By Tom Degun

Nick BucklesMay 21 - G4S chief executive Nick Buckles is to quit his role at the end of this month less than a year after the high-profile Olympic security shambles that saw the firm fail to meet the conditions of its £284 million ($425 million/€327 million) contract with London 2012.

G4S came under heavy fire after admitting just days before the start of the Olympics that only 4,000 guards were trained and ready for the opening of London 2012, forcing the Government to commit 3,500 military personnel to fill the security void.

Buckles, who was paid a total of £1.2 million ($1.8 million/€1.4 million) in 2012, confessed that the episode was a "humiliating shambles".

It also resulted in a 32 per cent fall in the company's pre-tax profits from £257 million ($384 million/€296 million) in 2011 to £175 million ($261 million/€201 million) last year.

The 52-year-old, who will leave G4S on May 31, is being replaced by the company's chief financial officer Ashley Almanza, who only joined the security group three weeks ago.

The abrupt departure comes just two weeks before the G4S Annual General Meeting, at which investors had been expected to lambast Buckles over the company's performance at London 2012.

Ashley Almanza 210513Ashley Almanza will replace G4S chief executive Nick Buckles

Buckles, who has been G4S chief executive since 2005, was also facing re-election to the Board at the AGM on June 6 but he will now not be standing and will retire as a director.

He was originally cleared of blame when the company published an internal review into its Olympic failure in September as chief operating officer David Taylor-Smith and managing director of global events Ian Horseman Sewell were both forced to resign as it was released.

However, many at G4S felt that Buckles should have taken the blame himself and his position would have become untenable if he faced major criticism at the AGM.

But despite the Olympic security fiasco, G4S chairman John Connolly has praised Buckles for his contribution.

"Nick Buckles made a massive contribution to the group over a 28 year career," said Connolly.

"As chief executive he led G4S in the creation of significant shareholder value following the merger of Securicor and Group 4 Falck - building the world's leading security company.

"On behalf of the board and everyone at G4S, I thank Nick and wish him the very best of luck for the future."

Olympic securityThe Government were forced to commit 3,500 military personnel to fill the security void at the Olympics after G4S failed to meet the conditions of its contract with London 2012

As part of the restructuring following Buckles' resignation, Eddie Aston will also join G4S in July to take up the new role of chief operating officer.

"The creation of this new senior role is one of the actions announced by the group following the board review of the Olympic contract last year," said a G4S statement.

Incoming chief executive Almanza added that the company will now be focusing on the future following the London 2012 embarrassment.

"G4S is a great global business with enormous long term potential and I am looking forward to working with a highly experienced and capable management team as we take the business forward," Almanza explained.

"I am also delighted that we have strengthened the team with the appointment of Eddie Aston."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
March 2013: G4S profits fall by a third following Olympic security shambles
February 2013: G4S set to lose £70 million on Olympic contract after reaching settlement with London 2012
November 2012: London 2012 failure sees G4S punished again
September 2012: G4S chief executive cleared after review of Olympic security fiasco
September 2012: G4S accused of misleading Government over London 2012 security fiasco