I joined Croda in 1997 based at Crodas Head Office in Yorkshire as Group Financial Director for 2 years. In June 1999 I moved to North America to take the role of Financial Controller and then, after 6 months I became CFO Croda Inc effective December 1999. To be given such a prominent role at age 31 in one of Croda’s prominent businesses was incredibly exciting – so was the opportunity to live in Manhattan! In 1999 there was investment at the Mill Hall facility and as a new CFO it was a great period to be learning a new role and so much fun getting to run a company along with the rest of the Officers Committee. During 2004 the implementation of SAP was a huge step for Croda and gave us a systems platform to grow the business to where it is today, it was also the year that the LDG Group started and I was fortunate enough to be selected along with 16 others for that initial Group, which included: Steve Foots, Keith Layden, Sandra Breene, Stuart Arnott and Graham Myers, all of which are current Board or Exec members.
In 2006 Croda aquired Uniqema to which I was an integral part. It is not often in someone’s career that they get to be part of an acquisition of a larger company and looking back on this experience this was the most rewarding part of my career. The bringing together of the two companies and the creation of value that this achieved was tremendously satisfying. 2008 brought another SAP implementation where I acted as project sponsor for the SAP implementation.
2014 was also a big year for Croda as we changed the global structure to operate with Global Market Sectors. I was very fortunate to be given the role of Head of Finance for Global Personal Care, which gave me exposure to parts of the world that I had not been overly exposed to in the past. As this was the commencement of this new structure, it was a great opportunity to be involved from ground zero and start to shape the requirements that were needed to manage a market sector globally.
Having spent all my life in Financial Roles, I never really aspired to a role outside of Finance until I was given the opportunity to be the Managing Director North America. I feel very honored to have been given the role and this has given me the opportunity to shape the way that North America runs. There are plenty of challenges and opportunities and after almost 20 years with Croda, I look back with a great deal of satisfaction and look forward with a great deal of excitement.