New chairmen set for Ocado

Ocado Group plc, the pioneer of online grocery, has announced its intention to appoint Richard (Rick) Haythornthwaite as independent non-executive Chairman of the Board at its AGM in May 2021 to replace Stuart Rose, who will be retiring from the role after eight years of service.

Haythornthwaite, who will join the Board as an independent Non-Executive Director with effect from 1 January 2021 before assuming the Chairman's role after Ocado's AGM in May, brings a wealth of relevant experience as chairman, non-executive director, and CEO of a wide range of companies.

He is currently Chairman of Mastercard Inc., which he joined just before the IPO of the company in 2006, and he will retire from this position at the end of the year. Rick is also the chairman and co-founder of QiO Technologies Ltd, an advanced analytics and AI software company.

He has previously served as CEO of listed companies Invensys plc and Blue Circle Industries plc. His other senior board appointments have included Cookson Group plc, Lafarge SA, Imperial Chemical Industries plc, Land Securities plc, Network Rail Limited, Better Regulation Commission and Centrica plc.

Lord Rose will remain Chairman of the Board to ensure a smooth handover of responsibilities to Rick in May. Rick will be a member of the Nomination Committee and will chair that committee after Lord Rose's retirement.

Tim Steiner, Chief Executive Officer of Ocado Group, said, 'As Chairman, Stuart has overseen the transformation of the business from a UK-focused FTSE 250 online grocer to a FTSE-100 global technology company.

'His guidance, counsel and strategic vision have been invaluable to the Board, and to me personally, as we have grown the business in a sustainable way to the benefit of all our stakeholders. His legacy will endure for many years to come.

'At the same time, I am delighted to welcome Rick as our new Chairman. He has substantial experience of leading and chairing a range of high profile industrial and technology companies.

'He will play a key role helping us to navigate a post-COVID future in which the landscape of the grocery market worldwide is changing for good and, using his experience at Mastercard, to help us scale up and take advantage of the very significant global opportunities ahead.'

Lord Rose, Chairman of Ocado Group said, 'It has been a privilege to be the Chairman of Ocado Group over the last eight years and to have helped steer the business to where it is today, a world-leading online grocer and solutions provider driving unprecedented change in the industry.

'The extraordinary creativity, problem-solving, resilience, and adaptability shown by the people of Ocado Group has been in evidence particularly through the COVID crisis and I know that these qualities will serve the business well in the years to come.'

Rick Haythornthwaite said, 'It will be an honour to work with Tim, the Board, and all the team, to build on the extraordinary progress of Ocado Group on its journey to become a global solutions provider to the grocery industry. As Stuart hands over the baton, I know that this is a business in great shape, well prepared for the velocity of growth ahead of it, and I look forward to playing my part in writing a new chapter in the remarkable story that is Ocado Group.'