People: AO World seeking new chairman & more

AO World is looking for a new chairman after Richard Rose, who has been with the Bolton company for nine years, said he was steppomg down.

Retail entrepreneur Rose, who also chairs listed firms Watchstone Group and  Crawshaw Group, will leave Bolton-based AO, which floated in 2014, once a successor had been found.

Brian McBride, the white goods retailer’s senior independent director, will lead the nominations committee and look for a successor to Rose.

A year ago Rose sold nearly £10m worth of shares, or 89% of his stake in AO, at 180p. This raised some eyebrows in the City as it came just a few weeks after a profit warning that sent its share price crashing by almost 50%.

The company’s trding has since bounced back and it has launched in Germany, although its share price remains depressed.

Mr Rose, who retains a small shareholding in AO, said that he was leaving as it was the “right time” and AO’s long-term strategy that it set out at the time of the flotation was “firmly on track”.

He said: “I feel very fortunate to have been a part of the AO growth story over the last eight years and to have worked with an outstanding team of people.

“I am confident that through them, the company and its culture will continue to flourish and AO will continue to delight customers with its dedication to exceptional service.”

Founder and chief executive John Roberts added: “We would like to thank Richard for his excellent contribution to the company over the years, not least in leading the board through our IPO in March 2014 and our expansion into new categories and countries.  I would like to personally thank him for his support and counsel.”


ASSURA, the listed property investor based in Warrington, said chief executive Graham Roberts has taken a leave of absence while he fights cancer.

The company said that Mr Roberts is receiving further treatment and would be replaced in the short term by chairman Simon Laffin, who has taken on an the role of executive chairman.