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SATRA CEO announces retirement

Chief executive Austin Simmons is to retire later this year following 23 years of service.

For the past ten years, Austin Simmons has led SATRA and helped it to develop as a truly global testing and research organisation. During his time as chief executive, the organisation has built – and then expanded – a suite of cutting-edge technical facilities in China, in addition to refining and boosting its operations in the UK and Europe. Austin has recently announced his intention to retire in the summer, after he has shared in the events organised to mark the 100th anniversary of SATRA’s founding.

Austin joined SATRA in 1996 to lead and develop its personal protective equipment (PPE) testing and certification business. He was also responsible for moving SATRA’s test facilities from the Rockingham Road, Kettering site to the new Wyndham Way development, which now acts as the organisation’s headquarters. In 2002, Austin became assistant director, when he took on responsibility for a number of footwear-related businesses, before becoming an executive director in 2004. He was promoted to deputy chief executive in 2007 and then, after working closely with his predecessor Richard Turner for 13 years, Austin took on the role of SATRA chief executive in July 2009.

The SATRA board of directors has placed on record its thanks for the outstanding contribution Austin has made to SATRA, and wishes him a long, happy and well-deserved retirement.

The board is pleased to confirm that current deputy chief executive, John Hooker, will become chief executive in the summer – the ninth person to hold the position. John joined SATRA in September 2015 as executive director and has been responsible for developing the organisation’s consumer products business, including PPE certification and testing. He has also managed a number of other projects, such as the ongoing building of SATRA’s new test equipment manufacturing facility.

John began his career as an engineer, before moving into operations and then commercial general management roles. He has previously held board positions in a variety of manufacturing and service companies serving highly regulated industries, including the medical device and automotive sectors. John is passionate about the development of people, products and services, and will draw on the knowledge and experience he has gained in order to work with the executive team on the further development and realisation of SATRA’s business strategy.

The photograph above shows current SATRA chief executive Austin Simmons (left) with CEO designate John Hooker.

Publishing Data

This article was originally published on page 6 of the February 2019 issue of SATRA Bulletin.

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