Highland Spring Group chief executive Les Montgomery announces plans to step down after 36 years with the business.
Perthshire bottled water firm Highland Spring has today announced its chief executive will step down at the end of this year.
Les Montgomery will retire after 14 years in the top job. He will become a non-executive director of the company.
Chief commercial officer Simon Oldham and chief operating officer Mark Steven will step up to be joint managing directors of the business with immediate effect.
Mr Montgomery joined the Perthshire company in 1985, he was previously finance director and was appointed to the chief executive role in 2007.
He has played a pivotal role in establishing the group as a leading natural source waters producer, with Highland Spring now the number one brand in the UK market.
During his tenure with the company, he spearheaded the acquisitions of Speyside Glenlivet and the water division of Greencore Group.
He achieved his ambition to double the size of the business, including turnover, from £50 million to £100m which was met a few years ago.
Over the last three years, as well as leading the day-to-day activities of the business, Les has worked closely with other business leaders to develop plans and establish an organisation to run the proposed Deposit Return Scheme in Scotland.
The outgoing chief executive said: “Highland Spring Group recently celebrated its 40th anniversary and I am very proud of how far the business has come in that time.
“It has been a privilege to lead the company for the last 14 years and I would like to thank all the employees, past and present, of Highland Spring Group for their commitment and support.
“I look forward to continuing to make a positive contribution to the business as a non-executive director.”
Highland Spring headed by new team
Simon Oldham has over 25 years of fast-moving consumer goods commercial experience, having begun his career at Procter & Gamble.
He joined Highland Spring Group in 2010, originally as sales director.
Mr Oldham will remain responsible for leading the company’s sales, marketing, export, technical and supply chain teams to create consumer demand and drive growth domestically and overseas.
Mark Steven joined the company as group finance director in 2013, having previously been chief financial officer with VION Food Group UK.
He has worked across a number of different industries both in the UK and overseas.
Mr Steven was appointed chief operating officer in November 2018 and will continue to have overall responsibility for the management and setting of strategic direction for the operations, procurement, finance, IT, legal and HR functions.
Commenting on the announcement, Simon Oldham and Mark Steven said: “We are delighted to be leading the business at this exciting time as we enter the next chapter in the story of this unique company.
“The last year has proven what a great business Highland Spring Group is, with strong assets and fantastic people.”