ISG chief steps down as ‘fundamental reset’ beckons

ISG chief executive Matt Blowers has left the company after only two years in the role, with chief financial officer Karen Booth also set to step down in March.

Blowers spent 26 years at ISG, taking up the top job from Paul Cossell in January 2022. He was previously chief operating officer of ISG’s global fit-out business, and launched the company’s logistics and distribution division in 2018.

Blowers will be replaced by group chief operating officer Zoe Price. In her 12 years at ISG, Price has acted as group director for public sector frameworks and chief operating officer for UK construction.

ISG also announced that chief financial officer Karen Booth will leave the company in March after five years at the firm. Andrew Page has been appointed as interim chief financial officer.

Price said: “I’d like to pay tribute to the contribution that both Matt and Karen have made to the ISG business.

“We have not been immune to the challenging landscape of the construction industry over the past few years, but our focus on collaboration and quality delivery, alongside our investment in our people, have characterised this period.”

Rumours about the company’s financial health recently prompted the firm to deny them as “unsubstantiated, wholly inaccurate and false”.

Some of the contractor’s recent high-value jobs have run into trouble. It was due to complete £300m worth of work on a gigafactory for Britishvolt, which subsequently went into administration, while a £700m film studio in Hertfordshire has been paused indefinitely.

According to ISG’s most recent accounts, its pre-tax profit dropped by over a third, although the firm noted a strong cash position and an increase in forward orders.

The contractor has also been appointed to other large projects in the past few months, including a £300m prison build in Buckinghamshire.

Price said she was determined to “fundamentally reset how our business and the wider industry responds to the growing challenges to our sector”.

She added: “That is going to take different thinking. We cannot expect to attract the talent and creativity our sector needs to thrive through the continuation of behaviours and approaches that deliver the status quo.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge of helping to make a change that will be positive across construction.”

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