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Dudley Zoological Gardens Dudley Zoo - Chief executives departure

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Nisha, 31 Mar 2015.

  1. Nisha

    Nisha Well-Known Member

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  2. zoogiraffe

    zoogiraffe Well-Known Member

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    Have to say having just read this article I am shocked,As every time I have ever spoken with Mr Suddock,he has always come across as somebody that was very dedicated to turning Dudley Zoo round,with very limited funds and I believe he was doing just that!The only thing I would say was that business wise his head was very much screwed on,but as to how the zoo world worked he was very naive,as I know when he mentioned that he would like to bring in Giant Panda`s he was shocked to find out that the zoo would have to pay for them!
     
  3. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    I cannot think of a better individual to lead DZG and who almost single-handedly worked his arse off to get the zoo out of the dumps and bring it over the rainbow. It seems difficult to belief that he might in some way be involved in financial improriety or what have you!

    An individual is innocent until proven guilty in the courts. And what I find most disconcerting and improper about this newspaper reporting is that being under private investigation cannot be equal to having it leaked or passed on to the media!
     
  4. Nanook

    Nanook Well-Known Member

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    Regarding the Peter Suddock situation, and others like him working in zoos, unfortunately, I think that these days there seems to be some kind of "trend" (for want of a better word) of suspending people at the slightest whiff of a problem, without any apparent grounds for it ? Despite the fact that many of these people are long-standing senior figures who are very dedicated to "their zoos", BUT there are others who are perhaps only too keen , and too quick, to jump on them at the slightest thing they are not happy with (perhaps to further their own causes?) I don`t know the real reason for Peter`s suspension, but I do know he is 100% dedicated to the zoo and has done only his best for it for the last twenty years.
    He should be treated as innocent until proven otherwise.
    Of course these days you have to whiter than white in everything you do!
     
  5. Nisha

    Nisha Well-Known Member

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    Chief executive, Peter Suddock has retired "by mutual consent" following his suspension. His partner, Jill Hitchman has also left her post

    Dudley Zoo's suspended chief executive Peter Suddock has left the post by mutual agreement after 22 years in the role.

    The well-known Midland business leader, 68, has officially retired from his job after the zoo announced his suspension earlier this month.

    Mr Suddock, who has been chief executive of the zoo since 1993, had been suspended on full pay pending an internal inquiry thought to revolve around finances.

    His partner Jill Hitchman, who has worked as the zoo's head of media and communications, is also no longer in her role.

    Mr Suddock was suspended while an internal investigation was carried out but a statement issued by the zoo today said: "By mutual agreement and after 22 years in post, Peter Suddock has retired from his position as chief executive officer of Dudley Zoological Gardens."

    The statement added no further detail over the circumstances of his departure or whether a financial settlement had been reached.

    The zoo previously said his suspension had not constituted disciplinary action and "whether or not disciplinary action is taken will depend upon the outcome of the investigation".

    Mr Suddock's career began in the engineering industry before he became chief executive of registered charity Dudley Zoological Gardens in 1993.

    He is also a former chairman of the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and has been chairman of the Heart of England Attractions Group, a consortium of West Midlands leisure attractions, and forged links with zoo and leisure groups across the UK.

    In May 2013, he was awarded the director of the year in the not-for-profit category in the West Midlands' Institute of Directors' annual awards.

    Neither Mr Suddock nor Ms Hitchman could be contacted for comment and Zoo Trust chairman Neil Cutler also declined to comment


    Dudley Zoo chief executive leaves role days after being suspended - Birmingham Post
     
  6. Nisha

    Nisha Well-Known Member

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    Another article - this time with a statement from Mr.Suddock himself

    THE former chief executive of Dudley Zoo said although he was giving up “the best job in the world”, it was the right time to retire.

    Peter Suddock, aged 68, announced he was leaving the zoo today (Friday), shortly after it was revealed he had been suspended on full pay pending an internal investigation about his “conduct of certain affairs of the zoo”.

    Mr Suddock has not commented on the investigation but in a statement, he said: “Twenty-two years ago I accepted the challenge to investigate the future of an ailing Dudley Zoo.

    "Back in 1993 we saw just 150,000 visitors through the turnstiles, the animal collection was in need of a major boost, staff morale was low and the run-down site was losing money and on the verge of closure.

    "I intended to stay two years, attempt to turn the business around and move on – totally unaware of the all-consuming passion of one of the country's most-loved tourist attractions.”

    He said there had been “many testing times” but added: “My commitment to the charity's work remained at the forefront and this extraordinary role became a way of life and one of the best jobs in the world.”

    Mr Suddock continued: "Three years ago I achieved a dream by securing £1.15million Heritage Lottery funding for the restoration of four of the site's Tecton structures.

    "This work and the transformation of the site is almost complete, and, along with some 300,000 visitors and our daily social media news bulletins, is serving to put Dudley Zoological Gardens on the word class tourist map.”

    He concluded: "I shall miss being part of a dedicated team and the daily pleasure of seeing some of the world's rarest species, and am immensely proud to have helped create a flourishing tourist attraction with a bright future, but at 68 it's time to retire, pursue other interests, and hand over the reins of this truly unique site to its next custodian.


    Dudley Zoo's chief exec said he has given up the "best job in the world" (From Dudley News)
     
  7. Nanook

    Nanook Well-Known Member

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    What a great shame. I wonder if we will ever know what exactly went on.......? It will be interesting to see who takes his place.
     
  8. Angel

    Angel Well-Known Member

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    Very sad news. Peter Suddock has made a tremendous positive difference to DZG over the last 22 years. I only hope that whoever succeeds him will continue to enhance and develop the site and collection.
     
  9. chimpman

    chimpman Well-Known Member

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    It seems a little strange that no mention of Mr Suddock's retirement is made on the zoo's web site. I'm sure we'll never know what caused this issue. His sudden retirement is intriguing. Has he jumped before he was pushed?
     
  10. Nisha

    Nisha Well-Known Member

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    A new chapter for DZG

    Senior Curator, Derek Grove has now been promoted to the role of Zoo Director

    Derek Grove has been appointed as zoo director and will lead the existing managing team at the attraction.

    Mr Grove has worked at the zoo for 30 years and has progressed to the top after beginning as a junior keeper.

    The 52-year-old most recently served as a senior curator.

    It comes after Mr Suddock stepped down from his role as chief executive by 'mutual agreement' last week after 22 years at the helm following a suspension as an investigation was carried out into his conduct.

    The zoo has said the inquiry closed following his retirement and that no further action will be taken.

    It has made no further comment on the nature of the investigation.

    Mr Suddock’s wife Jill Hitchman also recently left her post as head of media at the attraction.

    Councillor Patrick Harley, who leads the opposition Conservative group in Dudley, insisted as the zoo was an attraction for the public, and partly funded by the public purse, people had a right to know why Mr Suddock had been suspended.

    He said: "I think the public have a right to know and should know.

    “It is an organisation partly funded by Dudley Council taxpayers

    Councillor Harley said it was 'sad' that Mr Suddock had left in such circumstances.

    He said: "Peter has served the zoo very well over the years.

    “It is an extremely sad end to a distinguished career.

    "He really has dragged the zoo up into a 21st century attraction, it was decaying and numbers were in decline. Now the numbers are where we want to be for a Dudley tourist attraction."

    Mr Suddock started his career in the engineering industry. Following a spell as chairman at the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, he became chief executive at Dudley Zoo in 1993.

    He oversaw the turnaround of the zoo, which when he arrived had just 150,000 visitors in one year. Today it attracts 300,000 a year.

    http://www.expressandstar.com/news/...ets-new-boss-as-councillor-calls-for-answers/
     
  11. Benosaurus

    Benosaurus Well-Known Member

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    Seems like a very good choice to me. Someone who the staff know well and has been there for 30 years, mostly working under Peter Suddock, so hopefully he will keep the vision going.
    The new director will undoubtedly have more zoo/animal knowledge than Mr Suddock did, but will he have the same level of business acumen? (I don't think he would have been chosen if he didn't, so I have absolute faith in him.)

    Personally I don't care to know the reason for Mr Suddock's departure as I fear it may be damaging to the zoo's growing public reputation, but there's always a slimy politician that has to stir the pot and 'demand the truth for the people'. I mean who cares? He's gone now, so move on. People should not forget that Mr Suddock did a lot of good in his 22 years at the zoo. I'm 22 years old and have been visiting since I was very young; watching DZG improve year upon year.
     
  12. Angel

    Angel Well-Known Member

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    I agree. I'm not remotely interested in the reason behind Mr Suddock's departure. I have been visiting DZG for the best part of 50 years and feel that Peter Suddock has made an immense positive difference to the zoo over the last 22 years. Without him, I'm sure it would have closed long ago. I wish Derek Groves all the best in his new role and hope that the Zoo continues to develop and prosper.
     
  13. chessplayer

    chessplayer Member

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    I for one would very much like to know the truth about the departure of Peter Suddock and his wife. If the rumours are true it would be very much in the public interest for it to be made public.
     
  14. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Its a sad way to depart after such a successful tenure. I don't know if its better to know what happened or not-but it could either clear his name or blacken it depending on the outcome. This way all we are left with is questions.
     
  15. Nanook

    Nanook Well-Known Member

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    Very true. Good news about Derek Groves appointment, at least he is a fitting replacement.