Having the former Hermes UK CEO at the helm of Hermes Europe will be advantageous to the UK division, according to Carole Walker’s replacement.

Martijn de Lange stepped into Walker’s shoes yesterday as she began work as the CEO of Hermes Europe, and said he’s confident she will maintain a soft spot for the Leeds-based operation. Walker had been CEO of Hermes UK since 2009.

He told MT: “It can never hurt can it? I would probably say yes it’s advantageous because there will be a big commitment towards the UK business and there will be backing and support for the UK business, and that’s important. Carole will have all the good things in her heart for Hermes UK.”

De Lange said he was excited to begin work as the CEO of Hermes UK, and that one of his major aims is to enhance and maintain the carrier’s Yorkshire heritage.

“What is important in our business is that it’s a Yorkshire, and a Leeds, business, which has an element of family feel to it. It doesn’t have any arrogance to it and it’s customer and people focused. I want to really enhance that culture and not have a big hierarchical slow organisation.”

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With peak on the horizon, de Lange said he is not concerned about the change in leadership as the parcel carrier enters its crucial season.

martijn de lange

Martijn de Lange joined Hermes from TNT in 2014

“I was the MD already running a large part of the business, so all the peak preparations and the relationships with the client and the operations I’ve been running for almost five years anyway. So I don’t think it makes any change.

“I have added responsibilities, but I want to make sure that I very much stay grounded in our operation and with our retailers and with our customers.”

With a close relationship to his “very strong team”, de Lange said he is confident he will be able to achieve this.

The transition between CEOs, he added, will be aided by his and Walker’s like-mindedness.

“Our relationship has genuinely always been very good, not just on an operational level but on a business level too,” he said.

“The way that she puts it, we think alike on almost everything. Although our styles are quite different, our business judgements are quite similar.”