Home Estate Planning Sent packing: Ocado gives two male board members the boot in bid ‘refresh’ top table

Sent packing: Ocado gives two male board members the boot in bid ‘refresh’ top table

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Online grocer and technology firm Ocado has said two of its senior employees will step down from the board with immediate effect as it looks to “refresh” its top table. 

Both Mark Richardson who heads up its automation business and Neill Abrams who is the firm’s group general counsel will keep their positions in the company but no longer hold their executive director roles. 

The pair will remain members of the executive committee, the executive management team for Ocado Group led by CEO Tim Steiner. 

Ocado said it now exceeds its board diversity objective for female representation, with 50 per cent female directors.

Rick Haythornthwaite, chairman of Ocado, said: “This next step in our board refresh shifts the board towards a better balance of objectivity and independent oversight of all Board matters and allows Mark and Neill to focus on the day-to-day management of Ocado and implementation of the strategic objectives set by the board. 

“I am extremely grateful for their strong leadership and valuable contribution to the Board over many years  and I look forward to continuing to work closely with them.”

It comes at its grocery delivery service owned in a joint venture with Marks and Spencer, said it would return to positive earnings for the full year, as customers fell back in favour with the brand.

In an update to markets, the online supermarket said it was boosted by its highest level of sales over Christmas, selling over 90 per cent  of peak slots released by mid-October.

For the full year, revenue was up seven per cent to £2.3bn and average orders were up 6.3 per cent to 407.

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