Picture of Sam McLaren, commercial director at Wrights Group

Wrights Group changes management team

Published:  03 April, 2017

Wrights Group has changed its management team to cofocus on product innovation, customer choice and support.

With Ian Downie leaving the business, commercial director Sam McLaren has been given responsibility for all vehicle sales activities. He will be supported by a sales team including head of sales Steve Jackson, head of commercial Gary Kernohan, national accounts manager John Hartley and retail sales manager Chris Wise.


David Barnett, whose 19-year career to date with Wrightbus and EN-Drive in engineering and product development has included overseeing the introduction of the StreetCar RTV in Las Vegas and the New Routemaster in London, has been appointed as business development director.

Picture of David Barnett, business development director at Wrights Group

His new role will see him take the lead on all commercial aspects of the company’s growing clean technology product portfolio, as well as developing a number of potential opportunities in mainland Europe.

Group managing director Steven Francey, said: ‘I would like to thank Ian Downie for the contribution that he made to Wrightbus during his two-year tenure. In a fast-paced business environment, it is important to continually reassess and refine our organisational structure so that we keep closely aligned with customer demands and market trends.’

‘In Sam McLaren and Damian McGarry we have two very safe and capable pairs of hands in guiding our sales and Customcare operations respectively. David Barnett is another long-standing Wrightbus employee and, as a very talented and experienced engineer, he is ideally suited to take on the expanded business development role.’

Former group finance director Mark Johnston has also left Wrights Group to pursue interests outside of the industry and Nigel Connolly has been appointed to the role of head of finance.

‘Having worked very closely with Mark Johnston since he joined the company in 2011, I am naturally sorry to see him move on but respect his wish to seek new challenge,’ said Wrights Group chairman Mark Nodder.

‘He leaves the business in excellent shape, and I am confident that Nigel Connolly’s 20 years of experience in the company has prepared him well for the additional responsibility.’

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