AMA Group has announced the retirements of Anthony Day, Chair and Non-Executive Director; Paul Ruiz, Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee and Non-Executive Director; and Carl Bizon, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer.
Day and Ruiz departed immediately, while Bizon will retire at the company’s 2023 Annual General Meeting on 23 November.
The news follows AMA’s postponement of its FY 2023 results webcast, which was announced just minutes before it was scheduled to run, along with a trading halt in preparation for an announcement regarding the company’s equity capital raising efforts.
However, AMA said the decisions are consistent with its succession planning and “unrelated to the work which is ongoing regarding the proposed equity capital raising”.
“This transition follows an incredibly challenging few years for both the collision repair industry and the Group,” said AMA.
“Over this period, the Group has undertaken huge transformation, which has driven a significant improvement in governance and the professionalisation of the Group. AMA Group has endured the significant impacts of COVID-19 and led the industry in achieving price increases with insurer customers to address the significant impact of inflation and damage severity over recent years.
“Today, the operations of the business are poised for the next phase. The timing is right for new leadership to realise the potential of the Group and capitalise on these strong foundations.”
Independent Non-Executive Director Caroline Waldron has stepped into the role of Chair of the Board of AMA Group. A lawyer by training, Waldron is described as a skilled non-executive director with extensive commercial and governance experience gained from listed and blue-chip entities in Australia and New Zealand. She has been a member of the AMA Group board since 1 March 2022.
Current AMA Group Independent Non-Executive Director Talbot Babineau was appointed Deputy Chair, as the company “seeks to leverage his deep understanding of North American collision industry best-practice”.
Non-Executive Director Simon Moore has become Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee, while Kyle Loades will continue in his role as Chair of the People Committee.
AMA said the board will review its composition and skills before commencing non-executive director recruitment, to “ensure a fit-for-purpose board which will support the Group as it pursues the opportunities that lay ahead”.
The board will undertake a formal search process for the CEO role, with internal and external candidates considered.
“Over the last 18 months, Caroline’s wealth of knowledge, professionalism and insight have proven to be exceptionally valuable,” said Day. “She has gained the respect of both the board and management team. I am pleased to hand over the reins to Caroline, as her leadership, legal, and board experience will take the Group into the future.
“Paul has been an outstanding member of the board. His skill and governance focus has been invaluable to the board and broader finance team. Paul leaves the board for personal reasons. We support his decision and thank him for his contributions to the board.
“Carl agreed to take on the role of CEO under challenging circumstances, and his stoicism and continued dedication, through what has been an incredibly difficult two and a half years, has been nothing short of exemplary, and I thank him for all he’s done for the business.”
Waldron said Day’s extensive knowledge of the insurance sector and his dedication to governance laid the foundations for the company’s success. “It is a privilege to succeed Anthony, and I express my gratitude for his calm leadership of the board and Group. Anthony will be focusing his energies on his other business interests, and we wish him all the best in these endeavours,” she added.
“I also thank Carl for his tenacious prosecution of the interests of the Group and our team, and Paul for his professionalism and dedication. The Group’s progress under extraordinary circumstances is a testament to the leadership and resourcefulness of these three people.
“Our shareholders have been patient, and our team members resilient, as we have weathered the challenges of the last few years. We now have the foundations in place to allow us to harness the exceptional talent within our business, to deliver meaningful value to our customers, team, and shareholders through operational excellence.
“This is an opportunity for renewal for the next phase and I look forward to working with the board as we conduct our search for the new CEO of AMA Group, and as we round out the board to lead the business into the future.”