Dr Chris Owen to step down as Chief Executive of SMMT

Jan 23, 2020   People

SMMT Industry Forum, the automotive industry’s productivity improvement and training business, announced that Dr Chris Owen will step down as its Chief Executive.

Dr Owen has led SMMT Industry Forum for more than eight years, successfully positioning the organisation to offer world-leading services to major global manufacturers. Recognised for his innovative approach to consultancy, he has built a strong team and introduced a number of innovative new solutions to help improve the competitiveness and productivity of businesses.

Dr Owen will officially leave Industry Forum at the end of April, however, he will continue to support the organisation during the changeover of leadership. SMMT Industry Forum continues to be committed to offering the highest quality of consultancy and training to its customers and the services offered by the organisation will be unaffected during the transition period.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “We are very disappointed to lose Chris who has made a major contribution to the automotive industry. As he moves on, I'm sure he will make a success of whatever he chooses to do in the next stage of his career.”

Mike Baunton, Chairman of SMMT Industry Forum, said, “Having worked with Chris for over 20 years, I know just how capable he is. The development of the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Levels (NMCL) programme, a key driver in improving the UK’s manufacturing competiveness, is just one example of his many achievements during his career with Industry Forum. We will seek a replacement with the same drive, passion and expertise to evolve his clear and well-defined strategy.”

Industry Forum was established by SMMT, vehicle manufacturers and government, to improve the competitiveness of UK manufacturing. It has more than 150 cross-sector industry specialists and is active in 30 countries. Over the past 20 years, it has delivered more than 400 competitiveness and productivity programmes and trained over 25,000 people.

Most recently, Industry Forum designed, implemented and began the rollout of the government and industry funded NMCL package, a programme created to help manufacturers of all sizes and stages of development across automotive and aerospace understand how competitive they currently are and develop the specific business capabilities they need to boost their performance.

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