Leslie Van De Walle

Leslie Van De Walle HEC


Non-executive Chairman Age 60

Became a Non-Executive Director in October 2010 and became Non-Executive Chairman on 1 February 2011.

External roles

Leslie is Non-Executive Chairman of Robert Walters plc and a Non-Executive Director of DCC plc.

Experience and past roles

Previously, Leslie was Chief Executive Officer of Rexam plc, Executive Vice President of Global Retail (a division of Royal Dutch Shell plc), and a Non-Executive Director of Aegis Group plc, Aviva plc and Cape plc, and also Chair of the Advisory Board of Weener Plastic Packaging Group.  He formerly held a number of senior management positions with Cadbury Schweppes plc and United Biscuits Limited.

Key strengths

Extensive board and general management experience.

Mel Elwell

Mel Ewell BSC (Hons)


Chief Executive Age 58

Became Interim Chief Executive on 11 November 2016, having previously been a Non-Executive Director from 1 August 2011.

External roles

Until the end of March 2016, Mel was Chief Executive and an Executive Director of Amey Plc, one of the UK's leading infrastructure services providers. Mel is a Non-Executive Director of High Speed Two (HS2) Limited and The Manufacturing Technology Centre Limited.

Experience and past roles

Mel previously held a number of senior management positions for TNT International, Xerox and ADI Group.

Key strengths

Considerable executive management experience.

Nick Maddock

Nick Maddock


Chief Financial Officer Age 46

Appointed Chief Financial Officer on 1 February 2017.

External roles

Nick does not currently hold any external directorships.

Experience and past roles

Nick is a chartered accountant. Nick was previously Chief Financial Officer of McCarthy & Stone plc. Prior to this, Nick worked as Finance Director for Centrica's upstream oil and gas business, Financial Controller at British Gas and a Director in Mergers and Acquisitions at ING Barings. Nick trained as a chartered accountant and chartered tax advisor at Ernst & Young.

Key strengths

Extensive financial management experience.

Chris Geoghegan BA (Hons), FRAES


Senior Independent Non-Executive Director Age 62

Became a Non-Executive Director in July 2009.

External roles

Chris is a Non-Executive Director of Rentokil Initial plc. Chris is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Experience and past roles

Previously and prior to his retirement, Chris was Chief Operating Officer of BAE Systems plc with responsibility for all European joint ventures and UK defence electronics assets. He was past President of the Society of British Aerospace companies. Chris was formerly a Non-Executive Director of Lakehouse plc.

Key strengths

Considerable commercial European business experience.

Jonathan Nicholls

Jonathan Nicholls BA, ACA, FCT


Non-Executive Director Age 59

Became a Non-Executive Director in November 2009.

External roles

Jonathan is a Non-Executive Director of DS Smith Plc, Ibstock plc and Non-Executive Chairman of Shaftsbury PLC.

Jonathan will retire from the Board on 31 March 2017 as a Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit Committee.

Experience and past roles

Previously and most recently, Jonathan was a Non-Executive Director of Great Portland Estates plc. Jonathan was previously Group Financial Director of Old Mutual plc. Prior to that he was Chief Financial Officer of Hanson plc.

Key strengths

Extensive financial management experience (including recent financial experience).

Janet Ashdown

Janet Ashdown BSC (Hons)


Non-Executive Director Age 57

Became a Non-Executive Director in July 2011.

External roles

Janet is a Non-Executive Director of Coventry Building Society, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Marshalls plc. She is also Chair of the charity 'Hope in Tottenham'.

Experience and past roles

Previously and until the end of 2012, Janet was the Chief Executive Officer of Harvest Energy Limited and Blue Ocean Oil Trading Limited. She previously worked for BP p.l.c. for 30 years where her last role was as Head of BP's Retail and Commercial Fuels business in the UK.

Key strengths

Strong commercial experience within global businesses.

Andrea Abt

Andrea Abt MBA


Non-Executive Director Age 56

Became a Non-Executive Director on 12 March 2015.

External roles

Andrea is a Non-Executive Director of Petrofac Limited, and is a member of the supervisory board of Gerresheimer AG.

Experience and past roles

Andrea was previously a Non-Executive Director of Brammer plc. Previously, Andrea has been Head of Supply Chain Management and Chief Procurement Officer of the Siemens sector for Infrastructure & Cities from 2011 to 2014. Since joining Siemens in 1997, she held numerous positions of Finance, Productivity and Supply Chain Management in Germany and internationally. Andrea started her career in industry in the Daimler Benz Group where she was responsible for different teams in aircraft and postal automation service sales.

Key strengths

Specialist knowledge of the European market, together with considerable knowledge of supply chain and procurement.

Ian Duncan

Ian Duncan MA, ACA


Non-Executive Director Age 56

Became a Non-Executive Director on 1 January 2017.

External roles

Ian is a Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit Committee of Babcock International plc and Bodycote plc.

Experience and past roles

Having developed a portfolio career since 2010, Ian was previously a Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit Committee at WANdisco plc and Fiberweb plc. Ian's last executive role was as Chief Financial Officer of the Royal Mail Group plc.

Key strengths

Extensive financial and change management experience (including recent financial experience).

Board committees

Audit Committee

Mr J.C. Nicholls – Chairman
Ms A. Abt
Ms J.E. Ashdown
Mr I.B. Duncan
Mr C.V. Geoghegan

Remuneration Committee

Mr C.V. Geoghegan – Chairman
Ms A. Abt
Ms J.E. Ashdown
Mr I.B. Duncan
Mr J.C. Nicholls

Nominations Committee

Mr L. Van de Walle – Chairman
Ms A. Abt
Ms J.E. Ashdown
Mr I.B. Duncan
Mr M. Ewell
Mr C.V. Geoghegan
Mr J.C. Nicholls