Incoming NatWest chair to face down from Ocado function

  • Haythornthwaite was named chairman-designate of NatWest Group final 12 months
  • He changed former M&S boss Stuart Rose as Ocado’s chair in January 2021

Leaving: Rick Haythornthwaite (pictured) told Ocado that he will not pursue re-election to its board at the next annual general meeting in April 2025

Leaving: Rick Haythornthwaite (pictured) advised Ocado that he is not going to pursue re-election to its board on the subsequent annual common assembly in April 2025

Rick Haythornthwaite will step except for his chairmanship of Ocado on account of time commitments at NatWest Group, which he’ll start chairing on 15 April. 

Haythornthwaite changed former Marks & Spencer chief government Stuart Rose when he joined Ocado in January 2021, simply after finishing a 14-year stint as Mastercard’s international chairman. 

The 67-year-old has advised the web grocery retailer that he is not going to pursue re-election to its board on the subsequent annual common assembly in April 2025.

He was chosen final September as chairman-designate of NatWest after Sir Howard Davies mentioned he would go away the banking big in accordance with company governance guidelines advising that folks serve at most 9 years as board chair.

‘I’ve given in depth thought to my workload, listened to all events and mirrored on how I make sure that I ship successfully on all fronts,’ mentioned Haythornthwaite, who has been a non-executive director at NatWest since 8 January.

He added: ‘With the advantage of time and better visibility of the anticipated progress in necessities of the publicly-listed portfolio, it has turn into evident that stress on my time is more likely to enhance over the medium time period.’ 

Having began his profession at BP, the place he grew to become head of its Venezuela operations, Haythornthwaite has held a big selection of senior positions at main companies.

He was chief government of cement producer Blue Circle till its acquisition by French rival Lafarge, in addition to engineering and knowledge know-how supplier Invensys.

Haythornthwaite has additionally been on the board of Imperial Chemical Industries, ceramics maker Cookson Group, and British Gas proprietor Centrica.

Alongside his submit at Ocado, Haythornthwaite is a non-executive director of the AA Group, chairman of fintech enterprise Embedded Finance and a senior adviser at funding financial institution Moelis & Company.

His appointment at NatWest got here amidst the ‘debanking scandal,’ which erupted after subsidiary Coutts shut down the financial institution accounts of ex-United Kingdom Independence Party chief Nigel Farage.

The saga resulted in Dame Alison Rose’s resignation as CEO when she was discovered to have disclosed details about Farage’s monetary affairs to a reporter. 

She later forfeited £7.6million in bonuses, though she’s going to nonetheless obtain a payout of £2.4million as a part of her contract.

A evaluation by regulation agency Travers Smith decided NatWest had not damaged the regulation in closing Farage’s accounts, however criticised the financial institution for ‘severe failings’ in its remedy of the GB News presenter.

The controversy overshadowed a bumper 12 months for the Edinburgh-based firm, whose pre-tax income soared to £6.2billion in 2023, its finest consequence because the international monetary disaster, because of greater rates of interest and lending volumes.

NatWest Group shares had been 2.7 per cent up at 280.1p on late Thursday afternoon, whereas Ocado Group shares had been 3 per cent decrease at 426.2p.