WH Smith names Annette Court as chair designate
WH Smith has appointed Annette Court as a non-executive director and chair designate.
Due to join the book and stationery retailer’s board on 1 September, she will succeed Henry Staunton as chair on 1 December. Staunton will be retiring from the board on 30 November after nine years as chairman.
Court is currently chair of Admiral Group and a non-executive director of Sage Group. Prior to this she was chief executive of Europe General Insurance for Zurich Financial Services and was a member of the group executive committee from 2007 to 2010. She was also the chief executive of Direct Line Group from 2001 to 2006.
Simon Emeny, WH Smith senior independent director, said: “We are very pleased to have appointed a chair of Annette’s calibre. The company conducted a comprehensive search and Annette emerged as the outstanding candidate. She has a proven track record as a chair of a publicly quoted company and brings a wealth of experience from her Board appointments and has a strong background in financial services and technology.”
Speaking of Staunton’s retirement from the board, he added: “I would like to thank Henry for the outstanding contribution he has made to the success of WH Smith. He has successfully guided the company through an exceptional period of growth and helped it overcome the impact of the pandemic. We wish him well in the future.”
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