Companies from all over Wales have made a host of top hires and promotions in the last month. In our latest jobs round-up, we take a look at some of those who have taken on new roles.

If you have a new or recent appointment or promotion that you would like featured in our next round up, please e-mail lauren.phillips@reachplc.com.

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Welsh Government

Professor Jas Pal Badyal

The Welsh Government has appointed internationally recognised research chemist, Professor Jas Pal Badyal, as its new chief scientific adviser.

In his new role, which he takes up in February replacing Professor Peter Halligan following his recent retirement, Professor Badyal will provide science advice to the First Minister and Welsh ministers.

He will also be responsible for developing the Welsh Government’s science capability and supporting the growth of a strong and dynamic science and research base in Wales.

Prof Jas Pal Badyal said: “I am excited to be given this opportunity to contribute towards building a high-skill, high-tech economy, helping to bring positive impact and well-being for the people of Wales.

“Wales has great potential to become a world leader for technological innovations targeting some of the biggest challenges facing humanity today—including climate change, environmental degradation, renewable energy, food security, healthcare, and rising social inequality.”

Principality Building Society

Ian Greenstreet has been appointed to the board of the Principality Building Society.

Principality Building Society has appointed experienced former chief risk officer, Ian Greenstreet, to its board as a non-executive director.

Mr Greenstreet has worked in senior roles at financial institutions including HSBC, Lloyds, and ABN AMRO. He is also the founder and chief executive of Infinity Capital Partners, a London-based corporate finance firm. He also joins the mutual’s audit and governance and nominations committees.

Sally Jones-Evans, chair of the Principality, said: “As a founding member of the advisory board of the London Stock Exchange, Ian brings with him a wealth of board experience and will strengthen our capabilities significantly. His knowledge will be a real asset as we transform our core business of mortgages and savings and continue our journey as a purpose driven and sustainable company. Ian is eager to be involved in developing our strategy to have impact beyond our scale, particularly our ambitions around having a positive social impact.”

The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales

Bernie Davies is a TEDx Speaker and bestselling author

The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales has appointed Bernie Davies, Sue Phelps MBE, Nia Roberts and Dave Tosh OBE as four new independent members of the office’s Advisory Panel and the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee.

Ms Davies is a TEDx speaker, author, diversity and entrepreneurship leader with a previous legal career in property. She supports entrepreneurship programmes with a focus on diversity, for major banks, universities and government agencies. Ms Phelps was awarded an MBE in 2017 for services to dementia in Wales. She has been an independent director on the Cricket Wales Board since 2018 and serves as chair of the EDI sub-committee and a member of the finance sub-committee.

Ms Roberts has worked as head of research and innovation engagement at the Welsh Government and is a European Patent Attorney, chartered physicist and a member of the Institute of Physics. While Mr Tosh was director of resources for the Senedd Commission until he retired in January 2022. He spent 10 years at the Senedd and prior to this he worked in local government, the aerospace industry and Royal Air Force.

Michelle Morris, the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, said “I am delighted to make these appointments which will widen the experience, knowledge and diversity that our Advisory Panel and ARAC will bring to the work of PSOW. In particular these appointments will help improve how we deliver services across diverse communities and ensure our services are accessible for everyone. I am looking forward to working with our new and existing members over the years ahead and in delivering the strategic aims that will be set out in our new strategic plan.”

Zip World

Adrian Jones is the new chief executive of Zip World.

The former US president of Merlin Entertainments has become the chief executive of North Wales adventure company, Zip World.

Adrian Jones has over 30 years’ experience in the visitor attraction sector and played a key role in Merlin’s aggressive growth in the states from 2007 to 2019. He brings extensive experience in marketing, sales and strategic partnerships to Zip World, which has ambitious growth plans.

Mr Jones, who previously worked for Madame Tussauds in Las Vegas and Legoland in Florida, now relocates from the US to the Conwy Valley for his new role. He has also served as chairman of Visit Orlando, the largest destination marketing organisation in the US.

Mr Jones said: “I am extremely excited about the opportunity to be joining the Zip World team at such a pivotal time in the company’s existence. Having the opportunity to work on an incredible portfolio of outstanding brands and alongside such a talented and dedicated team is a perfect foundation for growth as we look to expand our existing sites and develop future opportunities. This, coupled with a relocation move to such a beautiful part of the world, made this a once in a lifetime opportunity I simply could not pass up.”

Sean Taylor, Zip World’s founder and president, added: “The appointment of Adrian signifies Zip World’s intent and ambitions to continue on its growth journey. We’re very fortunate to have Adrian onboard – his exposure to big brands in this space will add a layer of expertise which will help shape Zip World’s future.”

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Cambrian Training Company

Faith O’Brien, Cambrian Training Company’s new managing director, with group executive chairman Arwyn Watkins, OBE

Welsh apprenticeship provider Cambrian Training Company has appointed a new managing director.

Faith O’Brien succeeds Arwyn Watkins OBE, who becomes group executive chairman with a strategic focus on Cambrian Training Company, Trailhead Fine Foods, Chartists 1770 at The Trewythen and Mid Wales Fayres.

They will both continue as board members of the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the organisation that represents work-based learning providers.

Ms O’Brien said: “Arwyn and I have worked together for many years and, when I joined Cambrian Training Company, I never dreamed the company would have grown and diversified at such a rate. This is all thanks to our employees and delivery partners. In my new role I will be taking the lead on all aspects of work-based learning at Cambrian Training Company and reporting directly to Arwyn.

“Work based learning has some difficult times ahead with the cost of living and other factors directly impacting staff, employers and the local economy. My focus is to ensure we maintain and grow our quality, providing the same level and volume of support irrespective of the future challenges.

“Our staff and partners have enabled the company to be financially sound with a strong commission moving forward. My priority is to ensure we retain our commission value and improve our quality outcomes, whilst also considering new business opportunities.”

Ms Watkins said: “Due to the level of growth and diversification achieved by the company, we need a managing director who is focused totally on the delivery of quality work-based learning. It’s so important that we get that right and not be distracted by external factors. I will be responsible for the strategic direction of the group as a whole and ensuring that the strategic plan is delivered by my directors.”


Suzie Hewitt, regional sales director at Lovell

Partnership developer Lovell has promoted its south Wales and the west of England sales manager, Suzie Hewitt, to regional sales director.

Ms Hewitt joined Lovell in January 2022 after spending over eight years in the construction industry. Prior to joining Lovell, she worked as an area sales manager for Barratt and David Wilson Homes.

As regional sales director, Ms Hewitt will lead the expanding sales team and oversee the new homes sales across the developer’s operational area which spans south Wales, Wiltshire and Somerset.

She said: “This is a hugely exciting time for Lovell in South Wales and West, and I am delighted to be part of its vision. I have always been incredibly inspired by the senior leadership team, their drive and their passion for the brand, and I’m very proud to be a part of that team.

James Duffett, regional managing director at Lovell, said: “We are thrilled to have promoted Suzie to regional sales director. She had an incredibly successful 2022 as sales manager and was an excellent addition to the team, providing vital knowledge and expertise.

“I’m very much looking forward to seeing what Suzie achieves in her new role. Her input has already been invaluable, and I am confident that our sales targets and future goals will be achieved with her at the helm.”

Azets South Wales

Accounting firm Azets has made three senior promotions in south Wales. Ashley Bryan has been appointed as partner in the accounts and business advisory team, while Ellen Price and Susan Phillips have been promoted to associate directors in the audit department.

Jonathan Rees, partner at Azets South Wales, said: “It’s an exciting time for us as we continue to support our team to match business demand across a variety of departments. These promotions are incredibly well deserved and reflect the talent and expertise within the region. Alongside the above, 12 other promotions have been made from Associate level to Senior Manager – we’re committed to growing and developing our team and are looking forward to continuing this strategy in 2023.”

Persimmon Homes

Persimmon Homes has appointed Ryan Greaney as new head of land and planning at its West Wales region.

Mr Greaney, who joined the company in August 2018, has been promoted by the regional arm of the housebuilding giant, after previously serving as land and planning manager at the Penllergaer-based business.

Before joining Persimmon, he spent the best part of a decade with Brecon Beacons National Park Authority as a principal planning officer.

West Wales deputy managing director Stuart Phillips said: “This is a thoroughly deserved promotion for Ryan, and has been warmly welcomed by everyone in the west Wales business. Ryan has made a fantastic impact since joining Persimmon four years ago, and has helped us deliver significant improvements in our land and planning operations, which will only continue with him at the helm.

“He will oversee the procurement of land for new homes for local people across South West Wales, and work with key stakeholders to deliver sustainable plans, as we seek to deliver on our vision to be the nation’s leading housebuilder.”


Phillip Emanuel, Malcolm Holland, Craig Jones of Flotek

Ambitious IT and communications service firm Flotek has appointed Philip Emanuel to director of telecom and Craig Jones to director of IT.

Mr Emanuel joined the firm last month following the acquisition of Cloud9ine Communications, while Mr Jones was the former technical director of DataKom. The pair become shareholders in the company and join Flotek’s board of directors.

The senior appointments come as the firm continues its robust buy and build growth strategy. Flotek was founded in spring last year by entrepreneur trio Jay Ball, Malcolm Holland and David Middleton.

In that time it has made five acquisitions, with a further two planned for Q1 2023, which has seen the firm expand rapidly across Wales and the south west of England.

Managing director Malcolm Holland said: “We are delighted to appoint Philip and Craig to the board, reflecting our strategic growth and enhancing our delivery of the service and expertise our customers deserve.

“Both Craig and Phill bring invaluable knowledge and experience, and I am confident they will play integral roles in driving Flotek forward as we help even more SMEs adopt innovative, next generation technologies and harness their scale-up potential.”


Adrian Coles, Academii’s new managing director

E-Learning provider Academii has appointed former NatWest relationship director Adrian Coles to managing director.

Founded in 2019, Academii is an e-learning resource focusing on skill-building within the underserved blue-collar workforce.

Mr Coles joined the firm following 17 years with NatWest where he supported SMEs and startups across south Wales and the south of England. He is experienced in building client relationships and customer advocacy and seeking to add tangible value to client businesses.

He will lead developing a competent, innovative and technically astute customer development team to support the skills agenda.

Mr Coles said: “This is an incredibly exciting time to be joining Academii. I look forward to working with many businesses to drive greater business output and create a more prosperous society by closing the skills gap; creating an engaged, enabled and empowered workforce.”

Co-founder Steve Lanigan said: “Academii was formed to fundamentally change how we engage the blue-collar workforce and provide them with the skills needed for the jobs of tomorrow by using immersive technology to train and develop that talent. Adrian is trusted and well respected in the manufacturing sector in Wales, having built a reputation as a facilitator and supporter of so many Welsh companies during his time at NatWest. His appointment has come at the perfect time to help us support companies and the broader Welsh economy by engaging workforces and enabling them to thrive and succeed.”

Kilsby Williams

Managing partner Simon Tee, left, with tax associate Dafydd Ford and senior partner Stephen Williams

Newport-based tax and accountancy firm Kilsby Williams has made a series of promotions within its tax and business services teams.

Dafydd Ford, who has been with the firm for over 15 years, has been promoted to tax associate, while fellow colleagues Sandy Gaywood and Diane Nettleton have been promoted to senior tax managers.

Other promotions for managerial roles were awarded to Kathryn Hof and Lucy Lloyd, while Ross Johnson has been promoted to Business Services Assistant.

Simon Tee, managing partner at Kilsby Williams, said: “Our staff are our most valuable asset and the relationship we have with our employees is of the utmost importance to us. As well as attracting the best talent from outside of the firm, we firmly believe in supporting the professional development of our employees and rewarding their progression in the company.

“We are therefore delighted to announce this series of promotions within the teams as we enter a new year.”

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