THG makes executive changes in governance drive

Damian Sanders

Manchester-based consumer brands giant THG plc announced that former Deloitte audit partner Damian Sanders has been appointed its chief financial officer (CFO) with immediate effect.  

Sanders takes over as CFO from John Gallemore, who has been appointed chief operating officer (COO).

THG also said it recently appointed two independent non-executive directors (NEDs), with further appointments expected, and that it continues to strengthen corporate governance.

In the meantime, as a result of Sanders’ appointment as CFO, Dean Moore will take on the audit committee chair and senior independent director (SID) roles on an interim basis.

THG went public at £5 a share in September 2020 and the stock rose to around £8. However, THG shares have since fallen more than 90% to around 55p — slashing the firm’s stock market value to roughly £700 million — following a disastrous presentation to investors and concerns over the company’s structure, transparency and governance.

“Damian’s appointment follows an extensive search both internationally and domestically,” said THG.

Damian has an in-depth understanding of THG’s businesses, people and culture, having been a member of the board for the past two years.

“He joined the board as an independent non-executive director (NED) on 17 November 2020, following which he was appointed audit committee chair and chair of the divisional reorganisation committee upon its inception on 1 July 2021.

“The completion of the separation of THG’s key trading divisions, which simplifies THG’s corporate divisional structures and provides it with material optionality and flexibility, was announced on 26 July 2022.

“Through his work with and knowledge of THG, the board believes Damian is ideally placed to take on the role of CFO.

Damian’s appointment will enable John, who has been covering both the finance and operations functions until now, to focus solely on the role of COO and build on the excellent progress he has overseen in THG’s global fulfilment footprint.

“John continues as an executive board director.

Prior to joining THG, Damian was a senior audit partner at Deloitte for 20 years and a member of Deloitte’s North West Leadership Team, having also held several other senior management roles.

“He has vast experience of the retail and technology sectors, working with entrepreneurs and high growth companies.

“He also has extensive experience of working with PLC boards, having acted as an audit partner and advisor to a significant number of FTSE boards for well over 20 years, and, more recently, as an Independent NED.

“Damian is an FCA member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales and brings extensive financial and commercial experience to the group.”

THG chair Charles Allen said: “On behalf of the board I’d like to thank John for his hard work and dedication as CFO of THG. Having effectively been undertaking two jobs to date, we are delighted that he will now be able to devote a singular focus to driving the operations of the group where his experience is invaluable.

“We welcome Damian to the business in an executive capacity. I have got to know Damian well since my appointment as chair, and his financial skill, commercial acumen and governance expertise means that he will hit the ground running.

“Damian has significant experience as a former senior audit partner and that, coupled with his wide industry and listed company experience, in addition to his in-depth knowledge of THG’s businesses and its people, will prove hugely beneficial to us as we continue to grow and build further on our corporate governance standards.”

Sanders said: “I’m delighted to be taking on the role of CFO at THG. I’ve got to know the business well in the two years since I joined the board and now look forward to working in an executive capacity to help drive the group forward as we continue to grow on a global scale.”

THG CEO Matthew Moulding said: “Damian has played a key role since joining the group and board, chairing to great effect numerous important projects over the past two years, not least the recently delivered divisional reorganisation. Damian’s experience and energy will prove invaluable as we look to deliver the key initiatives planned across the group for 2023 and beyond.

“I’m also delighted to appoint John as COO, which follows a smooth and expansive roll-out of the group’s global distribution network, alongside his excellent work in leading Ingenuity through its formative years.

“John’s knowledge of the business is second-to-none, and the appointment of Damian will allow John to work closely with me on further evolving the commercial and operating models of each of our divisions.”

Gallemore said: “Since Matt and I set up THG 18 years ago, we’ve enjoyed an incredible journey and have grown the group into a truly global player, delivering record revenues of c. £2.25 billion in 2022.

“I am pleased to be handing over the group’s incredibly talented finance team to Damian, allowing me to work more closely with Matt and the Divisional CEOs in capitalising on the significant commercial opportunities ahead.”