Stonehouse, 16 January 2018: Customade Group (Customade) is delighted to announce the appointment
of David Leng as Group Chief Executive. David’s appointment is effective as of 1 February, succeeding John
Lightowlers who continues with the firm in a non-executive capacity.
David is highly experienced within the windows and doors industry, with a proven track record of growing
multi-site manufacturing and distribution companies. He joins from Synseal Group, where as chief executive
he took the company from a £70m manufacturer of window profiles and conservatories, to become a £160m
multi-channel, multi-material market-leading business in the window, glass, roof and door sectors. Using a mix
of acquisition, disposal, turnaround and organic growth, over the last 16 years David has led the transformation
of several complex manufacturing businesses1 with turnovers ranging from £20m to £300m. His early career
in sales and marketing has generated an expertise in product and channel development, which has resulted in
numerous business and personal achievement awards. Customade has benefitted from considerable investment
in the last 12 months and David’s expertise will be instrumental in scaling the business and generating further
growth, to ensure that the company fulfils its potential.
In the year since Customade merged with Polyframe, John Lightowlers, Customade’s retiring Group Managing
Director, and his team have created the UK’s largest trade fabricator of PVCu, aluminium and composite
windows and doors. He has overseen the successful consolidation of the four acquired businesses2, to create
a £100 million company that operates nationwide, with nine manufacturing facilities and over 900 employees.
In parallel, he has led a period of intensive investment and change, where each manufacturing unit has been
significantly expanded or upgraded and he has developed the product range to create six clearly differentiated
offerings, each with its own distinct identity to meet the entire fenestration needs of the UK installer market.
John has been instrumental in establishing and settling a strong management team and maintaining the
quality of offering, service and innovation that differentiates Customade from its competitors. The Board of
Customade is delighted that John, having chosen to be less active in the management of the company going
forward, will continue to be involved as a non-executive director in the next phase of its growth.
Supported by Customade’s management team, David Leng is tasked to drive the business forward, doubling
its scale to build a company with a turnover in excess of £200 million in the medium term. He commented,
“I am delighted to be joining Customade – it offers exactly the type of opportunity that motivates me. It is
at a really exciting point in its development and is ready to capitalise on its numerous growth opportunities.
We have ambitious goals to fulfil and Customade is well structured, with strong investor support, exceptional
products, first-rate employees and a well-deserved reputation for superior service. I look forward to leading
the next phase of its development.”
John Lightowlers, Group Managing Director, said “The merger with Polyframe was the culmination of an
ambition to grow my business into the successful enterprise that it is today. To have achieved so much and
with the support of a great team fills me with pride. At the time of the deal, I committed to stay for as long as
was needed to ensure that the merger transitioned well, to give the management team the support that they
required during a period of intense change and to prepare the company to fulfil its potential. Customade is well
positioned for the next stage in its development and so this seems the natural point for me to pass the baton
to David and to continue my support as a non-executive member of the Board.”
David Moore, Customade’s Chairman said, “On behalf of all at Customade, I would like to welcome David
and thank John for his drive and unstinting commitment over the last year. Our current industry standing is
testament to the great company and great team that he built. We are delighted that we will continue to benefit
from his ongoing contributions to the Board.”