Strategy & Operations » Leadership & Management » Mitie’s FD quits after 11 years

Mitie’s long-standing group FD Suzanne Baxter is to step down next month following the departure of CEO Ruby McGregor-Smith, ending one of the few all-female duos at the helm of a FTSE 250 company.

Baxter, who has worked as group FD at the facilities management business since 2006, will leave the company on 10 February.

Sandip Mahajan, who joins Mitie today, will replace Baxter as chief financial officer. He will be appointed to the board on 10 February. Sandip joins from Balfour Beatty, where he worked as group FD from 2013 to 2016. He also held other roles in project and structured finance in the builder’s investments division from 2005 to 2013.

Over 12 months ago the board began a review of its succession plans and Baxter asked for her role to be considered as a part of that process, the company said.

Mitie chairman Roger Matthews said Baxter, who served as group FD for 11 years, had been “a key architect of successful growth” and helped the company become “a market leader in the UK”.

Accountant Phil Bentley was recently appointed as CEO, replacing long-standing CEO McGregor-Smith who left in December following a series of profit warnings. In September, the UK outsourcing group issued a profit warning triggering a 26% plunge in its share price on the day as the company warned that profits would be “significantly lower”.

Mitie CEO Bentley said that Mahajan “brings a wealth of experience in financing and in improving the operational performance of long term contracts. I am sure he will make a significant contribution to Mitie and I look forward to working with him”.

Mitie and other UK outsourcing companies like Capita have faced a tough time over the past year due to lower growth rates and public sector cuts. Outsourcers have increasingly relied on large public sector outsourcing contracts over the past decade for a significant portion of their revenue.