Molycop welcomes Sharon Champness as new Rail GM

Sharon Champness replaces veteran Lindsay Reid as General Manager of Molycop’s Rail division.

Key facts

  • Sharon Champness promises to preserve Lindsay Reid’s Molycop legacy. 
  • Reid’s career with Molycop spanned 45 years, 20 of those as General Manager.
  • Reid oversaw the development of heavy haul rail wheels and axles and passenger car wheels to international standards.
The following is an amended version of an article originally published in Rail Express. Click below to read the full article about Lindsay Reid's retirement:
Lindsay Reid retiresSharon Champness has been appointed General Manager of Molycop’s Rail division, replacing the retiring Lindsay Reid. 

Champness said she was delighted to take the reins of such a customer-focused and committed business with a long history within the rail industry in Australia. 

“Over the past 10 years, I have worked in different industries, but I have been back at Molycop for the last two. Prior to stepping into the general manager role, I was managing the HR, safety and environment function for Molycop Australia."

Because I enjoy delivering great outcomes for customers, leading people and managing change, this role is a very good fit for me. I have worked in many different functions across diverse industries in my career. The rail industry is a dynamic and essential sector for Australia. It is a key part of our daily commute, our trade across the country and the growth of the Australian economy. It is great to be part of this industry.

Lindsay Reid exits Molycop

Molycop’s Rail division has been led by Lindsay Reid as General Manager for the last two decades. Reid led the division through an expansion phase, overseeing the innovative development of heavy haul rail wheels and axles and passenger car wheels to international standards.

But he’s been with the company much longer than that: his career spans 45 years, an impressive time span that began with a humble job as an apprentice fitter machinist.

Reid said his departure had been imminent for the last 18 months, after the company restructured some of its sales and marketing division roles.

“At the time of leaving it just felt right, and I was confident that the business was in good hands,” he said.

Reid said Molycop’s team has been instrumental to making the business a success.

“We have a very good team. I've always been very focused on developing the capability of the people. I've always pushed the mantra of quality, performance and delivery, and of looking after customers.

“If you do all those things right and you have good people doing it, then you end up with a very good business.”
But while the rail industry is in a healthy state, Reid said there was much room for improvement when it comes to supporting local manufacturers.

“Keeping Australian manufacturing healthy and alive has always been a pretty tough job, and continues to be,” he said. “Government support of local industry is waning in this country. Government needs to stop bowing to other countries and put the appropriate measures in to protect the Australian industry without being preferential.

“As I leave, I'm happy that the business is still operating as an Australian manufacturer, which is very much a rarity. There's not that many heavy manufacturing businesses like us still operating in Australia.

“As long as we continue to make a good product and give customers no problems, and the performance is solid and we do the fundamentals right, we’ll continue to prosper.”

A seamless handover 

Champness echoed Reid’s goals for the future.

“We are proud that our world-class Comsteel products are manufactured in Australia, from an Australian manufacturing base,” she said.

“Our ambition is to keep innovating our production and supply chain processes in partnership with our customers to further grow our responsiveness, speed and exacting quality standards.

“Lindsay Reid is well-known within our business for his strong focus on mentoring and developing others. These are also strengths for me and areas that I will see his legacy continue.” 

Molycop – Progress Together

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