Sims Limited (ASX: SGM), a global leader in sustainability and an enabler of the circular economy, today announced that Alistair Field, Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director since 2017, informed the Board of Directors that he intends to retire as the company’s CEO effective September 30, 2023. As part of Sims Limited’s succession plan, the Board of Directors will appoint Stephen Mikkelsen, current Group Chief Financial Officer, to succeed Alistair Field as Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director effective October 1, 2023.
Alistair Field joined the company in 2015 and commenced the role of CEO two years later. As CEO, Mr. Field played a pivotal role in developing and driving Sims Limited’s growth strategy.
“Alistair’s vision has been fundamental in transforming the company by defining our purpose and culture, which, in turn, drives our strategy and vision,” said Geoff Brunsdon, Chairman of the Board of Directors. “He is leaving Sims Limited well-positioned to capitalise on a once-in-a-generation opportunity to support decarbonisation, energy transition, and the circular economy. Despite business transformation and market challenges, Sims Limited’s safety metrics have materially improved under Alistair’s leadership to be best in class. We are very thankful for his achievements throughout his successful career with the company, including his leadership during COVID.”
Commenting on the announcement, Mr Field said, “I am honoured to have been the CEO of Sims Limited for the past six years, and I am proud of what the team has achieved. The company is well-positioned with a strong platform for growth and a high-quality team in place. It is an excellent time to pass the baton to the next CEO Stephen Mikkelsen, who has demonstrated that he is a strong fit with the company, its strategy and culture. I would like to thank the Board of Directors, our shareholders, and all our employees for their support during my time with the company.”
Mr Field has been the driving force behind Sims Limited’s long-term management succession planning process, which will ensure this transition happens in an orderly manner.
Stephen Mikkelsen has served as Sims Limited’s Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO) since 2018. Prior to joining the company, Mr Mikkelsen held several executive leadership positions at AGL Energy, including Group General Manager for Retail Energy and Executive General Manager for Energy Markets, AGL’s largest revenue generator. In these roles, Mr Mikkelsen demonstrated a successful track record of growing businesses that operate in complex trading environments while maintaining strong employee engagement.
“Stephen was selected as Sims Limited’s next CEO by the Board of Directors following a rigorous recruitment process, and I congratulate him on his appointment,” Mr Brunsdon said. “The Board is delighted that Sims Limited’s new CEO is an internal candidate who is a well-respected member of the organisation. Stephen’s experience with, and knowledge of, the company’s operations allows him to seamlessly transition into the CEO role while driving Sims Limited’s growth strategy.”
During his tenure as CFO, Mr Mikkelsen acquired a deep understanding of the metals industry, and he has been a significant contributor to Sims Limited’s financial and operational performance. Mr Mikkelsen has embedded strong financial discipline and strategic focus across the business, seeking efficiencies and recycling capital to generate value and drive growth.
“Stephen brings a wealth of experience and a proven history in managing large, complex organisations, building new businesses, and creating shareholder value through disciplined capital allocation. His deep knowledge of business transformation and change management have been – and will continue to be – integral to embedding a functional design within the organization,” Mr Brunsdon concluded.
“Sims Limited is well-positioned to capture growth opportunities from decarbonisation of the metals industry to the development of circular economies, and I look forward to leading the team and building upon Alistair’s legacy,” Mr Mikkelsen said. “We have a highly-skilled Board of Directors, an experienced management team, engaged employees, an enduring strategy, and a strong balance sheet in place, so I am confident that Sims Limited will continue to thrive and grow.”
The Board of Directors commenced a global internal and external search for the company’s next Group Chief Financial Officer. In line with the company’s succession plan, Steve Skurnac, Sims Limited’s Group Chief Development Officer, will assume the role of Interim CFO beginning October 1, 2023. Upon the appointment of a permanent CFO, Mr Skurnac will retire from Sims Limited.
Commenting on the appointment of Mr Skurnac to Interim CFO, Mr Mikkelsen said, “Steve has been with Sims Limited in various executive roles since 2007, and he brings a wealth of knowledge and executive level experience across all our portfolio businesses. He will provide strong leadership and business continuity while we finalise the recruitment and appointment of a permanent CFO.”
Mr Mikkelsen, who is currently based in Sydney, Australia, will be co-located in Australia and the United States.
About Sims Limited
Founded in 1917, Sims Limited is a global leader in sustainability and an enabler of the circular economy that employs 4,400 employees who operate from more than 200 facilities across 15 countries. The company’s ordinary shares are listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX: SGM), and its American Depositary Shares are quoted on the Over-the-Counter market in the United States (USOTC: SMSMY). The company’s purpose, create a world without waste to preserve our planet, is what drives them to constantly innovate and offer new solutions in the circular economy for consumers, businesses, governments and communities around the world. For more information, visit www.simsltd.com.