Interim CEO appointment

Hardide plc (AIM: HDD), the provider of advanced surface coating technology, is pleased to announce the appointment of Stephen (Steve) Paul as Interim Chief Executive Officer with effect from 12 February 2024. Steve will succeed Philip (Phil) Kirkham who, as announced on 1 November 2023, is stepping down after leading the Company for over 11 years.


Steve had a successful 30-year international career in various managing director, commercial development and performance improvement roles for the leading global surface treatment business, Praxair Surface Technologies, now part of the Linde Group. Since 2018, Steve has led his own consultancy business, Sketchley GmbH, where he has advised a number of coatings companies, including Hardide, on strategic, business development and operational improvement projects. Steve has a Master's degree in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Sheffield.


Steve has been working with Hardide for a number of months already on the development of sales of coated consumable parts to be supplied direct to end use customers. Steve will serve as CEO and join the Board of Hardide for an interim period of up to six months, after which it is intended he will continue to work with the Group on further international business development opportunities.


Accelerating revenue growth, with a focus on near-term sales potential for increased regular base load business is a key to the delivery of Hardide's strategy. Steve's appointment to this role will help drive this strategy forward, building on the foundations laid by Phil, ahead of the expected appointment of a permanent CEO later in the year.


Andrew Magson, Non-Executive Chair, commented:

"We are delighted that Steve Paul is joining us as interim CEO. His broad leadership and commercial experience in the surface treatment industry will be invaluable to Hardide as we refine and focus our strategy to accelerate revenue growth, whilst helping realise a number of exciting near-term sales opportunities that Steve is already working on with us. 


"Everyone at Hardide is extremely grateful to Phil Kirkham for his strong leadership of the Group over many years. He has built an excellent platform for growth. We all wish Phil well for the future.


"I am pleased that the process of recruiting a new permanent CEO for Hardide has identified a number of talented individuals who, like Steve, share the Board's belief in the exciting opportunities to further commercialise Hardide's unique coatings technology and the potential for the Group to generate significant value for all stakeholders over the medium to longer term."


Stephen John Paul (Age 60)


Current Directorships:


·    Sketchley GmbH.


Past Directorships in the last 5 years:


·    None


Stephen Paul does not own any ordinary shares or options over ordinary shares in the Company.


There is no further information on Stephen Paul required to be disclosed under Schedule Two, paragraph (g) of the AIM Rules for Companies

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