Victrex announces upcoming appointment of Jakob Sigurdsson to its Board of Directors as CEO

– UK, Thornton Cleveleys – Victrex plc (LSE:VCT), an innovative world leader in high performance polymer solutions, today announces that David Hummel has notified the Board of his intention to retire after 24 highly successful years as Chief Executive. The Board is pleased to announce that Jakob Sigurdsson, the former Chief Executive of global polymer manufacturer Promens, who has more than 20 years’ experience in diverse multinational companies, will join the Company on 1 September 2017 as Chief Executive-designate, following an extensive search process.

Dave, 59, will retire from the Company on 31 March 2018. He will step down as Chief Executive on 30 September 2017, but to enable an orderly transition he will remain on the Board as an Executive Director, reporting to the Chairman, until Victrex’s AGM in February 2018. Jakob will succeed Dave as Chief Executive and join the Board on 1 October 2017.

Larry Pentz, Chairman of Victrex, said: “Dave has been instrumental in Victrex’s success. As Chief Executive for nearly 25 years, he has delivered strong growth, helped us to create new markets, innovate into new applications and led a clear and differentiated strategy. We owe significant thanks to Dave for his immense contribution to Victrex and whilst he will remain on the Board until our 2018 AGM, we wish him well in his eventual retirement.”

Jakob Sigurdsson, 53, has more than 20 years’ experience in large multinational companies, both listed and private, including with Rohm & Haas (acquired by Dow Chemical) in the US, as Chief Executive of food manufacturer Alfesca in Europe, and as Chief Executive of Promens. His roles have spanned marketing, supply chain, business development, strategy and M&A, with particular emphasis on growth in new or developing markets, both within Rohm & Haas and as a CEO and non-executive director.

During his four year tenure as Chief Executive of Promens between 2011 and 2015, he accelerated the Group’s growth strategy in both mature and emerging markets, including Pharmaceutical, Chemical and Automotive, leveraging relationships with key global customers. An IPO was initiated in 2014, following the business returning to profitability, prior to a trade sale to RPC Group. Jakob is currently Chief Executive of VIS, the largest Icelandic insurance and re-insurance company, which is listed on the Icelandic stock exchange.

Larry Pentz added: “I am delighted that Jakob will be joining us as our new Chief Executive. He was the standout candidate for the role and has proven experience in delivering focused growth strategies, particularly for new and emerging markets, or new technologies.

“As we communicated at our recent Capital Markets Day, our Polymer & Parts strategy provides a strong platform for growth and the focus is all about execution. Consequently, with Jakob’s track record of making markets and delivering growth, as well as his diverse experience in both private and listed companies, the Board believes this appointment is a strong fit with Victrex and will serve us well.”

Jakob Sigurdsson commented: “‘I am proud and excited to be appointed Chief Executive of such a highly regarded global company. I look forward to working with the Board and the management team to deliver our strategic priorities and execute on our growth opportunities over the coming years.”

Dave Hummel added: “It has been a privilege to serve Victrex for so many years. I am transitioning from the Company at a time where it is very well positioned for the next phase of growth, with a clear and differentiated strategy, a highly capable management team and a strong pipeline of opportunities. I have every confidence in Jakob and believe that his diverse experience, his passion and curiosity, financial competence and capability will continue to drive the business forward. “

Jakob Sigurdsson, 53, is an Icelandic national, married with three children. He holds an MBA from Northwestern University in the US, and a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Iceland. His early career was spent in Iceland at a number of manufacturing businesses, including in paint coatings, before joining Rohm & Haas (prior to it becoming part of Dow Chemical) in 1995 within their marketing function.

He progressed through several roles at Rohm & Haas, both in Europe and the US, including as General Manager for the Emulsion business in Europe, prior to the acquisition by Dow in 2009. His role as CEO of Alfesca, a food manufacturer in Europe, included acquiring a competitor and divestments of non-core assets. During his role as Chief Executive of Promens between 2011 and 2015, he accelerated the Group’s growth strategy in several mature and emerging markets, including Pharmaceutical, Chemical and Automotive markets.

Since 2015, Jakob has held a number of non-executive roles in Iceland. He is currently Chief Executive of VIS, the largest Icelandic insurance and re-insurance company, which is listed on the Icelandic stock exchange. Mr Sigurdsson’s base salary will be £500,000 and he will participate in the company’s bonus and long-term incentive arrangements in accordance with the company’s remuneration policy. His notice period of 12 months is in line with other Executive directors. He will relocate to the UK as part of his appointment.

About Victrex

Victrex is an innovative world leader in high performance polymer solutions, focused on the strategic markets of Automotive, Aerospace, Energy, Electronics and Medical. Every day, millions of people rely on products or applications which contain our materials, from smartphones, aeroplanes and cars to oil & gas operations and medical devices. With over 35 years’ experience, we are moving beyond the polymer into semi-finished and finished products (‘parts’) which shape future performance for our customers and our markets, and drive value for our shareholders.

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