John Hooker appointed SATRA CEO
SATRA chief executive Austin Simmons recently retired after 23 years’ service, with new CEO John Hooker taking up the reins on 1st July. Austin joined SATRA in 1996 to head the newly-founded safety product centre, which has since developed into one of Europe’s foremost personal protective equipment testing and certification organisations. He was promoted to assistant director in 2002 and his responsibilities were extended to cover footwear testing, quality assurance, production efficiency and research. Working closely with Richard Turner (chief executive at the time) for 13 years, Austin had a direct involvement in developing corporate strategy and initiatives across SATRA’s consumer and industrial product sectors. He also led the programme to enhance benefits to SATRA member companies and was appointed to the board of directors in 2004. Austin became chief executive when Richard Turner stepped down in June 2009.
Many key changes took place during Austin’s tenure. These included the purchase and renovation of Century House (close to the Wyndham Way headquarters), the growth of SATRA’s Chinese operations – with the opening of a new China office and laboratory in 2012 – and the establishment of SATRA Technology Europe Limited in 2018, based in the Irish Republic.
John Hooker 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, and the building of SATRA’s new Century House test equipment manufacturing facility. John began his career as an engineer, before moving into operations and then commercial general management. He has 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 aims to continue to draw on his knowledge and experience in order to work with the executive team on the further development and realisation of SATRA’s business strategy. He was appointed as deputy chief executive of SATRA in April 2018
“The strength of a technology organisation like SATRA rests in its people,” John commented. “I am looking forward to working with the whole team, ensuring that we remain world leaders and that we continuously expand and improve the services and products that our members value.”
The photograph at the top of this article shows Austin Simmons (left) with new SATRA chief executive, John Hooker.
This article was originally published on page 3 of the July/August 2019 issue of SATRA Bulletin.