COBHAM, the under-fire aerospace and defence business, has recruited David Mellors as its new chief financial officer from rival engineering group QinetiQ. Mellors is expected to join Cobham, the FTSE 250 defence business which posted a 70% fall in profits in April, is expected to join QinetiQ by 1 January next year.
He has been with QinetiQ since 2008 and was heavily involved in the turnaround of the company and the strengthening of its balance sheet. Cobham was forced to launch a £500m emergency rights issue earlier this month to shore up its balance sheet following a fall in first-quarter profit and to stop debt from a 2014 acquisition spree pushing it towards a breach of banking covenants.
Mellors will replace Simon Nicholls at Cobham, who resigned in January to join Wolseley, the FTSE 100 plumbing materials supplier, as CFO. However, Nicholls appointment was scotched following an uprising by shareholders which caused Wolseley to backtrack on its decision.
At the time, Wolseley said the reasons behind the U-turn were “a private matter between the board and Simon”.
QinetiQ said a search for Mellors’ successor has already begun.
“The capital discipline and strong financial position established under David’s leadership will underpin our future success and allow us to invest selectively in future growth, said Steve Wadey, QinetiQ CEO.