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Group CEO succession announcement

10 March 2023.

Toby Fowlston to succeed Robert Walters as Group CEO. 

Robert Walters Group today announces that Robert Walters, Chief Executive Officer, has decided to retire as CEO and will step down from the Board with effect from 27 April 2023, the date of the Group’s Annual General Meeting.

Following a succession process, the Nominations Committee and Robert have selected Toby Fowlston as Chief Executive Officer Designate. Toby will take over as Chief Executive Officer of Robert Walters Group and will join the Board on 27 April 2023.

Toby has spent most of his career with the Group. He joined as a consultant in London in 1999 and has since held senior positions leading the Group’s recruitment operations in both the UK and Asia Pacific, the Group’s largest and most profitable region.

Having worked his way up from consultant to managing the Group’s London recruitment business, Toby transferred to Singapore, heading up operations in Singapore and South East Asia for five years before being promoted to CEO Asia Pacific, a role he held for two years. Toby transferred back to London in early 2021 and has since been working closely with Robert and the Board in the role of CEO for the Group’s global recruitment brands of Robert Walters and Walters People.

Leslie Van de Walle, Chairman, commented:

“What an incredible journey Rob has had as CEO. He started the business on his own in a serviced office in 1985 and has been at the forefront of both the recruitment industry and the creation of one of the world’s leading international recruitment groups which today spans 31 countries and employs over 4,300 people across the globe. During his tenure, he has helped the Group successfully navigate the dotcom bust, the global financial crisis and a global pandemic and he will leave the Group next month in great shape to continue its growth story. I know I speak on behalf of the Board and all of the Group’s employees in thanking Rob for all his years of leadership.

“The Board looks forward to working closely with Toby and is excited to see the Group continue its growth story with him at the helm.”

Robert Walters, CEO commented:

“It’s been an honour and privilege to have led the Group over the last 38 years, but the Group wouldn’t be what it is today without the dedication and commitment of all our employees past and present and I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of them for their contribution. Thanks too, to our clients, candidates, suppliers and friends of the business who have also played a huge part in the Group’s success.

“To have such a worthy successor in place in Toby – who has been with the Group since joining as a consultant in 1999 – is a true testament to the Group’s ability to grow our future leaders from within and is hopefully an inspiration to all our employees across the globe. Having worked closely with Toby over the last few years in particular, I am confident that the Group is in safe hands and will continue to go from strength-to-strength in the years to come.”

Toby Fowlston, CEO Designate commented:

“After 23 years with the Group, it’s an absolute privilege to be appointed as the next CEO. I know first-hand what an incredible business this is and the opportunity we have to continue to lead the sector and drive further sustained and profitable growth. I would like to personally thank Rob for his support and guidance over the years and I know he will remain a valuable advisor to me in the future and a fabulous brand ambassador for the Group.”


For further information please contact:

Williams Nicolson

Steffan Williams:
+44 7767 345 563

Claire Foster:
+44 7525 665 504

Section 430 (2B) Statement re: Robert Walters

Section 430 (2B) Statement re: Alan Bannatyne

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