IT infrastructure provider Softcat has revealed a leadership succession plan.

The Marlow-headquartered company said on 1st August 2023 Graeme Watt, who will at that time have been CEO of the business for more than five years, will succeed Martin Hellawell as non-executive chair. 

Graham Charlton, who has operated as CFO for eight years, will become CEO, with a search now underway both internally and externally to find his replacement as finance chief.

“This move has been carefully considered by the board, which acknowledges that the appointment of the CEO into the role of the chair is not in line with the recommendations of the UK Corporate Governance Code,” read a company statement.

“However, the board was unanimous that Graeme’s deep knowledge of the business, Softcat’s culture and its markets made him the ideal candidate to support the interests of all our stakeholders.”

Softcat is listed in London and has offices around the UK, Scotland and Ireland.

“Softcat is a very special business with a distinct culture which puts people at the heart of everything we do,” said Karen Slatford, chair of the nomination committee and senior independent director.

“As we have been working on succession planning, we have been very focussed on ensuring that we protect and develop that culture and continue to be committed to the simple, proven growth strategy which has served us so well. 

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“Graeme and Graham are the best people to lead the company and we all look forward to working with them when they assume their new roles in August 2023. 

“We will miss Martin when he steps down as chair, but are confident that he leaves us with strong foundations for continued future success.”

Watt commented: “I am very excited to see Graham take the opportunity to lead the company from next year. 

“I relish the opportunity to remain on the board as chair and believe we have established a very clear and successful governance model in this respect.”

Softcat shares fell 2% in early trading on Tuesday following the announcement.

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