The boardrooms and C-suites of some of largest companies in the UK have undergone sweeping overhauls this week alone.
The winds of change have blown as the country heads into autumn and buckles down for a worsening economic crisis, some two years on from the start of the pandemic.
While Covid-19 measures in the country have eased, the last few years have ushered in shifts in public perception towards work which – paired with growing economic turmoil – has exacerbated the so-called Great Resignation. Though chiefs also have a whole new mountain to climb post-lockdown as a recession looms and seek to line their highest offices with the best tools to tackle it: new minds.
This morning, EasyJet announced it has hauled a trio of new non-executive directors onto its board, as three members announce their departure from the airline.
At the same time, British pharmaceutical giant GSK said it would be welcoming Elizabeth (Liz) McKee Anderson, the former global vice president of Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson’s Belgium-based pharma group, at the beginning of September. The appointment comes ahead Dr Laurie Glimcher’s retiring from the board in mid-October, after over five years as a non-executive director.
High street retailer Card Factory also announced today that it has posted former Argos and Homebase director Indira Thambiah to the board, beginning next week.
Meanwhile, workspace group IWG has poached the former chief financial officer (CFO) of digital healthcare firm Babylon, Charlie Steel, as its new CFO. Later this year, Steel is set to replace Glyn Hughes, who has held the role since March 2021, as Hughes joins a non-listed company as CEO.
Wizz Air’s CFO Jourik Hooghe also stepped down earlier this week, as the European airline pursues a pandemic turnaround following a recent loss of €285m. Hooghe decided to exit the job to seek “opportunities outside of the company”, according to a statement on Monday.
Also on Monday, the founder and chief executive of battery technology giant Britishvolt, Orral Nadjari, gave up the helm, handed over the reins to deputy CEO and former Ford chairman Dr Grahan Hoare OBE. The departing CEO gave no explanation to his departure.
Then on Tuesday, British high-end designer Mulberry waved goodbye to its chairman, Godfrey Davis, after 35 years as an executive at the group. The 73-year old’s exit came at “the right moment” for the company, someone who knows him told The Times.