Simmons, who was deputy chief executive from 2007, has worked closely with Turner for 13 years with a direct involvement in developing the corporate strategy and initiatives across Satra's consumer and industrial product sectors. Most recently he has been leading efforts to enhance Satra's benefits to members. Simmons will be only the seventh person to hold the position in Satra's 90 years of operation.
Richard Turner originally started at Satra as a chemistry technician in 1963, quickly becoming involved with work on adhesive primers. He was one of the first to use the technique of thin layer chromatography. After a short period at Caswell & Co and Clarks he returned to Satra in 1973 to become head of the uppers and components testing group, before taking over materials research. In 1989 he became an assistant director, in 1994 he was appointed to the Satra board of directors, becoming deputy chief executive in 1997 and chief executive in July 2007.
Austin Simmons said: ‘Along with his predecessor, Dr Ron Whittaker, Turner was instrumental in the development of the technology centre as a truly global organisation, travelling the world visiting member companies to provide technical advice and assistance as well as representing Satra at numerous forums and on technical committees. I wish Richard all the best for a long and happy retirement. He will be a hard act to follow,' he added, ‘however, I am looking forward to continuing the development of Satra.'