Star-Dundee launches employee ownership trust


Aerospace engineering organisation Star-Dundee has launched an employee ownership trust.

The organisation, which has 25 employees across offices in Dundee and Barcelona, has become employee owned in order to secure its long-term future and help to maintain its current organisational culture.

Star-Dundee, which is now a part of the Employee Ownership Association, decided on employee ownership after conducting a succession planning project with economic development agency Scottish Enterprise. The results of this led senior leaders within the business to support a move to employee ownership rather than continuing in its current format, which saw the organisation run and majority owned by its founding academic Professor Steve Parkes.

As a result of the move to employee ownership, the management team has been restructured. Former chief executive officer (CEO) Steve Parkes will now be chief technology officer, and Stuart Mills, the organisation’s former chief operating officer and co-founder, will step into the CEO position. Carole Carrie will move from her role as administration manager to company secretary. These changes have been actioned in order to assist the growth of the organisation moving forward.

Star-Dundee has celebrated 15 years in business this year, after separating from the University of Dundee in 2002.

Professor Steve Parkes said: “Having formed Star-Dundee and forged it over 15 years into [an organisation] with a worldwide reputation, I realised that I was not going to be around to see it through the next 15 years. It became clear that the future for the [organisation] was about the people in the [organisation] that had helped make it a success and the culture that we had developed to support that success.

“Selling the [organisation] to another organisation, which would inevitably change the culture and might event move it from its Dundee base, was not a very attractive idea. Employee ownership retains and strengthens the culture and will ensure that it always has a base in Dundee.”

Stuart Mills, chief executive officer at Star-Dundee, added: “Star-Dundee has been a great success because of its people. Our move to employee ownership allows these individuals to have a greater say in the running of the [organisation] and to further benefit from the [organisation’s] success.”