New chief executive unveiled at Magna

Kevin Tomlinson

A new chief executive has been unveiled at Magna to build on the venue’s success.

Kevin Tomlinson, who is from Rotherham, was UK head of global outsourcing company Capgemini until retirement in 2008. He became a trustee of Magna, which is a charity, in 2014 and has now taken over as chief executive from John Silker who died last year.

Magna, which is housed in the former Templeborough steelworks near junction 34 of the M1, offers space for corporate events, as well as hosting its own. It is also an award-winning visitor attraction, with more than 100 hands-on exhibits designed to explore the four elements of air, water, earth and fire, and it hosts regular educational visits.

Kevin, who was born in Eastwood and went to Rotherham Grammar School, said: “I have worked away from Rotherham, everywhere from the US to Australia, but I have always lived here. I’m nearly 65 now so this business opportunity is probably my last chance to give something back to my home town.”

After leaving school Kevin went to work for British Steel as an apprentice in Rotherham, working his way up to become one of the youngest senior managers at the company, before leaving to join Capgemini in 1996.

Kevin was in charge of more than 5,000 employees and IT systems for giants including the Metropolitan Police, Matalan and HMRC. After retiring in 2008, he ran a management consultancy turning businesses around, before ill health forced him to give that up. Frustrated by having little to do, he was persuaded to join the board of trustees at Magna, before now taking on the mantle of chief executive.

“This role is an exciting proposition, a real business challenge where the opportunities for improvement are enormous. We need to build on what has been done so far, grow the business revenues and invest even more to enable us to further improve the customer experience in the science centre and our educational services,” said Kevin.

“We are already seeing more growth. Last year corporate events had a turnover of £900,000 and we are on track to reach well over a million this year. As a charity, any profits we make are reinvested into the attraction and the school visitor programme.

“I believe Magna should be at the heart of the Rotherham and South Yorkshire community and we want to connect more with people and inject a greater sense of pride in the facility and its services.” 

Brian Chapple, chair of the Magna Trust, said: “The trustees were delighted when Kevin agreed to become chief executive of Magna. Kevin’s successful track record in business and his personal knowledge and understanding of the steel industry make him the ideal person for the role.”


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