G4S frontman Nick Buckles steps down - UPDATE

After just three weeks on the job, G4S Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Ashley Almanza has already been promoted to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) position, replacing Nick Buckles who announced his decision to retire on Tuesday.

After just three weeks on the job, G4S Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Ashley Almanza has already been promoted to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) position, replacing Nick Buckles who announced his decision to retire on Tuesday.

The security firm's reputation has been under pressure over the past year since the company admitted that it did not have enough resources to deliver on its Olympics security contract last summer.

Buckles has been working for the company for 28 years and has made a "massive contribution", according to Chairman John Connolly. Buckles will step down at the end of the month.

"As CEO [Buckles] led G4S in the creation of significant shareholder value following the merger of Securicor and Group 4 Falck - building the world's leading security company.On behalf of the board and everyone at G4S, I thank Nick and wish him the very best of luck for the future."

Analysts at Jefferies said that while Almanza's promotion was not particularly surprising, it happened much quicker than expected - "we thought a year might pass before an orderly transition was unveiled".

"We suspect the accelerated timeline may have been driven by shareholder reaction to the recent disappointing profit warning," the broker said.

Following the announcement, the stock was up 1.79% at 255.5p in early trading on Tuesday.

Connolly said that Almanza brings a "wealth of experience" to the G4S board "and we are confident he will provide strong strategic and operational leadership to the group".

Almanza said: "G4S is a great global business with enormous long term potential and I am looking forward to working with a highly experienced and capable management team as we take the business forward."

The company is looking for a new CFO but has appointed regional UK CFO Stuart Curl as the interim officer until the end of the search.

Meanwhile, following the board review of the Olympics contract, the firm has created a new senior role of Chief Operating Officer and will appoint former DHL exec Eddie Aston to this position in July.

"These senior management changes, together with the recently announced new board appointments, will position the company strongly as we pursue our strategic goals," Connolly added.

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