The board

Mark Newton-Jones
Chief Executive Officer

Appointment: Appointed July 2014

Skills, competencies, experience: Mark has almost 30 years of experience working with, and developing some of, the industry's leading retail brands in both stores and online. Before joining the Company as interim CEO in March 2014, Mark was previously Group CEO of Shop Direct, owner of the Littlewoods and Very brands. Under his stewardship, Shop Direct embarked on one of the largest retail integrations in Europe, merging and integrating Littlewoods and Great Universal stores and a significant transformation journey from a failing large scale bricks-and-mortar operation to one of the UK's leading multi-channel retailers with seamlessly integrated mobile, online and digital platforms. Prior to Shop Direct, Mark held various director roles at Next plc including as the director of the Next Directory taking it online in 1998 becoming one of the UK's first online retailers. Mark began his career in his family run retail and wholesale business working alongside his father and grandfather.  Formerly a non-executive director at Boohoo plc.

Other Directorships: Chairman of Graduate Fashion Week.  Board member of INGKA Holding B.V. Supervisory Board, the parent company of IKEA Group.

Richard Smothers
Chief Financial Officer

Appointment: Appointed in March 2015.

Skills, competencies, experience: Extensive financial experience of working within listed companies; Richard's work overseas will provide relevant experience in the Company's international operations and growth ambitions. Strong financial, accounting, strategic and corporate finance experience and skills. Previous appointments include Director of Group Finance at Rexam plc. Before joining Rexam, Richard spent 14 years in a number of senior finance roles at Tesco plc (including Finance Director Asia, CFO Tesco Lotus (Thailand) and Finance Director for UK operations) and prior to that worked at Cargill in both financial and operational roles. Richard was also a director and treasurer of the British Chamber of Commerce in Thailand.

Other Directorships: Member of the Finance Committee, University College London since October 2014.

Alan Parker CBE

Appointment: Appointed in August 2011.

Skills, competencies, experience: A former chief executive of a FTSE100 company and with extensive experience in the hospitality sector, Alan provides substantial commercial, leadership and strategic knowledge and experience. Executive Chairman of Mothercare plc from 17 November 2011 to 30 April 2012. Formerly Chief Executive of Whitbread plc and Managing Director EMEA of Holiday Inn. He has also served on the boards of VisitBritain, Jumeirah Group LLC and Restaurant Brands International (Burger King & Tim Horton's). Between 2012-2016 he was the Non-executive Chairman of Darty plc and Chairman of Parkdean Resorts from 2014-March 2017.

Other Directorships: President of the British Hospitality Association and a board member/investor in Winnow Solutions.

Lee Ginsberg
Non-Executive Director and Audit and Risk Committee Chair
Appointment: Appointed in July 2012.

Skills, competencies, experience: Lee has substantial financial experience working in listed companies, and in depth knowledge of international franchise models and systems. Previously Chief Financial Officer of Domino's Pizza Group plc (until 02 April 2014) and prior to that Group Finance Director at Health Club Holdings Limited (formerly Holmes Place plc) where he also served as Deputy Chief Executive. Lee is a Chartered Accountant having qualified with Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

Other Directorships: Non-executive director and chair of the audit committee at Trinity Mirror plc; Deputy Chairman, Senior Independent non-executive director at Patisserie Holdings plc and non-executive Chairman of Oriole Restaurants Limited.

Richard Rivers
Senior Independent Non-Executive Director

Appointment: Appointed in July 2008.

Skills, competencies, experience: Formerly Chief of Staff and Head of Corporate Strategy at Unilever. Richard provides strategic and corporate knowledge to the Company as well as remuneration committee expertise.

Other Directorships: A Non-executive Member of the Board of Channel 4 Television Corporation and a director of Lumene Oy and Articos AB, and a member of the Advisory Board of WPP.

Nick Wharton
Non-Executive Director

Appointment: Appointed in November 2013.

Skills, competencies, experience: Nick provides the Company with extensive experience within the retail sector and the benefit of being a plc CEO and CFO, supporting the financial and strategic direction of the Company. Formerly Chief Executive Officer of Dunelm Group plc (until 11 September 2014), Chief Financial Officer of Halfords Group plc, and held finance and international positions at The Boots Company plc and Cadbury Schweppes plc.

Other Directorships: Chief Financial Officer of SuperGroup plc.

Tea Colaianni
Non-Executive Director

Appointment: Appointed in October 2016

Skills, competencies, experience: Tea is a dynamic, experienced and forward-thinking Non-Executive whose executive career spans different industries and countries. Her most recent executive role was Group HR Director at FTSE100 Merlin Entertainments until March 2016. During her six years tenure, Tea was part of the leadership team that led the business through one of the most successful IPOs in 2013. Tea transformed the HR function and achieved industry leading engagement scores that attracted many external awards.

Formerly Group Human Resources Director of Merlin Entertainments Plc until early 2016, Hilton Worldwide Inc, and a former Non-Executive Director of Poundland Group Plc where she also chaired the Remuneration Committee. Previously Tea worked in the telecommunications industry with KPNQwest/GTS/Ebone in London and Amsterdam, and Global One (a joint venture between Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom and Sprint) in Brussels. Tea began her career in Brussels as a lawyer advising multinational companies on EU related affairs, particularly social affairs and employment law.

Other Directorships: Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Women 1st and a founding member of the Prince’s Trust ‘Women Supporting Women’ initiative.

Gillian Kent
Non-executive director

Appointment: Appointed in March 2017

Skills, competencies, experience: Gillian has had a broad executive career including being Chief Executive of real estate portal Propertyfinder until its acquisition by Zoopla, and fifteen years with Microsoft including three years as Managing Director of MSN UK.

Other Directorships: Gillian holds non-executive director roles at Pendragon Plc, National Accident Helpline Group Plc, Ascential Plc, and at two private companies, Coull Limited and No Agent Technologies Limited.

Committee memberships key:
A  Audit committee
R  Remuneration committee
N  Nomination committee
F  Full board member
  Disclosure committee