Element is led by an Operating Board with many years of experience in their respective leadership and management fields. The Operating Board meets every month to review the overall performance of the business and also to determine group-wide priorities.

Element's Operating Board members are:

Jo Wetz

Jo Wetz

Jo was appointed CEO of the Element Group in 2019 and is responsible for the overall strategic direction and growth of the Group. He previously served as the Group CFO since 2012 and was a board member of the Group following its buyout from Stork in 2010. Before Element, he built a career in private equity and led the investment in several global testing businesses in both Europe and the US, including the buyout of Element in 2010.

Under Jo's leadership, Element has experienced remarkable growth, expanding from 20 locations in five regions in 2010 to a global business with over 270 locations in 30 countries and a workforce of more than 9,000 employees. This growth is a testament to his efforts in driving organic growth and integrating 47 acquisitions. In his tenure at Element, Jo has led several successful buyouts, including those with 3i and Bridgepoint, as well as the take-private of Exova in 2017. Most recently he oversaw the successful buyout by Temasek in 2022.

Ruth Prior

Ruth Prior

Ruth was appointed as Chief Financial Officer (CFO), joining Element’s Executive Team and the Board on 1 June 2020 and reporting to Jo Wetz, CEO. She is responsible for all the finance, procurement, legal, tax and IT activities within the business, and brings significant financial control, M&A, change management, strategy and business planning expertise to the Group.

Ruth spent two and a half years as CFO at William Hill Plc, leading its finance, assurance, legal and procurement functions, as well as playing a critical role in driving company strategy and business transformation. She was also instrumental in the IPO of payments processing business Worldpay in 2015 – the largest ever private equity backed IPO in the UK at the time.

Ruth is a qualified accountant with a degree in Biochemistry and spent nearly a decade in private equity, working across a variety of sectors including waste, renewables, music, publishing and retail.

Rick Sluiters
EVP, Americas

Rick Sluiters

Rick joined Element in 2004, originally as a Business Development Manager responsible for integrating newly acquired laboratories into the organization. He has held General Manager positions for Element’s laboratories in Los Angeles, Detroit and Amsterdam and led several US laboratories through a Lean process transformation.

In 2011 Rick took the position of Vice President of European Operations and formally joined the Element Executive Team. Rick became the Executive Vice President (EVP) of Aerospace in 2014. Under his leadership the global aerospace sector has more than quadroupled in size and successfully integrated over 10 acquisitions, adding capabilities, capacity and footprint to become the number one provider of aerospace testing services in the world. In October 2020 Rick was appointed EVP, Americas, with responsibility for all of Element’s operations in the USA, Canada and Mexico, covering 88 laboratories across the aerospace, connected technologies, defence, life sciences and transportation end markets.

Matt Hopkinson

Matt Hopkinson

Matt joined Element in December 2018, initially as EVP for Element’s global Energy business. In October 2020, Matt was appointed EVP for the Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa region (EMEAA) with responsibility for five business units covering Aerospace and Defence, Connected Technology, Life Sciences, Built Environment, Certification and Digital Engineering.

Matt has twenty years of experience in the Testing, Inspection and Certification sector, holding operational and commercial leadership roles based in Europe, South America and North America. Principally this has covered leading global laboratory networks, as well as leading teams focused on account management, technical governance, systems development and new growth initiatives. Before his role at Element, Matt was a member of the Group Executive Leadership Team at Bureau Veritas.

Ditte Marstrand Wulf
Chief people officer

Ditte Marstrand Wulf

Ditte joined Element in September 2022, and is responsible for setting and executing our global people strategy across all of Element’s geographies. With more than 25 years of international experience in HR, Ditte brings significant capabilities in business transformation, M&A, integration and change, as well as leading global HR functions and teams.

Ditte has been a trusted advisor and business partner to executive teams, leaders and employees across an array of sectors including Animal Health, Technology, Distribution, Financial Services, Retail and Manufacturing. Most recently, Ditte led as Global Chief Human Resources Officer for Covetrus, a global animal health technology company operating in 27 countries and serving over 100,000 customers. 

Ditte holds a MSc in Human Resource Management and a BSc in Economics and Business Administration from the Copenhagen Business School.

Chief commercial officer

Renae Leary

Renae Leary was appointed as Chief Commercial Officer and joined Element's Operating Board in September 2023. Renae is responsible for leading the company's commercial strategy, aimed at driving accelerated growth and ensuring that customers remain central to strategic and operational decisions.

Renae brings over 25 years of global experience to her role, with previous experience as Chief Commercial Officer at Ansell, a global leader in health and safety protection solutions for healthcare and industrial sectors. During her tenure at Ansell, she led commercial efforts and was a member of the Executive Leadership Team. Prior to that, Renae held senior global commercial positions at Johnson Controls and Tyco.

Renae holds a Master's degree in Commerce from the University of New South Wales and a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies from The Australian National University.

Arnout Lijesen
EVP, Corporate Development

Arnout Lijesen

Arnout joined Element in early 2004, and is responsible for the Group’s strategy and highly successful global mergers and acquisition program. Under his leadership the Group has successfully originated, acquired, and integrated over 30 market leading businesses in North America, Europe and Asia.

Arnout has led various strategy assignments over the years including the original rebranding from Stork to Element; the Group’s entry into China; multiple outsourcing projects and various corporate strategy exercises.

Since the carve-out in 2010, Arnout has focused on leading Element’s highly successful mergers and acquisition program. Prior to joining Element, Arnout worked for Unilever Group Unichema and the management consultant firm Arthur D. Little.

Andrew Jordan
Chief Digital & Technology Officer

Andrew Jordan

Andrew joined Element in August 2021, and is responsible for setting and executing the company's technology, innovation and digital strategies. He brings a wealth of experience of running scale technology platforms and leading digital transformation and growth, and has worked in listed and PE-backed businesses, small and large. With over 25 years' experience in the digital and technology domains, he was most recently Group CTO for NEP Group, the world's largest media production partner for live sports and events.

Before that he was Chief Product and Technology Officer at Carlson Wagonlit Travel, a $27bn travel management company where he successfully led their digital transformation. He has also led technology teams at NBCUniversal and Thomson Reuters. He has a passion for data and data science, having been co-founder and CTO of Beyond Analysis, a software solutions and data science business, and CIO of dunnhumby, the former data science division of Tesco.

Group general counsel

Trudy Cooke

Trudy was appointed as Group General Counsel in December 2022 and is responsible for leading the Legal, Insurance, Governance and Compliance Teams and building capabilities across Internal Audit and Risk. She has over 25 years of experience working in PLC and private equity environments across a range of different business sectors and in the legal profession.

Trudy was most recently Group General Counsel and Company Secretary at Avast PLC, an FTSE-100 global cyber security company. She sat on the Executive Team, leading teams across Governance, Legal, Compliance, Privacy, Risk and Internal Audit. She also spent over 14 years as Chief Operating Officer at Private Equity Firm Terra Firma Capital Partners.