- Ashley Wright will become the next CEO of GHD following the
retirement of Ian Shepherd on 31 March 2016.
- Based in Perth, Western Australia, Ashley is currently General
Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa and previously led GHD’s
Western Australian operations.
- Ashley’s career spans 27 years across Australia, South Africa,
Botswana, Namibia and the UK. As an engineer, he has worked on some
of Australia’s landmark projects, including the Perth to Bunbury
Highway and the Mandurah Railway in Western Australia, and the
Westlink M7 motorway in Sydney.
- GHD is one of the world’s leading engineering, architecture,
environmental and construction services companies with 8500 people
around the globe and revenues of AUD1.6 billion.
One of the world’s leading engineering, architecture,
environmental and construction services companies, GHD, has named
Ashley Wright as the next Chief Executive Officer, taking over from
Ian Shepherd on his retirement at the end of March 2016.
The company has embarked on a smooth internal leadership
transition to implement the next stage of its strategy, which aims
to deliver sustained growth by connecting clients with the
technical capabilities of its global network.
The incoming CEO brings an international perspective that’s
aligned to GHD’s expanded global footprint. Ashley’s career spans
27 years of professional experience across Australia, South Africa,
Botswana, Namibia and the UK. Ashley is currently General Manager
for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Based in Perth, he previously
led the company’s Western Australian operations.
GHD has developed a truly global presence, with a strong base in
the USA and Canada complementing its foundation operations in
Australia and the Asia Pacific. The Europe and Middle East region
is also increasingly important for GHD, with a rapidly expanding UK
business, and high-performing operations in Qatar and the UAE.
Ashley says, “GHD is well positioned for future challenges, with
more than 8500 people across five continents. In an industry
increasingly exposed to global competition and the volatility of
resource prices, GHD has developed a business model that is
confident, reliable and innovative. Our business is diversified and
geographically balanced, and our brand is renowned for client
service and a culture of safety.”
Russell Board, Chairman, says, “Thanks to our long-term
succession planning process, the Board has been able to focus on
highly experienced internal candidates in assessing potential CEOs.
Ashley brings passion and energy to his leadership and is a highly
Ian has announced he will retire after a career of over 30 years
at GHD, including almost eight years as CEO. Under his leadership,
the company has grown significantly, from an annual turnover of
AUD0.9 billion in 2008 to AUD1.6 billion in 2015. Continuing GHD’s
record of nearly 90 years of sustained growth and success, Ian has
led the company through the boom and in a different context, the
GFC and, more recently, the dramatic decline in global commodity
He says, “When I became CEO, GHD had fewer than 100 people in
USA and none at all in Canada. Today, nearly half of our revenue is
generated in North America. We have also grown the proportion of
our private sector clients, including multinational companies that
operate assets around the world. At a time when some economies are
stagnant and with commodity and energy prices trending down, having
a diversified business is helping us adapt, grow, and add value for
Ian attributes some of GHD’s success to the company’s model of
employee ownership. “The future direction and sustained growth of
our business is determined by the people who work here, and this is
why we have been able to set and execute long-range strategies. Our
people realise they are custodians of value who build up a business
and then pass it on to the next generation.”
Ian continues, “Our industry is constantly changing with new
types of services and demands from our clients for more insights
across their assets. What has not changed is our ability to grow
and develop our leaders. I will leave GHD knowing it is in very