Hays: Heap takes over UK & Ireland

A management shake-up has occurred at leading global recruiter Hays with the company announcing the appointment of Nigel Heap as UK & Ireland managing director.

Thu, 19 Apr 2012A management shake-up has occurred at leading global recruiter Hays with the company announcing the appointment of Nigel Heap (left) as UK & Ireland managing director.

The appointment takes effective immediately, according to the Hays announcement.

Heap has led Hays’ Asia-Pacific business – the group’s largest profit contributor – for the last 15 years. He has been with the company for 25 years.

He succeeds Royston Hoggarth, who is leaving Hays after 18 1/2 months in the role. Hoggarth joined Hays in October 2010. Previously, he was chief executive at BT Global Services from September 2008 to August 2009.

The shake-up occurs just a week after Hays announced a 5% decline in net fees for the UK & Ireland during the quarter ended 31 March 2012. The recent interim management statement reported that private sector net fees had dropped by 6% during the period, with public sector net fees down by 2%.

A City source said of the management changes that Heap was far better known by the investor community than Hoggarth and has “a great track record as a recruiter”. Hays’ announcement signals a transfer of “the problem child of the UK to a safe pair of hands”, the source said.
 
“They [Hays] need to return the UK to growth,” the source went on to say. “To achieve that, you need somebody with significant industry experience. You need to put your best guy on to trying to remedy the situation. You can’t say to investors, ‘The economy is tough’.”

Heap will remain a member of the group’s management board and will continue to report to group chief executive Alistair Cox.

In other key management changes in the shake-up, Nick Deligiannis will take over as managing director, Australia & New Zealand, with immediate effect, and Christine Wright is appointed as operations director, Asia. She will be responsible for the day-to-day operational management of Hays’ businesses in Japan, China, Singapore and Hong Kong.

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