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From loss to profit via a £25m dip in turnover

In 2005, Stephen Lamb replaced his father Richard as chief executive of Gordon Lamb Group. Turnover had exceeded £140m the previous year. This year, turnover will slip to £115m.

Is this £25m deficit down to a strategic blunder caused by an inexperienced CEO? That’s what some were whispering, both internally and at carmaker level. But it was a deliberate and calculated realignment.

Lamb set out to cut overheads and turnover – he needed to put the 53-year-old family-owned group on a secure financial footing.

It was a brave decision, one that saw a couple of sites sold and several senior people leave. Lamb was just 29 and the knives were out.

“I came up against entrenched management that was embracing the culture that I wanted to change,” Lamb says.

“I wanted an evolution of the business, but I underestimated the fear of change that some people had.”

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