More News » Career moves including Debenhams, Interserve and Virgin Media

Debenhams CEO resigns as chair takes over

Department store group Debenhams has announced that Sergio Bucher has stepped down from his CEO position under three years after joining the company. Chairman Terry Duddy will take over as the interim executive chairman while the retailer looks for a new chief executive.

Commenting upon the change, Duddy said: “Debenhams now has a clear path towards a viable and sustainable future and we have Sergio and his team to thank for that. With a positive, professional approach, he has acted at all times in the company’s best interests, and we wish him all the best for the future.”

Interserve finance chief resigns weeks after rescue deal

International support services group Interserve announced that finance chief Mark Whiteling has stepped down. Whiteling has resigned to pursue his non-executive career. He has been in the post since October 2017.

Whiteling’s resignation comes weeks after the debt-laden company was placed in administration following a rescue plan that was rejected by its shareholders.

Lutz Schüler to become new Virgin Media CEO

Telephone, television and internet services provider Virgin Media has named Lutz Schüler as its new CEO of the company’s UK and Ireland division. Schüler’s role will be effective 11 June, 2019. Prior to this, he worked for eight years at Liberty Global’s German cable subsidiary Unitymedia. He joined Virgin Media in September 2018 as the chief operating officer. In addition, Tom Mockridge, CEO of Virgin Media since 2013, is resigning from his role.

CEO of Liberty Global and Chairman of Virgin Media Mike Fries commented: “Lutz is an outstanding leader and operator. During his eight years in Germany, Lutz led a talented team and created significant value. Since joining Virgin Media last year, he has made an immediate impact, uniting the team around a clear strategy for continued, best-in-class growth in the UK and Ireland. Tom, Lutz and I have prepared for this moment for some time now, so Lutz will hit the ground running from day one.”

Jeff Dodds is the group’s new chief operating officer. He previously served as the company’s chief customer officer and managing director of operations. He has also worked for Tele2 and Virgin Media’s EE MVNO based Mobile business.

James Spragg appointed Casual Dining Group CEO

Restaurant operator Casual Dining Group has elevated James Spragg from his current COO position to the role of CEO, effective 29 April 2019. Spragg joined CDG in 2014, before that he worked with Pizza Express as the managing director. He has experience in the restaurant and leisure industry and has worked with companies such as Allied Domecq, Pizza Hut, and Whitbread.

Chairman of CDG Rooney Anand stated: “I am delighted to announce this appointment and to welcome James to the board. We conducted an extensive search and selection process that left us in no doubt that James is the right leader for this company. He has an intimate understanding of the business, having most recently served as chief operating officer, and will bring fresh ideas and energy to the role of CEO. Our industry continues to face challenges, however we see a host of exciting opportunities that we believe CDG can capitalise on under James’ seasoned leadership.”

Mercer UK appoints Sylvia Pozezanac as CEO

Human resources consultancy Mercer UK has appointed Sylvia Pozezanac as the new CEO, effective May 2019. Pozezanac will replace the current CEO Fiona Dunshire. Pozezanac will report to the President of Mercer’s international region David Anderson. Prior to this, she worked at Prudential Financial for six years as senior managing director. Previously she worked at Willis Towers Watson in various leadership roles for 26 years.

Mercer President and CEO, Martine Ferland stated: “Given her three decades of experience across the retirement and insurance sectors, Sylvia is the ideal person to lead our business in the UK. Sylvia is known in the industry as a client-focused creative thinker, change agent and solution provider. Our UK business and clients will benefit from her experience across mature and emerging businesses, deep subject matter expertise and significant leadership expertise.”

Cardiff-based care provider strengthens senior team with it first COO

Orbis Education and Care has bolstered its senior management team with the appointment its first COO Rob McKay. McKay brings with him extensive expertise from various senior care-based and educational positions to the company. In his new role, he will be responsible to drive operations across the increasing workforce in England and Wales.

Rob McKay commented upon his new appointment: “To be joining the senior team of one of the UK’s fastest growing care sector companies is hugely exciting and a great honour too. With growth both rapid and ongoing, I’m really looking forward to supporting the organisation in consolidating operations so that it may continue on the same trajectory for the benefit of all.”

HEART Academies Trust announce new CEO

Multi-academy trust HEART Academies Trust has hired David Morris to take over as the new CEO. Morris will oversee the functioning of Bedford Academy and three primaries: Cauldwell, Shackleton and Shortstown. He joins HEART Academies Trust from Coventry multi-academy trust, where he transformed eight schools.

The Chair of HEART Academies Trust David Hoare commented: “When we at HEART met David Morris and talked to him we realised he was a candidate of outstanding talent and experience in supporting both primary and secondary schools”.

Phoenix Global Resources CEO leaves; interim executive lead appointed

Phoenix Global Resources, oil and gas company based in UK, has announced that the CEO Anuj Sharma has stepped down from his role with immediate effect. The company has appointed Tim Harrington, the non-executive director, as interim chair of the executive committee until the recruitment of a new CEO.

Michael Rake, chair of Phoenix Global Resources commented: “The board believes strongly in the company’s strategy and we are confident in Tim’s ability to lead the company as we conduct a search for a new CEO.”

Sompo International names new CEO for European unit

Global specialty insurance and reinsurance provider Sompo International has appointed Thomas Brazil as the chief executive of the SI Insurance Europe region. Brazil, in his new role, will lead Sompo International’s platform for the European Economic Area (EEA) insurance business.

Chief Executive of Sompo International commercial P&C (property and casualty), Christopher Gallagher commented: “He brings to this role extensive underwriting expertise, a commercial perspective, and broad pan-European experience. Europe is a strategic market for our commercial P&C business and SI Insurance (Europe) provides Sompo with a core foundation for additional growth in this region. Thomas will work closely with colleagues in London and across the continent as we continue to enhance our product offerings to our EEA clients.”

Tyman appoints former Iglo Foods finance chief Ashton as new CFO

London-based door and window products firm Tyman has appointed Jason Ashton as the new chief financial officer. Ashton was the former Iglo group finance director. Most recently, Ashton served as the interim CFO at Nomad Foods. Additionally, he has served in various senior finance roles at companies such as Mondelez International, Cadbury’s, and baby food firm Plum Baby.

“I am delighted to welcome Jason to Tyman. Jason has an excellent track record as a strong finance and business leader in a range of international manufacturing-based businesses of varying size and complexity,” stated Martin Towers, chairman of Tyman. “With Jason joining Jo Hallas who recently became CEO, Tyman has an experienced leadership team in place to build on its established platform and take the Group into its next phase. I look forward to working with Jo and Jason. I would also like to thank James for his significant contribution to Tyman and wish him success in his new role,” he added.

Camping and Caravanning Club appoints new FD

Camping and Caravan Club has promoted Richard Griffiths to the role of finance and HR director. Griffiths served as the head of finance previously. He will replace Sabina Voysey, who has been promoted as the director general.

Commenting upon his new role, Griffiths said: “I’ve really enjoyed my first seven months with the Club and visited a wide variety of our campsites. The Club is an interesting, friendly and diverse place to work and I’m really looking forward to joining the Senior Leadership Team as we continue to develop the Club for the benefit of our members.”

Freedom Finance expands leadership team

Fintech platform Freedom Finance has named Neill Skinner its new chief finance officer. Skinner will lead the funding and capital framework of the firm and be responsible to manage relationships with investors, banks and advisers. Additionally, he will work alongside the senior management team to enhance the Group strategy. Prior to this, Skinner worked with ParkingEye for six years as the strategy director.

Freedom Finance’s CEO Brian Brodie stated: “We are delighted that Neill has joined us and I have no doubt he will be instrumental in driving Freedom Finance forward to achieve its ambitious goals. Neill’s appointment bolsters Freedom Finance’s leadership team, while also bringing a wealth of strategic M&A experience.”

Max Hayden to resign as CEO of ITI Capital

London-headquartered brokerage firm ITI Capital has announced that Max Hayden will resign as co-CEO and director at the end of April. Hayden has held the position since October 2017. The firm will appoint a new leader soon and announce details in the near future.

Al Rayan Bank appoints new chief financial officer

Birmingham-headquartered Al Rayan Bank has named Amir Firdaus as its new chief financial officer. Firdaus has held the position of interim CEO since December 2018. Before this, he held the role of the UK’s Islamic bank’s treasurer. He has over 15 years of expertise in the finance sector and has worked with banks such as Aldermore Bank and Sainsbury’s Bank, as well as BinaFikir and UEM Group in Malaysia.

“Al Rayan Bank is the pioneer of Islamic finance in the UK.  I’m honoured to have been able to play a part in its success so far and am looking forward to working with the other members of the Bank’s Executive Management Team, as well as the Board to build an enduring British banking brand” commented Firdaus upon his appointment.

Lucid Group names new CFO

Strategic medical communication services provider Lucid Group has welcomed Michael Joyce as the new chief financial officer. Joyce brings with him extensive expertise as a CFO in various fast-growth businesses. Previously, he worked for seven years at Cooper & Lybrand, after which he worked for 21 years in senior finance and CFO positions in various industries such as recruitment, insurance and IT software and services.

CEO of Lucid Group Dennis O’Brien stated: “We are delighted to welcome Michael to the team. Michael has all the experience that a fast-paced organisation like ours needs. He really gets our culture and is passionate about building an industry-leading business that will create brilliant solutions for our clients to transform patients’ lives.”

Ledger reveals new CEO as Larchevêque steps down from role

Paris-headquartered crypto wallet producer Ledger has named Pascal Gauthier as the new chief executive officer of the company. Gauthier was previously the president of Ledger. In his new role as CEO, he will be responsible to take charge of the company’s strategy and delivery of its products. Also, Eric Larchevêque, the former CEO, will serve as the executive chairman of Ledger’s Board.

SWIFT names Javier Pe?rez-Tasso as new CEO

Belgium-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) has promoted the UK and Americas chief executive Javier Pérez-Tasso to the role of CEO. Pérez-Tasso will replace Gottfried Leibbrandt, who is stepping down after heading the company for seven years. Pérez-Tasso joined the company in 1995 and has served in various roles, most recently as the chief executive.

Commenting upon his promotion, Pérez-Tasso said: “I thank the SWIFT Board for its trust and feel privileged to lead SWIFT and serve its customers as CEO. I am fortunate to start this mandate building on Gottfried’s strong legacy, and I look forward to maintaining our focus on operational excellence as well as to accelerating Swift’s transformation during a period of unprecedented change and opportunity for the community.”

Broker Brightside appoints new COO from Swinton Group

Insurance broker Brightside has brought on board Richard Beaven as the group chief operating officer. Beaven will report to group CEO Brendan McCafferty. Prior to this, Beaven served as the distribution director of Swinton Group and has also held senior roles at companies such as Lloyds Banking Group, Reuters, Bank of New York and Barclays.

Brightside’s CEO Brendan McCafferty stated: “I have made clear that to thrive and prosper in the future, brokers need to build scale, to be active in niche business and to fully embrace digital. Brightside is now some distance along the path to becoming fully digitised, but with Richard on board as Group COO we can give additional focus to executing this part of our strategy in full and across the group. Richard is a highly experienced executive with a successful track record in a number of blue chip financials, most recently at Swinton, where he was distribution director. I’m delighted to welcome him to Brightside.”

BNP Paribas Rental Solutions welcomes Ged Mellish as head of operations

UK’s finance solution provider BNP Paribas Rental Solutions has appointed Ged Mellish as the new head of operations. Mellish will introduce processes to deliver best-in-class customer experiences as well as drive growth plans.

Commenting upon his new role, Mellish stated: “I am delighted to be joining a business that I have long admired, and particularly to be doing so during this time of growth and change. I look forward to fully embedding myself in the Rental Solutions business and overseeing operations during this time.”