Manchester’s Auto Trader makes board changes

Manchester-based FTSE 100 firm Auto Trader Group plc, the UK’s largest automotive marketplace, has announced the appointments of two independent non-executive directors to its board.

Geeta Gopalan and Amanda James will join the board with effect from May 1, 2024 and July 1, 2024, respectively.

“Geeta and Amanda will also join the Audit, Remuneration, Corporate Responsibility and Nomination Committees,” said Auto Trader.

“With effect from the conclusion of the 2024 AGM on 19 September 2024, Geeta will be appointed as Senior Independent Director and Remuneration Committee Chair, and Amanda will be appointed as Audit Committee Chair, subject to shareholder approval.”

These appointments are part of Auto Trader’s long-term succession planning given David Keens and Jill Easterbrook will come to the end of their third three-year terms in 2024, and therefore will not stand for re-election at the 2024 AGM.

“Geeta currently serves as a Non-Executive Director of Funding Circle plc, Intrum S.A., and as a Trustee of The Old Vic Theatre,” said Auto Trader.

“She is also a Non-Executive Director of Virgin Money UK PLC, and will step down from this role on 30 June 2024 at the end of her term.

“She has been appointed as Non-Executive Director at NatWest Group plc effective 1July 2024. She previously served as a Non-Executive Director of Dechra Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Ultra Electronics Plc, Wizink Bank SA, and Vocalink.

“She has over 25 years of experience in financial services and retail banking, particularly payments and digital innovation.

“Amanda is currently the Chief Financial Officer of NEXT Plc, one of the UK’s largest FTSE 100 fashion, footwear, and home retailers. 

“Amanda brings not only deep expertise in finance but also strong consumer, retail, and multi-channel experience.

“Amanda has already announced her intention to retire from NEXT at the end of September 2024, and will step down from the NEXT Board with effect from 26 July 2024. 

“Amanda has also been appointed as a Non-Executive Director and Audit Committee member of British Land Company plc with effect from 1 July 2024.

“Upon Geeta and Amanda’s appointment, the board will comprise seven Independent Non-Executive Directors, three Executive Directors and a Non-Executive Chair.

“Following the AGM, the number of Independent Non-Executive Directors will reduce to five, and our board will meet the targets set out in LR 9.8.6(9)(a), with 67% women on the board; the role of Senior Independent Director being held by a woman; and two directors being from a minority ethnic background.”

Auto Trader chair Matt Davies said: “I am delighted to welcome both Geeta and Amanda to the board.

“Between them they have a vast amount of valuable experience across the worlds of digital innovation, finance, consumer and retail, and we look forward very much to benefitting from their expertise.

“They are joining Auto Trader at an exciting time, as we continue to make great strides in our strategy to bring more of the car buying journey online.”

“I would also like to thank David and Jill for the enormous contributions that they have made to Auto Trader in their time on the board. We wish them all the very best for the future.”