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Mitie appoints former Virgin Active boss Paul Woolf as CFO

Former Virgin Active Chief Executive Paul Woolf has been appointed as the new Chief Financial Officer at Mitie.

Woolf will replace Sandip Mahajan who has held the role since February 2017. He will now take up his new position as Chief Financial Transformation Officer.

Mitie has been hit hard over the past year by rising labour costs after the UK’s vote to leave the European Union and unplanned changes on contracts taken on during the financial downturn, often with paper-thin margins. 

The provider of pest control, cleaning, security and healthcare services said in September it may cut up to 480 jobs as it overhauls its cleaning and engineering divisions, adding that the cost of its turnaround would be higher than expected.

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The company issued a profit warning in May last year and has struggled to get back on course since.

It unveiled a £100mn loss for 2016, then in January it warned on profits again, before revealing a £50mn accounting writedown in May this year.

Chief Executive Phil Bentley, who was appointed just over a year ago to lead a transformation programme after the major profit warning, said: "Sandip has been invaluable to Mitie's turnaround story since he joined the organisation earlier this year, and I am delighted he will be staying with the organisation to complete the upgrade of our group-wide finance function from a systems, governance and people perspective."

Chairman Derek Mapp, who joined the group in May this year, recognised there had been “significant change” at the company in the past 12 months.

“Mitie has undergone a period of significant change in the last 12 months, and Sandip’s attention to detail and deep understanding of our accounting and financial systems has been of outstanding value to our organisation.

“On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank him for his focus and dedication during this important time, as he takes on a key role to focus on our continued financial transformation,” Mapp said.

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