Hotel Chocolat appoints new chair
Hotel Chocolat has appointed Stephen Alexander as its non-executive chair.
He will succeed Andrew Gerrie who will step down as the company’s chair and member of the board on 4 May.
Alexander has held a number of chair roles in both public and private equity-backed businesses, including Dairy Crest, Immediate Media, Rhubarb Foods, EMI Group, Odeon Cinemas, AWAS Aircraft Leasing and Meridien Hotels.
His career has also included being chief executive of Hillsdown Holdings and 17 years at Allied Domecq, where he was chief executive of both the food and retailing divisions.
He is currently an operating partner with private equity group OpCapita.
Hotel Chocolat has also announced that Jon Akehurst will join the company as chief financial officer and as an executive board director on 15 May. He has previously worked in management and leadership roles at General Mills, Mars, Aggreko and most recently at Terumo Corporation where he was chief financial officer of the Aortic division.
Angus Thirlwell, co-founder and chief executive of Hotel Chocolat, said: “Stephen’s significant experience chairing companies in the food manufacturing and retail space in the UK and overseas will be invaluable as we take the business through its next chapter of growth. With Jon joining our team too, we have materially boosted the leadership and board firepower. I am looking forward to working closely with them both.
“I would like to thank Andrew Gerrie, our outgoing chair, for all he has brought to Hotel Chocolat during his tenure as we scaled from brand revenues of £80 million to £200 million.”
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