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Ski Club of Great Britain Chief Exec resigns

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Just had an email. Maybe CV19 has made SCGB financially unviable?

Announcement


6 April 2020


The Council of the Ski Club of Great Britain announce the resignation of Ian Holt as Chief Executive of the Club, with effect from 31 March 2020. Mr Holt was appointed to the position on 1 August 2019, having previously held the position of Treasurer of the Club.


A further announcement will be made in due course about the future management of the Club.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
And now this...

Letter from the Chairman


8 April 2020

The Council of the Ski Club of Great Britain this week announced the resignation of Ian Holt as Chief Executive of the Club, with effect from 31 March 2020. I am writing to provide further information about the management of the Club during the coming months.


In common with other clubs and businesses associated with the travel industry, the SCGB is greatly affected by the impact of COVID-19 and, in our case, by the premature end of the 2020 ski season. At a time when the Club is already making significant changes to restore stability and ensure future value for our members, our staff are now dealing with new uncertainties about next season. I can report that they are rising to these challenges with enthusiasm and commitment to our members.


To lead this team during the coming months, I am pleased also to announce the appointment of Angus Maciver as General Manager of the SCGB. Angus will take over the day-to-day management of the Club, reporting through the Chairman to the SCGB Council. He will be responsible for executing the strategies agreed by Council (the Board of the Club), and for managing our key membership activities and Fresh Tracks and Mountain Tracks holiday businesses.


Angus brings extensive business experience to his new role. This includes working as CEO of a medium-sized company for eight years and in senior marketing positions in the retail (Morrisons), insurance (Prudential) and FMCG (PepsiCo and P&G) industries. Angus has been a SCGB member for many years as well as an on-snow Representative for the Club. He has served on Council for ten months, the last four as Treasurer, and is already fully engaged with addressing the current challenges.


In order to take up his new position, and in accordance with the Articles of the Club, Angus will stand down from Council and from his position as Treasurer.


The SCGB Council expects that Angus will continue in this new role for up to eight months. During this time, and as the future management requirements of the Club become clearer, Council will make arrangements to identify and appoint a suitable permanent senior manager.


When I accepted the position of interim Chairman of the Club in January 2020, I did so on the understanding that Council would address the significant governance and performance issues raised by members at the Club’s AGM in November 2019. At that meeting, the Club made a commitment to investigate and report to members how those issues arose, their impact on the Club’s reputation and financial standing, and how they would be addressed. This announcement is in the context of that agreement. I expect to write more fully on the matter in a letter to members later this month.


Trevor Campbell Davis

SCGB Chairman
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Turbulent times for SCGB, with the big financial losses reported last year...
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The SCGB does seem to be having a pretty rapid turnover of CEOs at the moment, perhaps they are viewing it as a bit of a "poisoned chalice"... Sad
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Alastair Pink wrote:
Turbulent times for SCGB, with the big financial losses reported last year...


They may dress it up as a tax avoidance measure. wink

Quote:
...appoint a suitable permanent senior manager.


We all know there's only one man for the job, but they're too blind to see it!!
Cometh the hour, cometh the DG!
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F*ck DG Very Happy Very Happy
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@MorningGory, Laughing
I'm sure they've tried.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I rather think, unfortunately, that they've had it. I say unfortunately because I've been a longstanding member and, through the Leading service, I've made some good friends over the years.

However, with the removal of the ski leading service, which I think was for many the main reason to belong, along with the financial mismanagement and the sale of assets the club is now a shadow of it's former self, probably has no material assets left and is now facing another massive financial hit. I was going to cancel my family membership this year due to the withdrawal of the Leading service but I guess I'll give them one more year in the hopes that a new executive figures out how to become relevant again.
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Would there be a buyer for Freshtracks? Could the holidays work without the “volunteer” leaders/reps? Seems unlikely?
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Quite surprised to get a PM from someone annoyed I have put the transcript here.

It wasn't marked "secret" and the Chairman himself mentions about openness.

It ain't the masons!!!
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I’ve not been a member for over two years but I still received the two e-mails
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@ChrisKernow, I received the same email and the Chairman’s statement will most probably form the basis of a press statement. I don’t think we need to worry about confidentiality...as you say, there have been issues in the past with them not being open enough.
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ChrisKernow wrote:
Quite surprised to get a PM from someone annoyed I have put the transcript here.

It wasn't marked "secret" and the Chairman himself mentions about openness.

It ain't the masons!!!

That would be me. I'm still struggling to understand why you'd post the emails here for discussion, when the SCGB has its own forum and members only Facebook group for discussions like this.

I think the Chairman was talking about openness towards members. I imagine if it was intended the full content of the email was publicly available they'd have put it on the website and posted it on Facebook etc. There's quite a lot of ground between public and a secret society like the masons. rolling eyes
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@sugarmoma666, you do know where this forum came from?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@lynnecha, @ChrisKernow, I am not a member and have never have been and have received the email. It obviously is not confidential so no harm in publishing it here
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@sugarmoma666, but the emails went out to non (former?) members too
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
sugarmoma666 wrote:
ChrisKernow wrote:
Quite surprised to get a PM from someone annoyed I have put the transcript here.

It wasn't marked "secret" and the Chairman himself mentions about openness.

It ain't the masons!!!

That would be me. I'm still struggling to understand why you'd post the emails here for discussion, when the SCGB has its own forum and members only Facebook group for discussions like this.

I think the Chairman was talking about openness towards members. I imagine if it was intended the full content of the email was publicly available they'd have put it on the website and posted it on Facebook etc. There's quite a lot of ground between public and a secret society like the masons. rolling eyes


In which case why did he send it to non members? I know of four non members who have received it!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@sugarmoma666 - The problem with the SCGB's members only Forum is that hardly any member uses it. As a member for many years I have no problem with using Snowheads to discuss the SCGB.
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Blackblade wrote:
I rather think, unfortunately, that they've had it. I say unfortunately because I've been a longstanding member and, through the Leading service, I've made some good friends over the years.

However, with the removal of the ski leading service, which I think was for many the main reason to belong, along with the financial mismanagement and the sale of assets the club is now a shadow of it's former self, probably has no material assets left and is now facing another massive financial hit. I was going to cancel my family membership this year due to the withdrawal of the Leading service but I guess I'll give them one more year in the hopes that a new executive figures out how to become relevant again.


^This^

That was the one thing worth being a member for for me. It's an irrelevance now.
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Mosha Marc wrote:
@sugarmoma666, you do know where this forum came from?

Yes. But that was a long time ago.
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Rabbie wrote:
@lynnecha, @ChrisKernow, I am not a member and have never have been and have received the email. It obviously is not confidential so no harm in publishing it here

In that case, no issue then (at least not one that isn't entirely of the SCGB's own making). I wonder if they meant to send it to such a wide audience?
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I signed up to get snow reports 3 years ago and live in Nz and got both those emails. It’s hardly confidential.

That’s a pretty short run for a ceo. Knowing nothing about the organisation but knowing a lot about governance and having worked in similar roles, the email hints at some career ending stuff having happened.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Jehu wrote:
@sugarmoma666 - The problem with the SCGB's members only Forum is that hardly any member uses it. As a member for many years I have no problem with using Snowheads to discuss the SCGB.


My view exactly.
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There are holiday companies that still offer social skiing as part of their package, though not the off piste skiing that the SCGB used to provide 20 yrs ago.
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As a few others have said I’m not a member but did get the email. Smacks of incompetence if they can’t tell the difference between members and non-members
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the club comms was sent to the various club lists of emails. e g. anyone who has entered a comp, been a member, not actively unsubscribed, etc.

my personal take from the Chairmans post is that the club are part way through the investigation into the financial issues and the CEO departure is part of that. Hang11 seems particularly astute.

Chairmans prior comms gives some comfort that the future will be better for the club, but I'm not optimistic... time will tell, and we can expect am update in due course.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
On the rocks wrote:
I’ve not been a member for over two years but I still received the two e-mails

GDPR fail right there.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@sugarmoma666, I have never been a member of the SCGB but I have received the 8th April email. I guess because I signed up for snow reports a few years ago. I can only assume that the club wanted people me to know about this and I see absolutely no problem in sharing the text here for discussion.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
agw wrote:
@sugarmoma666, I have never been a member of the SCGB but I have received the 8th April email. I guess because I signed up for snow reports a few years ago. I can only assume that the club wanted people me to know about this and I see absolutely no problem in sharing the text here for discussion.

As I thought I said above, I assumed that the email had gone to members only. It seems the Club have (rightly or wrongly) chosen to send it to a much wider audience, so it seemed that the Club were aiming at a higher level of openness than I assumed. (I assume /hope the OP had confirmed the email wasn't members only before sharing, and that this wasn't just luck.)
ski holidays
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
sugarmoma666 wrote:
agw wrote:
@sugarmoma666, I have never been a member of the SCGB but I have received the 8th April email. I guess because I signed up for snow reports a few years ago. I can only assume that the club wanted people me to know about this and I see absolutely no problem in sharing the text here for discussion.

As I thought I said above, I assumed that the email had gone to members only. It seems the Club have (rightly or wrongly) chosen to send it to a much wider audience, so it seemed that the Club were aiming at a higher level of openness than I assumed. (I assume /hope the OP had confirmed the email wasn't members only before sharing, and that this wasn't just luck.)


Nope I didn't, and luck doesn't come into it, if I chose to share such stuff I will as it is important for GB skiers to know this so that they can make a decision about whether to join or not. In these times no one wants to be chucking away money to something that may go bust.
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Poster: A snowHead
Again I don’t know shite about this club but my take on it is that the chairman rightly or wrongly wants to shaft the ex CEO. It’s hardly a wish him well as he moves on to greater things message, and I’m not sure what UK law is but it’s probably crossing the line in terms of the confidential nature of an employment relationship - which comes back to a stitch up to the widest audience possible. Could be something in it could just be massive egos. Not the sort of thing I would usually bother reading on my email but it caught my attention.

I’d be seeing a lawyer sharpish if I was the guy who has just left.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@sugamoma666 there is no legal responsibility on the OP to check before sharing, nor to respect any confidentiality markings of a letter they get hold of. Those markings only have relevance in a disciplinary sense e.g. for staff and club members.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@hang11 I see nothing in those letters that alludes to misconduct by Ian Holt, it's all factual.
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I'm a member, but haven't received this. The key phrase to me is:

"When I accepted the position of interim Chairman of the Club in January 2020, I did so on the understanding that Council would address the significant governance and performance issues raised by members at the Club’s AGM in November 2019. At that meeting, the Club made a commitment to investigate and report to members how those issues arose, their impact on the Club’s reputation and financial standing, and how they would be addressed. This announcement is in the context of that agreement."

There has been an investigation into the financial and governance challenges the club has faced. The Chairman clearly links the investigation to the announcement of the departure of the CEO who was treasurer for some of that period and on the Council for all of it.

It's an unusually blunt statement to make in this context. Given the SCGB's general sensitivity around legal risks etc I imagine (and certainly hope) that it took advice on this statement.

Isn't @gerry on the council? Maybe he can enlighten us all further.
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Csb123 wrote:
@sugamoma666 there is no legal responsibility on the OP to check before sharing, nor to respect any confidentiality markings of a letter they get hold of. Those markings only have relevance in a disciplinary sense e.g. for staff and club members.

I definitely didn't mention anything about legal requirements. Not sure where you're got that from.
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Csb123 wrote:
@hang11 I see nothing in those letters that alludes to misconduct by Ian Holt, it's all factual.


You’re joking!!! Letter on 8th April communicating resignation on 31st March. No « thanks for his service » message, « this announcement is in the context of ... », interim CEO was treasurer and has been actively involved in investigations....
As @Hang11 points out you don’t need to read far between the lines to see what he’s pointing to.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
ChrisKernow wrote:
Quite surprised to get a PM from someone annoyed I have put the transcript here....
I guess they haven't worked out the whole internet thing yet:
https://www.snowindustrynews.com/articles/2020/april/more-problems-for-troubled-ski-club-of-great-britain/

The SCGB decided they didn't want this type of forum, possibly because like your correspondent they want to maintain the secrecy of their clique.

I haven't bothered to download their publicly available accounts, but all things considered it's hard to see they'll be around much longer.
If they ceased to exist, would anyone here start a business to "full the gap" they leave? I doubt that would make sense even in ordinary times.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I too am member, and now Council member at the SCGB (openness is good, please be gentle...) . Its great to see all this interest on Snowheads, I am one of those that feel we are all on the same side, trying to support good skiing (and Boarding) for all. Clearly the club has made some mistakes over the last eighteen months and the changes to what was the leading service have not gone down well with members. However we needed to deal with a tricky legal position, and could not escape the reality of the French decision, however much we think it "unfair".
I also feel very positive that the SCGB has turned a corner and has the fundamentals in place to re-build the great members club that many of us have enjoyed so much in the past. The new Chairman is helping us greatly, new Council has a renewed commitment to on-snow and we do have a great Freshtracks holiday programme, and fantastic member base - sorry, didn't mean this as a SCGB pitch, just to share with you that the SCGB Council is committed to rebuilding a club which I hope many of you will enjoy being a member of. Feel free to drop me a PM
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@snowdave, that hits the nail square on the head. The timeline of events leads inevitably in that direction:

2012 Frank McCusker appointed CEO. Ian Holt joins the council.
2013 Membership numbers up for the first time in living memory due to revised insurance offerings. Rob Crowder appointed Chair. Malcolm Bentley appointed Treasurer.
2014 French case against SCGB leaders starts, leading stopped, membership falls
2015 SCGB loses the case, and loses more members
2016 SCGB loses an appeal as well, plus the Brexit vote is to leave the EU. White House sold for £3.85m
2017 French appeals dropped. Frank McCusker dies suddenly. SCGB completes its move. Malcolm Bentley appointed Chair. Ian Holt appointed Treasurer. £1.5m annual profit.
2018 Darren Neylon appointed CEO. £92K annual profit.

and more recently:

2019-04 Darren Neylon resigns as CEO
2019-07 Ian Holt appointed CEO
2019-11 SCGB announces £840K loss
2020-01 Malcolm Bentley resigns as Chair. Trevor Campbell Davis appointed Interim Chair
2020-03 Ian Holt resigns as CEO

The executive of the SCGB seem to have been asleep at the wheel since Frank McCusker's death, and it looks like they blew the cash as a succession of Treasurers were put into the CEO and Chair positions. Darren Neylon was brought in as a club outsider to fix the problems, but seems to have walked away. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that he encountered resistance to radical change from the entrenched old boys, and gave up. The old boys then seem to have decided they could do better, screwed it up royally, and are now out of the organisation.

I was a member of the SCGB for one year, sometime around 2006, and received both emails. I have no interest in rejoining, but I do look at what claims to be the representative body for GB snowsports with a mixture of horror and schadenfreude, and I can't resist asking how it got to be like this.
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@pisteoff, thanks for contributing and for the transparency.

I have a lot to thank the SCGB for - about 30 years ago it started me off piste skiing, introduced me to new friends, and provided some fantastic leading sessions. Much more recently I had some fantastic days with the rep in Argentiere, including a couple of days off on our own touring (as peers rather than in a "leading" context), until the program got canned.

It's a shame that it's screwed some things up in recent years, and that it's not found a way to hang onto a leaders program (or structure an alternative meetup-style arrangements between members that actually works). I've no insight into what's caused that, but there does seem to be a lot of expense incurred for very little visible outcome as a member. To me, the fact that is still produces a print magazine says it all about being a bit stuck in the past.

I stay a member (or more correctly, rejoined a couple of years ago) because of the discounts and insurance, tho' since the insurance excludes pretty much everything related to the current crisis, it's looking a lot less useful.
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