Russell Yates returns to Aluk

Russell Yates
Russell Yates

Russell Yates has returned to Aluk as managing director. Glass Times talks to him to find out more about his plans for the future of the business.

At the end of September, after three years away, Aluk announced the return of Russell Yates as managing director.

As Russell starts a new chapter with the Chepstow based aluminium systems company, he has announced exciting plans to reenergise the business and make sure Aluk and its customers are in the best possible position to make the most of current market conditions and in particular Future Homes.

“Anyone who knows me will tell you that Aluk is in my blood. I care passionately about this business, and I’m delighted to be back. My mandate from the European board is to make Aluk a great place to work and a great company to do business with and, as far as I’m concerned, those two go hand in hand.

“In my first few weeks back, I’ve been working with our HR and training teams to review existing resources and skills matrixes, identify any areas where we need to invest and ensure that everyone here can see how much their contribution matters now and into the future.

“Together, we need to give our customers compelling reasons not just to buy from Aluk, but to want to partner with us and build their businesses alongside us. It goes without saying that we have to be providing consistently good quality products and efficient and responsive customer service. But beyond that, I’m looking to bring some real excitement back – both in terms of our products and our brand. Certainly, there will be some big announcements coming up in the next few months which I know will go down well with customers.”

Russell Yates spent his three years away from Aluk heading up a major UK fabricator – helping to transform that operation and at the same time seeing the reality of the industry from a customer’s perspective.

He acknowledges the value of that experience and says it has given him new insight into what really matters to fabricators and installers, adding: “What I learnt over the last three years will have a big impact on how Aluk moves forward in the UK, and how we focus our efforts on behalf of customers. Everyone who buys from us can be assured that they will be at the very heart of everything we do.”

One of Russell’s key priorities in 2024 will be making sure Aluk is ahead of the curve when it comes to Future Homes. He commented: “As far as I’m concerned, the government’s Future Homes agenda is an open door for the aluminium sector. Our products are fully recyclable, sustainable and, as we’ve already shown, can be designed to meet ever more challenging thermal performance targets.

“I certainly want to see Aluk leading the industry’s response. We’re already well represented with the likes of the GGF and CAB, and I’ll be doing all I can to encourage and facilitate our customers to make their voices heard as well. It’s a massively exciting opportunity but we’ll only be able to make the most of it if we help shape both the legislation and the timeline.”

Russell added: “So far, I’ve had an incredible welcome back from staff and customers, and I’ve been genuinely touched by all the kind messages. I’m very aware that expectations are high, but I’m relishing the challenge. For me, it’s truly a privilege to be able to lead Aluk again.”