New senior team installed at Fife timber specialist

Andrew, Neil and Michael Donaldson

FIFE-based timber specialist James Donaldson & Sons has announced its new senior team, as Andrew and Michael Donaldson take over as CEO and chairman, respectively.

The change in leadership marks the sixth generation of Donaldsons to run the family business. Andrew was appointed CEO in April, with Michael due to start his position as chairman from July 31.

Andrew joined the company in 2010 after completing a graduate training programme at KPMG and qualifying with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS). He has spent the last ten years working in a variety of roles within the business, primarily as commercial director for MGM Timber and then latterly for James Donaldson Timber, before becoming group finance director in 2019. He succeeds Scott Cairns, who stepped down as group MD in April after nine years at the helm.

Michael joined the Donaldson Group in 2003. He started his career manufacturing roof trusses for Donaldson Timber Engineering in Cramlington. Since then he has worked with three of the JDS trading companies in roles ranging from internal sales and operations through to director level. Michael became deputy chair in 2018 and takes over the role of chair in July when his father, Neil Donaldson retires.

Outgoing chairman Neil Donaldson said, “It was always my hope that the business would be passed on to the next generation, so for both Andy and Mike to be taking on the reins is an ideal scenario and a proud moment for me. The business is a very different one to the one I started running in 1985, and I’m pleased to be leaving it on a high and in such good hands. The transition from one generation to the next has been well considered and planned for over the last ten years, and I’m confident that both Andy and Mike will do an excellent job in their roles.”

Andrew Donaldson commented, “We were brought up with our father and grandfather leading the business, so their moral compass is at the forefront of all we do – nothing will change in terms of the Donaldson ambitions or principles. Our focus will always be good governance; partnerships with our suppliers and customers; and looking after our loyal employees. However, we’re ready to take the Group into the next generation and put our stamp on it, which is an incredibly exciting prospect.”

Michael Donaldson added, “Andrew and I spent our summers working in the family business, and we’ve spent the last ten years preparing to take over the leadership. The last two years in particular have offered serious training for the roles, with Andy as CFO and me as deputy chairman. Despite the incredibly difficult circumstances that we find ourselves in at the time of taking over, dealing with the impact of Covid-19, things are off to a great start for us and we have some ambitious plans for the business.”