New managing director to lead St Helens glass giant

Pilkington United Kingdom Limited, part of the NSG Group, has appointed Neil Syder to managing director to lead the glass manufacturer as it adapts to an age of decarbonisation and targets new opportunities.

Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 9:40 am
Updated Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 9:42 am
Neil Syder, incoming managing director at Pilkington UK

Neil brings more than 30 years’ experience within the company to the post. Most recently as head of operations, Neil has brought a new standard of efficiency and customer focus to the St Helens manufacturing operations.

He was the second Syder to hold the position of head of operations at the glass giant, moving temporarily to Sweden as a child as his father established the company’s Halmstad plant.

Neil began at the company working in R&D in the 1980s, building extensive experience over four decades in specialist glass coatings, running production lines, and operational planning.

He takes over from Matt Buckley, who takes retirement after serving as managing director for more than a decade and having spent 30 years with the business. The change takes effect from the end of December 2021.

Neil Syder, incoming managing director at Pilkington UK, said: “It’s an exciting time to take this new post, with the glass industry set to play a transformative role in an age of decarbonisation.

"We’ve undertaken the world’s first trials in powering a glass furnace with hydrogen at our base in St Helens to help improve our carbon impact within supply chains, while simultaneously delivering the materials that will enable better energy performance in the built environment.

“What’s more, Pilkington UK has a fantastic team with a wealth of expertise, operational efficiency, and range of advanced production capabilities to grow as an even more dynamic supplier.

“Agility will be crucial as we target more collaborative growth opportunities with our customers, while seeing off current headwinds facing the wider manufacturing sector.”

Pilkington UK recently became the first glass manufacturer to trial the use of hydrogen in a glass furnace. In 2022 Pilkington UK will also mark the 70th anniversary of the float glass process – the method of manufacturing glass pioneered by Sir Alastair Pilkington in St Helens and used to this day around the word.

In 2006, Pilkington was acquired by leading glass supplier The NSG Group, which today has principle operations around the world and sales in more than 100 countries.