Ocado Says Haythornthwaite To Step Down As Chair Next Year

By Reuters
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Ocado Says Haythornthwaite To Step Down As Chair Next Year

British online supermarket Ocado said chairperson Rick Haythornthwaite will step down next year due to his 'increasing commitment' at banking group NatWest.

"Since the announcement of my appointment as group chair of NatWest I have given extensive thought to my workload ... it has become evident that pressure on my time is likely to increase over the medium term," Haythornthwaite said in a statement.

Haythornthwaite, who joined as Ocado chair in 2021 and will not stand for re-election at the firm's annual general meeting in April 2025, said he's made public his intention to step down a year in advance to give Ocado enough time to find his successor.

The 67-year-old British national will take on his new role at NatWest this month.

'Done A Great Job'

Tim Steiner, chief executive officer and founder of Ocado commented, "Needless to say, we will be disappointed to lose Rick but we fully understand the reasons why he is stepping down as chair to focus on his new role at NatWest. Rick has done a great job strengthening corporate governance, providing the executive team with wise advice and, together with a renewed and refocused board, helping us grow the business over the last three years. "


"We are pleased that he will continue as chair for the next twelve months, allowing us plenty of time to find a suitable replacement and ensure an orderly transition. We are confident that we can then further build on the strong foundations that Rick has helped put in place."

In February, Ocado forecast faster growth this year after an improved performance from its automated warehouse technology unit helped to deliver better-than-expected annual earnings.

News by Reuters, additional reporting by ESM.

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