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Youngest director appointed at Forgemasters

23 November 2007

Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd (SFIL) has appointed its youngest ever divisional director

Gareth Barker (30) takes the title of youngest appointed operations director at Forgemasters from Mark Tomlinson, technical director at the company's melt shop, who was 35 when he became a director.

The promotion takes Gareth from general manager to operations director for the south machine shop after working his way up from apprentice status with Forgemasters at the tender age of 19.

Gareth, who lives in Wales near the Rother Valley, has responsibility for more than 130 staff and takes on a more strategic role within the engineering specialist. 

He said: "My new role poses some interesting challenges and I am particularly looking forward to working more closely with people such as Graham Honeyman and Peter Kenny. I expect to learn a lot from their experience of strategic decision making.

"Although I will still be involved in the day-to-day running of the south machine shop, the real change for me is going to be in looking at the development of Forgemasters as a business and moving away from departmental management.

Gareth's climb up the Forgemasters ranks stemmed from his aptitude as an apprentice engineer, which soon saw a move into the more specific role of process engineering. At just 25, Gareth was promoted to product manager for the company's roll-manufacturing division, eventually working as general manager for the south machine shop.

His recent challenges have included the massive repair and clean up operation in the south machine shop following serious floods which devastated the Brightside Lane site. 

Graham Honeyman, chief executive, said: "I was once Forgemasters' youngest appointed director myself, so I am pleased to appoint someone of Gareth's capability. He has proven to be a real asset to the company and he will undoubtedly bring much to the role."