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Manpower restructures and hunts for CEO

Manpower & Maintenance Services Limited (MMS) is on the hunt for a CEO as the sanitation company founded by Audrey Hinchcliffe restructures and prepares for succession.

Her son, Garth Hinchcliffe, has resigned his position as deputy CEO and will leave the company on December 22, amid a number of organisational changes that Audrey Hinchcliffe said was mandated by the board during the company’s annual retreat during the summer in keeping with MMS Group’s 20-year growth plan.

“We’ve been looking at ways to strengthen the management structure as MMS continues to grow. We brought several new people on board, especially during the course of this year,” Hinchcliffe told the Financial Gleaner.

At age 83, Hincliffe holds the titles of group CEO and chairman for the company she founded 32 years ago. The new group CEO is expected to be on board by next February, at which point Hinchcliffe will surrender that title but will remain as executive chairman.

“Garth has been acting in the role as deputy CEO for some time, but following the board retreat in July, after an examination and recommendations from independent consultants, it was decided to look externally for talent to build the MMS Group and preserve the Hinchcliffe legacy,” the founder said.

MMS Group has grown from a small janitorial service with one contract to a group of companies with five divisions, employing just under 3,000 persons. Manpower & Maintenance Services is the parent company, offering about 18 services, including janitorial, grounds and landscaping, pest control, and disaster recovery.

Its other divisions include The Institute of Workforce Education and Development or IWED; Manpower & Maintenance Business Services, which is a human resource outsource service and does labour management; Manpower & Maintenance Property Services, which does building management; and Manpower & Maintenance Sales and Distribution Company.

Hinchcliffe says the group generates annual revenue of just under $2 billion, of which MMS contributes just over $1 billion.

The company also operates the Manpower & Maintenance Foundation, catering to health education, and has formed the M’Power Women’s Group, which caters to the needs of the largely female workforce.

“The objective is to empower women through training and employment. We do scholarships for children of workers. I act as patron, and I gave them a million dollars to jumpstart their efforts,” Hinchcliffe said.

Son Garth is said to have resigned to pursue personal interests.

Other changes include the recent appointment of Mitchell Watson as general manager for marketing, sales, and distribution.

“He will have oversight not only for the marketing operations of the group, but also for sales and distribution through the retail arm, with those outlets we recently opened – at Collins Green Avenue in Kingston, which was launched in 2021; and The Clean Store, opened at Drax Hall St Ann in October of this year,” Hinchcliffe said.

Similar outlets are to be opened in various area across Jamaica, including the MMS branches in Montego Bay and Mandeville.

IWED, which recently received tertiary-level designation, is being expanded, and MMS has acquired a building in Cross Roads to handle the growing business. Education specialist Karen Gayle has also been hired to run the training agency, which was relaunched last Wednesday, November 30.

Director of education and training at IWED, Verica Bennett-Davidson, demitted office at the end of November, leaving a vacancy that is also to be filled. A director of administration is also to be appointed, Hinchcliffe said.

Well-known businessman Wayne Chen is also on board as IWED’s new chairman, succeeding Dr Canute Thompson of the University of the West Indies, who resigned due to conflict of interest with his new job functions.

Regarding the likelihood of a family member landing the job as CEO, Hinchcliffe said her daughter is a doctor in the United States and that there were no likely prospects among the shareholders of the business.

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