Management shake-up at SMC

Stewart McColl’s architecture and interior design practice SMC Group has reshuffled its senior management as part of a wide-ranging review of operations which sees McColl lose his chief executive role.

Under the changes McColl becomes deputy chairman, while chairman Sir Rodney Walker steps up to the role of executive chairman and will carry out an assessment of ‘all operational and managerial aspects of the SMC business’, picking up a day-to-day role in its management.

A profit warning from SMC last month knocked a third off the company’s share price in one day. According to reports, institutional investors were unhappy with the company’s ongoing acquisitions push and called for a management change. In March last year, SMC acquired architect Will Alsop’s practice, renaming it SMC Alsop.

McColl has a background in interior design, having founded Stewart McColl Associates in 1973. It then became McColl and was sold to WPP in 1988 for £32.5m. The consultancy was later merged with WPP’s Business Design Group to create BDG McColl.

‘In the short term we will be focusing on realising operating efficiencies and organic growth. Following the changes I anticipate implementing, I believe that the group will be well placed to maintain its position as a leading business in the fields of architecture and design,’ says Walker. He joined SMC in 2004, having previously sat as chairman for a number of sports-related listed companies.

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