The effectiveness of the Board and its Committees is determined by the qualities and experience of individual directors.

Today’s challenges require relevant perspectives and skills. In the rapidly changing business environment in which we operate, Board composition will remain a priority. Our aim is to build a high-performing Board that can draw on the diversity of its members’ expertise and experience to create the world’s pre-eminent specialist recruitment business.

During the year, your Board evaluated its make-up and appointed a new non-executive director. An experienced business leader, Torsten Kreindl, provides valuable strategic insight into the areas of digital media and European business, both of which are key to the growth of our business.


1. Alan Thomson (68)

Non-Executive Chairman


Appointed: 1 October 2010 (and as Chairman on 10 November 2010)
Committees: Nomination (Chairman)
Skills and experience: A post-graduate of Glasgow University and a Chartered Accountant, Alan’s early career was with Arthur Andersen and Price Waterhouse. This was followed by senior management roles with Rockwell International plc, Raychem Ltd and Courtaulds plc, after which he became Finance Director of Rugby Group plc and then Smiths Group plc. Alan is a former Non-Executive Director of Johnson Matthey plc and a past President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.

Other principal external appointments: Chairman of Bodycote plc and Polypipe Group plc; Non-executive Director of Alstom SA; Non-Executive Director of HSBC Bank plc.

2. Alistair Cox (53)

Chief Executive


Appointed: 1 September 2007
Skills and experience: A Chartered Engineer with an MBA from Stanford University. Alistair’s early career was in various field engineering, management and research science roles with British Aerospace and then Schlumberger. Following his MBA, Alistair worked for Mckinsey & Company before joining Blue Circle Industries, where he was the Group Strategy Director and then the Regional Director for Asia. Prior to joining Hays plc, Alistair was Chief Executive of Xansa plc.

Other principal external appointments: Non-Executive Director of 3i Group plc

3. Paul Venables (52)

Group Finance Director


Appointed: 2 May 2006
Skills and experience: A Chartered Accountant and also USA qualified, Paul started his career at Deloitte & Touche where he was a Senior Manager in its USA practice. This was followed by a 13-year career at Exel plc where he held a number of senior finance and operational roles including Deputy Group Finance Director and was a member of the Executive Board of Exel plc and Chairman of their Acquisitions and Project Review Board. Following the acquisition of Exel plc by Deutsche Post, Paul worked in its DHL Logistics division before joining Hays.

Other principal external appointments: Senior Independent Non-Executive Director of Wincanton plc.

4. Paul Harrison (50)

Senior Independent Non-Executive Director


Appointed: 8 May 2007 (and Senior Independent Director on 9 November 2011)
Committees: Remuneration (Chairman), Audit, Nomination
Skills and experience: Paul trained as a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse. He joined The Sage Group plc as Financial Controller in 1997 and became Group Finance Director in 2000. In August 2013, Paul left The Sage Group plc to take up the role of Chief Financial Officer of WANdisco plc.

Other principal external appointments: Chief Financial Officer of WANdisco plc.

5. William Eccleshare (58)

Independent Non-Executive Director


Appointed: 24 November 2004
Committees: Audit, Nomination and Remuneration
Skills and experience: A graduate of Cambridge University, William has had an extensive career in international marketing and advertising. He is a former partner of McKinsey & Company. He has held the positions of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of each of Young & Rubicam EMEA, Wunderman EMEA and BBDO Europe. William is at present the Chief Executive Officer of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc., one of the world’s largest outdoor media companies.

Other principal external appointments: Chief Executive Officer of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc.

6. Victoria Jarman (42)

Independent Non-Executive Director


Appointed: 1 October 2011
Committees: Audit (Chairman), Nomination and Remuneration
Skills and experience: An engineering graduate of the University of Leicester and a Chartered Accountant, Victoria started her career with KPMG before moving to Lazard Corporate Finance, where she was Chief Operating Officer of Lazard’s London and Middle East operations and a member of its European Management Committee. Victoria is currently a Non-Executive Director of De La Rue plc where she is a member of its Audit, Ethics, Nomination and Remuneration Committees and a Non-Executive Director of Equiniti Group Limited where she is Chairman of their Audit Committee and a member of their Risk Committee.

Other principal external appointments: Non-Executive Director for De La Rue plc and Equiniti Group Limited

7. Richard Smelt (57)

Independent Non-Executive Director


Appointed: 15 November 2007
Committees: Audit, Nomination and Remuneration
Skills and experience: A psychology graduate from Leeds University with an MBA from the London Business School, Richard is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development with a 30-year career in Human Resources. Richard has previously been the Human Resources Director for Carphone Warehouse Group plc and Northern Rock plc post nationalisation, and has also worked in private equity. Richard is presently HR Director of McCain Foods.

Other principal external appointments: HR Director at McCain Foods

8. Pippa Wicks (51)

Independent Non-Executive Director


Appointed: 1 January 2012
Committees: Audit, Nomination and Remuneration
Skills and experience: A post-graduate of Oxford University with a diploma in corporate finance from the London Business School, Pippa started her career with Bain & Company. She subsequently became Chief Financial Officer of Courtauld Textiles plc and then Chief Executive Officer of FT Knowledge, the corporate training division of Pearson plc. Her previous non-executive directorships have been with Ladbrokes plc, Hilton International plc and Arcadia plc. Pippa is presently Managing Director of AlixPartners UK LLP.

Other principal external appointments: Managing Director for AlixPartners UK LLP

9. Torsten Kreindl (51)

Independent Non-Executive Director


Appointed: 1 June 2013
Committees: Audit, Nomination and Remuneration
Skills and experience: A graduate from Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria with a PhD in industrial engineering and technical chemistry, Torsten has a successful international career. He has held senior executive positions for Booz Allen Hamilton and Deutsche Telekom AG. He is a partner in Grazia Equity, a Munich-based capital firm and a member of the Swisscom AG board.

Other principal external appointments: Partner of Grazia Equity; Member of the Swisscom AG board

10. Doug Evans (51)

Company Secretary & General Counsel


Appointed: 4 February 2013
Skills and experience: A law graduate from Rhodes University who began his career with Webber Wentzel in South Africa, specialising in corporate and commercial law before moving in-house. Doug has previously held the posts of Company Secretary & Corporate Legal Director at Exel plc and Group General Counsel at Royal Mail Limited. Prior to joining Hays, Doug was an Executive Director, Company Secretary & General Counsel at Mitchells & Butlers plc.

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