Codan digs up new CEO to helm metal detector business

Codan digs up new CEO to helm metal detector business

New Codan CEO Alf Ianniello.

Adelaide-based Codan (ASX: CDA) has today announced the current boss of packaging solutions provider Detmold will fill the empty space left by long-term outgoing CEO Donald McGurk, following a months-long downturn in the group’s share price after his announced departure.

David Simmons, the chairman of the ASX-listed company which produces hand-held metal detectors, today announced Alf Ianniello has been appointed managing director and CEO of Codan.

He will replace Donald McGurk on 4 January 2022, who announced he was stepping down in August after more than a decade at the helm of Codan.

Following McGurk’s announcement, shares in Codan plummeted significantly, down from $17.64 per share prior to the news in August to just $10.35 per share today.

Codan, which counts aid and humanitarian organisations, security and military groups, mining companies and governments as clients, has seen its shares dip slightly on today’s news - down 0.38 per cent at the time of writing.

McGurk’s replacement is Alf Ianniello, who has been the CEO of major Adelaide-based company Demold Group for 14 years. Detmold’s food packaging Detpak brand pivoted during the pandemic to manufacture millions of surgical and respirator masks for the both Federal Government’s national stockpile and SA Health.

He has also previously held a number of senior positions during a 12-year international career in the automotive and defence industries, notably with Schefanacker Vision Systems and British Aerospace.

“On behalf of the board, I am delighted to announce Alf’s appointment,” Simmons said.

“Having served on the Detmold Board for eight years up until 2019, I was able to see at first-hand that Alf was an outstanding CEO and leader. He has a proven track record of leveraging innovation and organisational capabilities and achieved significant growth in sales and profitability during his time as CEO, with revenues reaching US$450 million.

“Our search criteria of appointing a CEO with international experience whilst running a complex business at scale has been fulfilled with Alf’s appointment.”

Simmons clarified that McGurk will stay on at Codan to assist the new CEO with a “seamless transition” during the first quarter of calendar 2022.

“The current plan is for Alf and Donald to visit all our staff, key customers and major suppliers in Australia and around the world in late January 2022, and then Donald will accompany Alf on the investor presentation circuit in February next year,” Simmons said.

“I would like to recognise the contribution of Donald McGurk. Under his leadership, Codan has become one of Australia’s genuinely global technology companies that is recognised as a world leader in developing robust and reliable electronics solutions for government, corporate, NGO and consumer markets across the globe.

Ianniello said it was an honour to be appointed CEO of Codan, a company which also counts mission-critical communications solutions providers Tactical, DTC, Zetron and LMR as subsidiaries. The business segment saw sales reduce by $8.5 million in FY21 compared to the prior year as government customers slashed spending to focus on health priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Codan is one of a few Australian companies that has seen its technology accepted by international military, intelligence, and enforcement organisations,” Ianniello said.

“I will bring a disciplined approach to my role and I am excited by the growth opportunities that exist across the business. Importantly the “can do” Codan culture will be further developed under my leadership”.

Shares in CDN are down 0.38 per cent to $10.35 per share at 11.24am AEDT.

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