eCommerce retailer THG has appointed an independent chair as founder Matthew Moulding steps back to focus on the CEO role.

Charles Allen, Lord Allen of Kensington CBE, will join as non-executive chair at the London-listed company, which is based in Manchester.

THG’s share price has sunk in the last six months following investor disquiet and criticism from both the media and city over Moulding’s original decision to operate as both CEO and executive chair.

In October 2021 the company announced that it would split the dual roles and initiated an international search for a chair.

“Charles has a clear mandate to refresh THG’s board and further strengthen governance and diversity,” read a company statement. 

“In addition to reviewing the independent board, Charles will be working with Matthew in developing the management team, as well as refining the group’s strategy.”

Lord Allen has industry expertise across retail, media, technology, gaming, food production and manufacturing. He is currently chair of FTSE 250 infrastructure group Balfour Beatty plc and privately-owned Global Media and Entertainment. 

Previous positions include chair of ISS AS, 2 Sisters Food Group and executive chair of EMI Music. 

He was also CEO of ITV plc from its formation in 2004 until 2007, CEO of Granada Group plc and chief advisor to the British Home Office.

“I am delighted that we have been able to attract someone of Charles’s calibre and reputation,” said Moulding. 

“He has extensive boardroom experience across a range of sectors spanning 40 years. Charles has chaired large, successful, dynamic companies and has experience working with entrepreneurs. 

“Charles’s consumer, retail, digital and media expertise, knowledge and skills will help THG to continue to drive profitable and sustainable growth, deliver for all our stakeholders and to meet the highest standards of corporate governance.

“Furthermore, on a personal note, his appointment will enable me to focus my attention on delivering the group’s plans for growth.”

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Lord Allen said: “It is a privilege to be joining THG as the board’s chair with a clear mandate to improve governance and transparency, strengthen the board by improving its independence and diversity, review and develop the strategy and support management as it seeks to further strengthen its talented leadership team. 

“This is a fast-paced, extremely exciting business which has grown rapidly and has many opportunities for significant future growth. Over several weeks I have had the opportunity to meet the board and senior team, see the operation and understand the finances and business plans. 


“The group has announced a number of strategic options for 2022 and beyond. I look forward to working with Matthew and the team to review these and I will update on progress over the next six months as the plans take shape.

“Matthew is now able to focus full-time on the business which, combined with a very strong management team and passionate committed colleagues throughout the business, ensures THG is well placed to deliver for all its stakeholders.”

It was announced in May 2021 that THG had raised $730 million from Japan’s SoftBank Group.