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[INDUSTRY NEWS]


years ago as product manager. Suitably, there has been a constant product centricity to his career, having overseen the launch of an 85-plus tonne shackle range and many other research and development programs. Additionally, he has led on marketing and training projects. Dietvorst, a Belgian, will relocate to the


Havant area near SP’s facility, with travel and commitments at Crosby Europe in Heist-op- den-Berg in his home country making up the remainder of his time. He has a Masters in Science in Product Development (MSc) from the University of Antwerp, and a Masters in General Management (MBA) from the Vlerick Business School. Ayling said: “As I wrote in my final blog,


an MBA without the DNA is useless, but Dietvorst brings the latter in spades. We couldn’t have found someone more suited to the role. Thomas can take the company in a direction that I wouldn’t have been able to as the owner of two decades. He sees things from an exciting, fresh perspective, which is great news for staff, distributors, end users and the entire SP community.” Dietvorst acknowledged that there are challenges to face, and the early throes of


leadership have been, and will continue to be, impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. He said: “We are keeping in regular contact with our customers. Our vertically integrated manufacturing structure will enable us to limit negative impact on supply chains. “The more planned steps were to make


sure the whole team is comfortable. The captain has left and a new—let’s be honest— young guy has taken over. Importantly, David will be here in a supporting role so it’s not a case of ‘goodbye, you’re on your own’. The fact that he’s only seconds away on the end of the phone will be invaluable going forwards.” He continued: “While we are constantly


looking for ways to improve, I don’t see any major recruitment or restructuring in the immediate future. I have to become accustomed to leading a larger group in the SP team but that’s a challenge I relish. I also need to adapt to a more electrical and digital world than the mechanical nature of Crosby products, while the respective customer bases are different in that both serve rigging shops but there is the weighing systems side to SP too. Of course, I need to learn and respect the differences between Belgian and English cultures as well.”


Away from the workplace, Dietvorst is a


self-confessed tinker-man; he enjoys building and enhancing sailing boats (Havant is on England’s southern coastline) and has a farmhouse at home that serves as an ongoing renovation and construction project. With a well-travelled father who spent years in the Middle East and Australia, Dietvorst considers himself an international citizen. He added: “We wouldn’t have arrived


at this point via such smooth transition if it wasn’t for David’s vision, guidance and support over recent weeks. He is an impossible act to follow and only with continued access to his unrivalled insight can we be successful in the immediate and longer term. I owe him a great deal of gratitude.” y


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