The Mineral Products Association (MPA) has appointed Lex Russell, Managing Director of CEMEX UK Materials, as its new Chair for the next two years.

Russell has worked in the building materials industry for 40 years, initially starting in 1984 with Scottish quarrying and concrete product business Alexander Russell, holding a variety of operational and technical roles. In 1989 he joined RMC’s Technical Department before progressing through the organisation as Quarry Manager, Operations Manager, Business Manager and Director.

In 2005, RMC was acquired by CEMEX and two years later Russell moved to Australia to lead a team in the post-merger integration of Rinker, acquired by CEMEX in 2007. He returned to the UK as Vice President before becoming Managing Director of the CEMEX UK Materials business in 2018.

He takes over the role of MPA Chair from Simon Willis, CEO of Hanson UK, who held the position for an extended three-year period, ensuring continuity during the period of leadership change with the appointment of Jon Prichard as MPA Chief Executive.

Jon Prichard said: “I am delighted to welcome Lex as the new MPA Chair and look forward to working with him on a broad range of issues, from infrastructure, housing and planning reform to climate change and circular economy and biodiversity gain.

“Lex has a wealth of experience gained over four decades and his passion for the role our industry plays in helping to build a ‘Greater Britain’ will generate energy and enthusiasm and we rise to meet the challenges ahead.

“I would also like to thank Simon Willis for his invaluable contribution during his term of office over the past three years, including my own appointment as Chief Executive and overseeing the transition from my predecessor Nigel Jackson.

“Simon was MPA Chair during a particularly difficult time when we all had to adapt to new ways of working. And despite the challenges of Covid and economic uncertainty, MPA continued to engage with key stakeholders and deliver value and benefit for its members.”