The CEO has surprised shareholders by announcing he will step down on 30 June and hand over the role to Gordon MacLeod, the company’s Chief Financial Officer.
Mr Challies joined Ryman in 1999 as CFO before taking over as CEO in 2006, and has since grown Ryman’s portfolio from 12 villages to 31.
In a statement, he revealed he had been diagnosed with the disease six years ago. “I first noticed the symptoms about a decade ago, but it was still a huge shock to get my diagnosis,” he said. “I’ve been determined not to let it beat me.”
He also says the disease has given him insight into the challenges many of Ryman’s residents face, including day-to-day matters such as managing multiple needs or accessing medical records, and simple activities like using a computer.
Chairman David Kerr paid tribute to his colleague, who was known widely as “Simon from Ryman,” for his commitment to “walking the floor”.
To find a link to a video with an interview with Simon Challies, click here.