Bensons for Beds appoints new CEO

Bensons for Beds has announced leadership changes as it steps up the pace of change as part of its transformation plans. 

Current chief commercial and digital officer Nick Collard will take over as CEO with immediate effect to lead the company as it prepares for further growth. 

Nick joined in July 2021 to lead commercial change at the business after holding board roles at Holland & Barrett International, DFS Furniture and Morrisons, as well as senior roles at Walgreens Boots Alliance. 

He replaces Mark Jackson who has stepped down after leading the company for three years and steering Bensons through a refinancing and restructuring deal in 2020 which saw it emerge as a standalone company, backed by Alteri Investors.   

Bensons is also making other leadership changes to complete its new executive team.  

Taking the role of chief financial officer will be Gordon Brown who is replacing existing CFO John Sidebotham who has decided to step down after completing the restructuring.   

Gordon joined the business in October 2020 as finance director having held senior positions in Asda, Jack Wills and Pets at Home. 

Ed Preston joins the board to lead the commercial team in the role of chief commercial and digital officer having held senior positions at Holland and Barrett, TalkTalk and Vodafone. 

Frankie Haynes, who joined in May as retail director, has been appointed to the Bensons board as chief customer officer   

Maxine Blackwell, who has been with Bensons for 12 years continues on the board as chief people officer, and Mandy Winser who joined in November 2021 continues in her chief operating officer role. 

Chairman Ian Shepherd said: “Bensons is a business with huge potential. Like many retailers in our sector, we’ve had our share of operational and supply chain issues as the world has recovered from the pandemic, but we are focussed on delivering for our customers and on delivering our strategy for growth.  

“As we start to look forward to the next phase in our transformation, Mark and John have decided that this is the right time to leave the business. I would like to thank them for their dedication and commitment as they steered us through extraordinary times.  

“We are delighted to have appointed Nick Collard as CEO. Nick is a tremendous leader who has already transformed the commercial operations of our business and is well placed to drive the delivery of our strategy and of a transformed customer experience.” 

Nick Collard said: “I’m honoured to be asked to lead one of the best known brands in Britain and take it through the next stage in its transformation. 

“Bensons for Beds has undergone major changes over the past two years and successfully navigated difficult conditions arising from the pandemic and lockdown. 

“We have invested across all aspects of the business, including our stores, distribution, manufacturing and revamping our website, but there is still much work to do, and our focus is now on giving customers the best standards of service possible. 

“This business has an unparalleled heritage and significant potential – because of its people, brand and British manufacturing strength that sets it apart in the market.” 

Gavin George, founding CEO of Alteri Partners, said: “I would like to thank Mark and John for their leadership during a critical period which has seen Bensons emerge from the pandemic in a strong position. 

“We look forward to working with Nick and the new executive team as we continue to support Bensons’ development as it presses ahead with its transformation programme.” 

Under the transformation plans and with the support of Alteri, Bensons is reshaping its store portfolio, which now stands at more than 170, including more than a dozen relocations and new openings in the past year. 

It also investing in its digital offer, distribution and its dedicated manufacturing site at Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. 

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