• Alan Hirzel succeeds Jonathan Milner as Chief Executive Officer
• Jonathan Milner to retain an active role in the company as Deputy Chairman
• Peter Keen will not seek re-election to the Board at the forthcoming AGM after nine years as a non-executive director
• Strong preliminary results for the year ended 30 June 2014 announced
Abcam plc is pleased to announce the appointment of Alan Hirzel as Chief Executive Officer with immediate effect. Alan will succeed long-serving Chief Executive and co-Founder of Abcam Jonathan Milner, who will continue to play an active role in the Company as Deputy Chairman and who remains the Company's largest shareholder.
Jonathan’s exceptional vision and ambition inspired the creation of Abcam in 1998. Today, he and the Board are delighted to appoint a successor to lead the business through its next phase of growth. Alan brings an impressive combination of a strong scientific background, global business and leadership experience, and consumer knowledge. He will take over the leadership of the company effective immediately, whilst Jonathan will continue to use his extensive industry experience and network of contacts to identify partnership and acquisition opportunities, as well as technology changes which will help maintain Abcam’s leading technical edge.
Alan takes on the role of Chief Executive Officer having spent the last year as Chief Marketing Officer of Abcam and he has served on the Board since January 2014. In this role he had responsibility for the Company's branding, product portfolio and online consumer offering, and worked closely with Jonathan to develop Abcam’s strategic vision. Abcam is already seeing results; achieving internal milestones and delivering incremental revenue growth. Abcam believes that this strategy will provide a solid platform for growth in the mid- to long-term.
Peter Keen, a Board member since 2005, will not be seeking re-election, in line with corporate governance best practice for independent directors. During his time on the Board, Peter served as Chairman of the Remuneration and Audit Committees, and as the Senior Independent Director. Abcam is grateful for the significant contribution Peter has made to the operation of the Board and the development of the business during that time. Louise Patten will assume the Senior Independent Director role following the AGM in November.
Also today, Abcam reports strong financial results for the year ended 30 June 2014. The full statement can be found at www.abcamplc.com. Revenue for the year was £128.0m which after adjusting for currency headwinds represented underlying growth from catalogue sales of 10% (6.0% as reported) and growth of total revenue on the same basis of 8.6% (4.7% as reported). After increased investment in the business aimed at driving longer term organic growth, adjusted profit before tax was £46.8m, which is marginally higher than last year (£46.6m). Net cash inflow from operating activities before tax was strong at £51.2m.
Commenting on the management changes, Murray Hennessy, Chairman Designate, Abcam said:
“Through the innovative business model which Jonathan established and developed, Abcam has grown to have nearly 750 employees globally, with our newest office in Shanghai opening earlier this year. He and Alan have forged a close working relationship and share a strategic vision for Abcam’s future. Alan will take over the leadership of the company, with Jonathan remaining involved in helping to identify and capitalise on important technological developments in the market and business development opportunities.
“Abcam continues to grow and is now entering the next phase of its development. The Board felt that Alan, with his keen focus on the customer and significant global business experience, was the ideal candidate to lead the company through this. The results we are announcing today clearly demonstrate Alan’s contribution so far and we are excited about our future prospects.”
Jonathan Milner, co-Founder, Abcam:
“The future has never been brighter for Abcam. Whilst I am standing down as Chief Executive Officer, I remain fully committed to this business. After sixteen years as Chief Executive Officer, during which time Abcam has become one of the world’s leading suppliers of protein research tools, now is the right time to hand over the reins. I have worked closely with Alan over the last year and he has been inspirational in the evolution of our strategy. Alan has my full confidence and I believe there is no one better to take the company forward on the next phase of our journey. I look forward to continuing to work closely with him and the strong leadership team at Abcam in my new role as Deputy Chairman, helping to seek out technologies and opportunities which will further strengthen the company.
I would also like to thank Peter Keen for his long and distinguished service on the Abcam Board, on which he has served for nine years.”
Alan Hirzel, Chief Executive Officer, Abcam:
“I am delighted to be taking on the role of Chief Executive Officer of Abcam, at such an exciting point in its growth. Jonathan and the Abcam team have built a fantastic company over the last sixteen years, and I am privileged to now take the helm. I am driven by our mission to help life science researchers discover more, and am looking forward to continuing to implement our strategy of driving growth by placing the customer at the heart of the business – a strategy that is already delivering results.”