Serco CEO Soames to step down, Europe & UK unit head Mark Irwin to succeed

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British outsourcing company Serco Group Plc said on Monday Chief Executive Officer Rupert Soames will step down from the role by the end of December and be succeeded by Mark Irwin, the chief of the firm's UK & Europe division.

“It has been the privilege of my working life to lead Serco for the last eight years, but it is now time for me to outsource myself,” said 63-year-old Soames.

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Irwin, 57, joined Serco almost a decade ago and successfully ran the company’s Asia-Pacific region, before moving to lead the UK & Europe division. Prior to Serco, Mark held leadership roles in several private-equity portfolio businesses and also worked for GE.

Serco, which provides defense, security, immigration, health, and transport services for governments in more than 20 countries, was one of the suppliers supporting the British government's test-and-trace program over the last two years.

The group raised its annual profit forecast and dividend last month, encouraged by a better-than-expected first-half performance that was partly driven by more immigration contracts in Australia and the UK.

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