Former Menzies chief executive Forsyth Black has become Palletline’s new chairman with a brief to introduce an “independent and dynamic way of thinking” aimed at bringing a “fresh perspective” to the network.
Palletline said this is the first time a chairman has been recruited from outside the network, in a move demonstrating its “commitment to innovation and growth”.
The network said Black joins the business at a time when the network is enjoying a “resurgence”, which is seeing investment, new developments and new people in the business.
The announcement, made at Palletline’s recent AGM, saw former chairman Jim Welch, MD of Welch’s Transport pass the baton to Forsyth.
Palletline praised Welch’s contribution this week, stating: “Having spent six years in the role as chairman, and 10 years on the board, Jim has steered Palletline through some challenging times including the tail end of a recession, the pandemic and driver shortages.
“His knowledge of the industry and respect amongst Palletline members have been invaluable over the years."
Black’s career spans more than two decades and has seen him hold a number of senior positions in transport, logistics, and aviation.
He joined Menzies Aviation in 2003 as general manager Africa, rising through the ranks of the organisation to become the managing director of Menzies Distribution in 2014, where he restructured the company away from newspaper and magazine distribution into the parcel and pallet sector.
In 2016 he became president and MD of Menzies Aviation and finally chief executive of John Menzies in 2018.
- Palletline partners with Linde to upgrade forklift fleet
- Palletline appoints commercial chief to help members boost business
- Shareholder model puts Palletline in strong position to invest in the future
Black currently has a portfolio career which includes the role of chairman of Glasgow Prestwick Airport, a board position at the Port of Aberdeen, and he leads a small boutique advisory firm working predominantly in mergers and acquisitions for aviation, security and logistics clients around the world.
Black said: “I’m delighted to join Palletline at such an exciting time and relish the opportunities it presents for growth.
“Palletline has an enviable position in the market. It has several unique features including its fully member-owned model and I hope my experience will benefit the network as it continues to thrive.”
Graham Leitch, Palletline group MD, said: “Forsyth's experience and knowledge will complement our existing strategy to drive the business forward and enhance our focus on service, network optimisation and commercial development.
“We would like to welcome Forsyth to Palletline, and we look forward to developing a close working relationship for the benefit of both the business and our network members.”
Leitch also paid tribute to Welch. He said: “Over the past ten years Jim has been an invaluable member of the board and made a fantastic contribution to the network, playing an instrumental role in our continued growth and success.
“He has been a steady hand on the tiller, supporting us through some significantly challenging periods and we are extremely grateful for his input during the past decade and his level of commitment to the role.”
Two further board members were elected at the AGM - Palletline members Jonathan Edge, MD of Edge Transport and Ed Sanderson, commercial director of Stephen Sanderson Transport.
Bill Bowker, MD of Bowker Group, also steps down from the board this year. Palletline praised him for “his substantial contribution” to the network during his tenure.