RNS Number : 0687O

WH Smith PLC

08 June 2022

8 June 2022

WH Smith PLC


Appointment of Annette Court as a Non-Executive Director and Chair Designate

WH Smith PLC is pleased to announce that it has appointed Annette Court as a non-executive director and Chair Designate. Annette will join the Board on 1 September 2022 and will succeed Henry Staunton as Chair on 1 December 2022. Henry Staunton will retire from the Board on 30 November 2022, after nine years as Chairman.

Annette Court is currently chair of Admiral Group plc and a non-executive director of Sage Group plc. She was previously the CEO of Europe General Insurance for Zurich Financial Services and was a member of the Group Executive Committee from 2007 to 2010. Annette was also the CEO of Direct Line Group (formerly RBS Insurance) from 2001 to 2006 and a member of the RBS Group Executive Management Committee. She has also been a member of the Board of the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

Simon Emeny, 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.

"Annette's appointment will enable a smooth transition from Henry who has led the Company successfully throughout his tenure as Chairman. On behalf of the Board, 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."

Henry Staunton said: "It has been a privilege to serve as Chairman of this very special Company which celebrates its 230(th) Anniversary this year. I wish Annette every success as she joins the Board at a very exciting time for the Company as it continues to recover following the pandemic."

Annette Court commented: "I am very excited to have the opportunity to succeed Henry as Chair of WH Smith in its 230(th) year. I look forward to working with Carl and the management team to grow the business and take advantage of the many exciting opportunities that lie ahead."

Carl Cowling, CEO, said: "I would like to thank Henry for his wise counsel, guidance and support during my tenure as CEO. Henry has played a key role in contributing to the Company's success and I would like to wish him well for the future. I am very much looking forward to working with Annette as we continue to expand the scale and footprint of the business and benefit from the many exciting opportunities that lie ahead of us."

The Directors have determined that upon appointment Annette Court will be independent.

Other than as set out in this announcement there are no further disclosures required in respect of Annette Court under paragraph 9.6.13 of the Listing Rules.

I Houghton

Company Secretary


WH Smith PLC

   Mark Boyle                           Investor Relations              07879 897687 
   Nicola Hillman                     Media Relations                  01793 563354 


   Tim Danaher                                                                        020 7404 5959 

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 08, 2022 02:01 ET (06:01 GMT)

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