on the board, giving the new generation the room and opportunity to flourish, while pursuing other related projects, such as Simon’s Cranfield doctorate studies as well as Inspire 5050, a new initiative designed to improve diversity ratios in housebuilding to levels that better reflect the general population, through research, education, high profile partnerships and a determination to encourage and support change.

Sam Gartside, who steps into the CEO role.

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