Wednesday 25 November 2020 6:27 pm

Snakes and Ladders: Who is moving jobs in the City this week?

Snakes and Ladders provides a roundup of the most important hires and job moves across the City, every Wednesday afternoon. Email to be featured.

Firms are continuing to adapt to the challenges and opportunities presented by the pandemic as they vie to be in prime position to recover from the economic fallout of the crisis.

This week, Deliveroo has hired its first ever chair as it prepares for a year of change in 2021, Virgin Atlantic has bolstered its leadership team following a disastrous year for airlines and furniture store SCS appointed a new chief executive.

New chair at Deliveroo ahead of potential IPO

Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester City - Premier League
Claudia Arney in her role as Premier League interim chair

Deliveroo has appointed its first chair as it gears up for a potential public listing in the coming months.

The takeaway delivery app has hired Claudia Arney, a former executive at Pearson, The Financial Times, Emap and Goldman Sachs, as it prepares for a year of change in 2021

Read more: Aldi extends Deliveroo service across London

Arney has also sat on the boards of King Fisher, Ocado, Aviva and the Premier League.

She was previously a director of the enterprise and growth unit at the Treasury, and is currently a member of the Takeaway Panel. 

Next year, Deliveroo is planning to expand to new locations, personalise the consumer experience, develop tools to support restaurants and invest in innovation, it said.

Furniture chain SCS hires ex-Holland and Barrett director as CEO

SCS has announced that former Holland and Barrett group managing director Steve Carson has been appointed as chief executive.

Carson will join the company on 6 January, and will replace current boss David Knight – following a handover period – when he retires in July.

Prior to his leadership role at the health food chain, Carson held a number of positions at Home Retail Group, which then owned Argos, Homebase and Asda.

Read more: SCS shares jump as furniture sales soar after lockdown

SCS said Carson’s expertise is geared towards managing and optimising all areas of the store network, leading national teams and driving digital innovation.

Alan Smith, chairman of SCS, said: “Finding a successor to a chief executive as capable and long serving as David has not been easy but I believe that, in Steve, we have found an executive with the right mix of experience, skills and personality to take the group forward.”

Virgin Atlantic bolsters leadership team amid tough time for airlines

Estelle Hollingsworth

Virgin Atlantic has hired human resources expert Estelle Hollingsworth as chief people officer and confirmed that Oliver Byers was appointed as finance chief in September.

Hollingsworth, who previously led the airline’s cabin crew, has spent three decades working across the hospitality, financial services and aviation industries. 

She said her focus will be “to recognise what we have been through as a company this year”, following a tough period for travel firms during the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more: Virgin Atlantic £1.2bn rescue package gets court approval

Byers was promoted to chief financial officer in recognition of his role in securing new investment for the recapitalisation of the airline in September.

Oliver Byers

He will focus on rebuilding the firm’s balance sheet and create a platform for it to become sustainably profitable.

Virgin Atlantic chief commercial officer Shai Weiss said: “Following the most challenging year in our history, we now have the leadership team in place to drive our march forward at pace.”

Former Virgin Money chief exec to chair HMRC Board

Grazia Culture & Commerce Luncheon - Advertising Week Europe 2016 - Day 1
Jayne-Anne Gadhia

Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia, a member of the UK government’s Industrial Strategy Council and former chief executive of Virgin Money, is to become the new chair of the HMRC Board.

She will replace Mervyn Walker, who is stepping down at the end of December after six years on the board, including the last 3 as lead non-executive director and chair.

Gadhia is the founder and executive chair of Snoop, a household financial management app, and was chief executive of Virgin Money from 2007 to 2018.

Read more: Former Virgin Money chief Jayne-Anne Gadhia hunts for investors in new tech startup

A chartered accountant, she spent 6 years at Norwich Union – now Aviva – before becoming one of the founders of Virgin Direct in 1995. 

Three years later, she set up the Virgin One account, which was acquired by the Royal Bank of Scotland in 2001. She subsequently spent five years at the Royal Bank of Scotland before returning to Virgin as CEO of Virgin Money.

In 2016 she was appointed the UK government’s Women in Finance Champion, and in 2017 she became a founder member of its Business Diversity and Inclusion Group. She is chair of the Prince’s Foundation and a trustee of the Tate.

She also sits on the Mayor of London’s Business Advisory Board. She was made a Dame in the 2019 New Year’s Honours list.

Brewin Dolphin promotes wealth and investment director to board

Investment firm has appointed Charles Ferry as executive director of the company, to join the board in February next year.

Ferry joined the company in 2008 as divisional director, became co-head of private clients in 2016  and managing director of private clients the following year.

This year he was promoted to managing director of wealth and investment.

Read more: Profits up at Brewin Dolphin following volatile year in markets

Simon Miller, chairman of Brewin Dolphin, said: “We are delighted to welcome Charlie to the board.

“He has been instrumental in driving our growth whilst always ensuring that the needs of the client remain central to our thinking. 

“His client focus will be invaluable as we look to further develop ourselves as the leading advice-focused, digitally enabled wealth manager in the UK and Ireland.”