James Donaldson Group appoints new CFO

11 August 2020

Arlene Cairns has joined James Donaldsons and Sons Ltd (JDS) as its new chief financial officer (CFO), effective from August 3.

Ms Cairns joins JDS from Aviva, where she was chief finance operations officer responsible for leading global finance operations and their global finance transformation.

Ms Cairns had joined Aviva from Alliance Trust Savings where she was CFO. Prior to this, she held several senior finance and strategy roles across the UK, Ireland and Australia working for Westpac Institutional Bank, Allied Irish Bank, RSA and Zurich Financial Services. This is in addition to her time as a management consultant at EY in the UK and Australia, where her focus was on transformation and performance improvement.

She succeeds Andrew Donaldson as CFO following his promotion to chief executive officer in April 2020 (TTJ July/August 2020).

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Arlene to the Group, where she will undoubtedly drive and modernise our finance operations,” said Mr Donaldson. “Arlene has a proven track record of leading finance functions and driving strategic transformational change and improvements in global organisations. Her extensive corporate experience makes her well suited to take on the role of CFO and an excellent addition to our senior leadership team. I look forward to seeing the impact of her presence as our new CFO.”

Arlene commented on her appointment: “I’m excited to be joining the James Donaldson Group’s leadership team and leading finance, while supporting Andrew and chairman Michael Donaldson to continue the growth and development of the JDS Group and contribute to the future success of the business,” said Ms Cairns.

Additionally, Ms Cairns was a board director for Homeless charity Social Bite, and part of the team delivering the Social Bite Communities village in Edinburgh in 2018. She is also part of the University of Edinburgh Women in Executive Leadership Group.

Arlene Cairns