Element appoints new CEO


Testing provider Element has appointed its chief financial officer, Jo Wetz, to be its next CEO when Charles Noall steps down from the role at the end of this year.

Noall is retiring after 17 years leading the global materials testing company.

Wetz led the original buyout of the Stork Materials testing division that created Element in 2010 alongside Noall as an investor, before joining the company in 2012 as its chief financial officer.

In 2010 Element had 23 locations and 600 employees and today has almost 200 locations and almost 7,000 employees.

Wetz also worked alongside Noall when Element was sold to private equity firm Bridgepoint in 2016 and during the subsequent acquisition of testing company Exova in 2017, a US$1 billion transaction that doubled the size of Element.

Allan Leighton, Element’s chairman, said, “I am delighted that Jo is taking on the role of CEO. This leadership transition is a great example of succession planning and will provide strong continuity as Element pursues its vision of becoming the world’s most trusted testing partner.”

Wetz said, “It has been a privilege to work alongside Charles and the rest of the Element management team over the last eight years as we have transformed the company into a global leader, recognised for supporting customers operating in some of the most complex and advanced industrial supply chains.

“I am hugely excited about leading Element’s talented management team on the next stage of our exciting growth journey.”

“I am also delighted that Charles will remain on the Board, as a non-executive director, where his knowledge of the TIC sector and Element will continue to be a major asset. An active search for a new CFO is well underway and we expect to announce an appointment shortly.”

Noall retires after a career of 40 years, with a number of roles in the European aerospace industry including as the CEO of the Stork Materials Technology testing division. Following the management buyout of Stork Materials Technology in 2010, the company was rebranded as Element in 2011 and Charles led the subsequent transformation of the Group.

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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