Morris Lubricants is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year and has appointed a “fresh pair of eyes” at the top to guide the successful business to the next level.
Chris Slezakowski, managing director at Shrewsbury, UK-based Morris Lubricants, is relishing the challenge of taking the business forward. He will be working under the guidance of Executive Chairman Andrew Goddard, a fifth-generation direct family descendant of company founder James Kent Morris.
“It’s very rare to find a company that is celebrating 150 years of trading. That gives me a feeling of longevity and investment in its workers and, after working for a number of global companies, it’s great to feel part of a business that is firmly established in the local community,” said Slezakowski.
Slezakowski joined the business from the construction sector, having worked as a consultant with clients worldwide for 18 months. Prior to that he spent 11 years at SIG, rising from national accounts director to the leadership team at the GBP1.6 billion (USD2 billion) UK business. He advised the government on housing strategy and offsite construction techniques and represented the company on a number of influential sector panels.
Earlier in his career, he studied physics at university and chose to work for pneumatic machinery company Atlas Copco for 10 years, rising from junior salesman to country manager for the UK, gaining valuable skills and experience along the way.
He then spent four years each at Hepworth Building Products – now Wavin – as sales director and Burdens as group commercial director of a business with a GBP300 million (USD386 million) turnover.
“The opportunities for Morris Lubricants are all within our grasp and I am planning to use my experience in previous roles to develop our business into the next phase where digitisation and technical excellence will set us apart,” said Slezakowski.
“My vision is to take the company to the next level by building on the success of the business and reaching the highest levels of performance attainable. Beyond that our ambition is to position Morris Lubricants as the premier specialist market choice and to be known for quality, value and service.”
“The company is successful and is seeking ways to reach new heights of performance, particularly in customer service. We have a number of new products to launch, new ways to reach our customers and some cutting-edge technology to keep us ahead in our sector,” he added.
Looking to the future, he revealed that the company is expecting to grow through market presence and acquisition.
“A hallmark of this business is very conservative growth,” he added. “I have never seen a business that has grown in such a controlled way. Often businesses chase turnover which leads to problems with the organisational structure, but Morris Lubricants has a steady approach to growth which happens as a consequence of great service rather than seeing growth as a target in itself.”