Glasgow Prestwick Airport announces appointment of new CEO

Ron Smith joins the team to lead transformation and repositioning of airport

Tuesday 24 May, 21:20 Europe/London

Andrew Miller, Glasgow Prestwick Airport Chairman, today (Tuesday 24 May) announced the appointment of Ron Smith as the airport’s permanent Chief Executive Officer. Ron will take up this post from Monday 30 May.

Ron joins the airport following a period as General Operations Manager for CHC Helicopters Aberdeen. In his time with CHC, Ron delivered a new Hanger, Terminal and class leading Operations centre to establish a new CHC Helicopter base at Norwich Airport. He also successfully led a business case to secure £20 million for a redevelopment programme of CHC’s base at Aberdeen Airport. Prior to this, Ron was the Managing Director of James Walker UK Limited, a UK based global manufacturing organisation that supplies a range of fluid and gas sealing solutions and associated knowledge-based services to a wide range of sectors including oil and gas, aerospace, power and defence markets. Ron brings to Glasgow Prestwick more than 25 years’ experience of operating at an Executive level – with more than 16 of these years operating at Managing Director level for global organisations. His experience spans aviation, manufacturing, technology and engineering.

Announcing this appointment, Andrew Miller, said:

“Making this appointment is a huge step forward for the airport. It is also one of the most important tasks that I have undertaken as Chairman. Getting the right person, with the right knowledge, skills and experience to lead the day-to-day delivery of a new vision for the airport is absolutely fundamental to our future success.

“In his previous roles, Ron has successfully led organisations through periods of change in order to meet objectives like securing finance, increasing productivity and profitability and developing and marketing new product and service offerings. All of this experience will be invaluable to Glasgow Prestwick.

Talking about his new role, Ron Smith, said:

“I can’t wait to take up this new role. Glasgow Prestwick Airport is a major infrastructure and economic asset for Ayrshire, Scotland and the United Kingdom and I am keen to protect that for generations to come by delivering a profitable and sustainable business.

“It is exciting to be part of a newly formed team with a new vision. It is evident that momentum is picking up and I am keen to come in and build upon that to drive things forward at pace. I look forward to getting my feet under the desk and working with the team to help the airport fulfil its full potential.”

Ron will be taking over from Richard Jenner, who has been with the airport since September 2015 in the position of Interim Chief Executive.

Commenting on Richard’s time with the airport, Andrew Miller said:

“I would like to extend a thank you to Richard for taking on the post of Interim Chief Executive Officer.

“In the space of ten months, Richard has led the reshaping of the business to ensure that it meets the needs of a modern aerospace business, he has progressed the airport’s thinking on the potential of a Spaceport and he has spearheaded the development of a new professional brand that starts the process of the airport’s repositioning.

“Richard will be with the business up until the end of June and this will be a valuable handover period from Richard to Ron and it will help to ensure that the good work that is already underway is continued.”

Richard Jenner, Glasgow Prestwick Airport, Interim Chief Executive officer, added:

“I am delighted that the airport has secured such an excellent candidate for this important role. I look forward to working closely with Ron over the next month to bring him up to speed with everything that is happening here at the airport to ensure there is a smooth handover. This appointment will bring a real boost to the airport and Ron’s approachability will be welcomed by airport staff who are ready to embrace and get behind the new leadership team to turn the airport around.”

Ron has a fellowship for the Chartered Institute of Marketing and is a member of the Institute of Directors. Ron also has a considerable history of activity in the CBI on behalf of several multi-national corporations.