David Leng joins Customade

Customade has appointed David Leng as group chief executive, succeeding John Lightowlers who continues in a non-executive capacity.

David has joined from Synseal Group, where as chief executive he took the company from a £70 million manufacturer of window profiles and conservatories, to become a £160 million multi-channel, multi-material market-leading business in the window, glass, roof and door sectors.

Using a mix of acquisition, disposal, turnaround and organic growth, over the last 16 years David has led the transformation of several complex manufacturing businesses with turnovers ranging from £20 million to £300 million.

David Leng’s role is to build a company with a turnover in excess of £200 million in the medium term.

“I am delighted to be joining Customade – it offers exactly the type of opportunity that motivates me,” David said. “It is at a really exciting point in its development and is ready to capitalise on its numerous growth opportunities. We have ambitious goals to fulfil and Customade is well structured, with strong investor support, exceptional products, first-rate employees and a well-deserved reputation for superior service. I look forward to leading the next phase of its development.”

In the year since Customade merged with Polyframe, John Lightowlers, Customade’s retiring group managing director, and his team have created the UK’s largest trade fabricator of PVCU, aluminium and composite windows and doors.

He has overseen the consolidation of the four acquired businesses to create a £100 million company that operates nationwide, with nine manufacturing facilities and more than 900 employees.

John has led a period of intensive investment and change, where each manufacturing unit has been expanded or upgraded, and he has developed the product range to create six differentiated offerings.

The Customade board said it was delighted that John, having chosen to be less active in the management of the company going forward, will continue to be involved as a non-executive director in the next phase of its growth.

John Lightowlers said “To have achieved so much and with the support of a great team fills me with pride. At the time of the deal, I committed to stay for as long as was needed to ensure that the merger transitioned well, to give the management team the support that they required during a period of intense change, and to prepare the company to fulfil its potential.”