Mike Jones to Succeed Andrew Hodgson as SMD CEO

October 24, 2017

Andrew Hodgson is stepping down as CEO of Tyneside-based subsea engineering specialist Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd. (SMD).

He will be will be succeeded by his deputy Mike Jones from 23 October. No stranger to the business, Jones has worked for SMD for over 25 years.

A director since 2004, Jones takes over following a planned two and a half year transition put in place when SMD was acquired by the Chinese company CRRC Times Electric in 2015, the world’s  famous provider of electric railway propulsion and power control systems.

Andrew Hodgson has been at the helm of the company for nine years and led the business through its acquisition by the Chinese company, public listed in Hong Kong, in a £120 million deal as part of the firm’s strategy to penetrate new markets in which SMD has particular expertise.

Hodgson said: “I’m proud to have been a part of SMD for the last nine years and see everything it has achieved despite the challenges facing the offshore industry in that time. We are coming to the end of a three-year turnaround on target with strong growth and revenue across all our business divisions.

“We’ve invested in our services, added products, expanded our global network and lowered operating costs. We’ve dealt effectively with competitive challenges and now the business is more stable it is the appropriate time to hand over to Mike.

“People are integral to the business and very committed and Mike brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the role. I’d like to wish Mike and the team all the very best for the future.”

Hodgson has confirmed he will remain chair of The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the public, private and education sector partnership which works to provide strategic economic leadership for the region.

In 2010 Jones led SMD’s Trenching, Mining and Renewable division, helping to secure its dominant position in subsea equipment for the growing Offshore Wind market, winning a Queens Award for the company 2012 and delivering a world-first in the deep water mining system for Nautilus Minerals.

For the past two years Jones has been Deputy CEO working as a Board Member and MD in China developing a team and SMD facility in Shanghai to establish local operations for the China market.

He said: “It is a privilege to take over from Andrew to guide SMD through its next phase of development. It’s a business for which I have a deep understanding and passion, being part of its evolution during the past 25 years.

“We have a very experienced, dedicated and talented team backed by a committed and patient owner. We operate in some interesting markets with great potential and I’m looking forward to working together with our stakeholders in the North East and internationally to take the business forward and build a great future.”

Mr Chen, vice general manager of CRRC Times Electric and chairman of the board of directors at SMD, said: “I’d like to thank Andrew for his commitment to the company and wish him every success in his future endeavours.

“Mike taking over the role of SMD CEO is an important appointment for the business. He is very knowledgeable when it comes to our markets and has already worked extensively to develop our presence in China.”


SMD Announce New Shareholder

November 2, 2016

February 2015: Specialist Machine Developments (SMD) Ltd (“SMD”) are pleased to announce that our shareholders have signed a sale and purchase agreement with Zhuzhou CSR Times Electric Co. Ltd a subsidiary of CSR Corporation Limited of China, for the sale of the entire share capital of the SMD group.

Andrew Hodgson, CEO of SMD, commented “Becoming part of CSR will be a key step in SMD’s development as a business and we look forward to continuing to deliver to our markets in this new and exciting phase of our history”.

Mr Jiang Yi, Deputy President of CSR Zhuzhou Institute added “SMD has world class technology, a world class engineering team and an extensive track record in the subsea sector. I believe CSR and SMD will work together to further develop the global subsea equipment market”.

This completion of the deal is now subject to completion of the filing procedures with several Chinese regulatory authorities and we expect this process to take between two and four months.

Pictured above from left to  right: Jiang Yi, Vice President of Zhuzhou Institute (majority shareholder of CSR Times Electric Co. Ltd). Tim Smallbone, Partner, Inflexion Private Equity. William Wang, Head of the Capital Operation Office, CSR Times Electric Co. Ltd. Andrew Caffyn, Chairman, SM. Andrew Hodgson, CEO, SMD