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Des Stickland Retires from Wridgways

Oct 14, 2013
Des started with Wridgways at the tender age of 16, 44 years ago, as a keen and enthusiastic warehouse worker. He would wake at 4am every morning and commute 2 hours across Melbourne to start a full day of packing, loading and moving furniture. Known for his quick wit, innovative ideas and no fear of saying it as he found it, young Des quickly made his mark and rapidly climbed the ranks. He later drove a removals truck, but his ideas for customer service were recognised and he secured a role in the office taking sales calls. He was subsequently promoted to sales manager, then state manager, general group manager for international services, company general manager then CEO.


Des was something of a visionary.  For example Wridgways registered a website domain in 1998, three months ahead of global giant Google, after Des declared to the marketing team, “Hey this Internet and e-mail thing is going to catch on, let’s register and see where it goes!”


He also generated new divisions for the company, expanding the company into business relocations, corporate relocation, project management, furniture fittings and equipment (FF&E) services and more. He also opened fully equipped branches in Karratha, Kalgoorlie and Mackay; all strategically spread across Australia. Des also saw the company through the purchase by Ansett Transport Industries in 1975, again by TNT in 1994 and he also led the management buy-out and floated the company on the Australian stock exchange in 1999.  Today Wridgways is a proud member of the Santa Fe Group.  Sadly, Des has now decided ‘it is his time to move on’.


To step into his shoes Wridgways announced the appointment of Andrew Simpson as CEO Wridgways Australia. Andrew has 25 plus years’ experience in the relocation and moving industry with additional in-depth knowledge of the records management business. This experience is highly relevant to the strategic growth plans of the Santa Fe Group and Wridgways in Australia.


Lars Lykke Iversen, Santa Fe Group CEO commented, “We are very excited to have Andrew join our organisation in this high profile leadership role. Wridgways is already considered a market leader and so we need someone who can bring the right combination of experience and strategic vision to support our future growth plans in Australia and around the world. Furthermore, his sales and marketing experience coupled with his collaborative management style will surely take Wridgways to the next level as we strive to maximise our growth potential in this key market for our Group.”


Andrew will work out of the company’s Melbourne office. “I am extremely pleased to be joining Wridgways at this exciting time for the Group,” he said.  “I really believe in maintaining a positive working environment and so I am also looking forward to getting to know all of our team members and learning how their positive momentum impacts our wonderful customer base.”


Photo:  Des Stickland and Andrew Simpson

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