Forgemasters chairman retires

Tony Pedder
Tony Pedder
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Industrialist and former Master Cutler, Tony Pedder OBE, is retiring from his role as chairman of Sheffield Forgemasters after 12 years.

Mr Pedder, who holds several high-level positions including pro-chancellor and chair of council at Sheffield Univeristy and chair of the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has been in position at Sheffield Forgemasters since a management buyout in 2005.

After helping to bring the company to the forefront of British engineering through a drive to conquer high-technology markets and after 10 years of profitability, Mr Pedder along with chief executive Graham Honeyman, has faced a two years of losses after the collapse of offshore oil and gas markets.

Mr Pedder, said: “I am very proud to have been part of the story that saw the company saved from liquidation by the management buyout. I think it is now time for me to let the next generation of leaders take the business forward.

“The past two years have been turbulent and I have worked hard alongside the board of directors to stabilise the business following the demise of the offshore oil and gas markets, which wiped out approximately 40 per cent of our turnover.

“The team has done a great job in this respect and the company is now back around break-even well ahead of schedule, and with renewed backing from our bank, this seems a sensible point for me to step down.”

Tony Pedder is known throughout the engineering world as a former chief executiveof Corus plc and still has affiliations with steelmaking and manufacturing as a director of Metalysis Ltd, a director of EEF Ltd and chairman of start-up Albion Steel Ltd.

Dr Graham Honeyman, Forgemasters chief executive, said: “I would personally like to thank Tony for the support he has given to me in taking this company in the right direction and preserving the jobs and futures of many people.

“Tony has helped to create a legacy which the whole country can be proud of and after two years of restructuring, we have secured healthy backing from our financiers and are in a strong position to take the business forward.

“We will be announcing the appointment of a new chairperson in due course.”

Sheffield Forgemasters has appointed three new non-executive directors, Jon Bolton, Janice Munday and David Duggins and a new chief finance officer, James Tate, within the past 12 months.

The company serves markets including civil nuclear, defence, power generation, materials processing, design and R&D services.

Mr Pedder plans to remain active in business and is particularly focused in the short term on building on the work he has been doing with Sheffield’s two universities and the teaching hospital to promote Sheffield City Region, supporting growth at Metalysis, bringing the Albion Steel project to fruition and developing the new South Yorkshire Chaplaincy and Listening Service, which he helped to launch earlier this month, with former Forgemasters colleague, Peter Birtles.