Online retailer THG has appointed a headhunting firm to find a new independent chair as it looks to bolster its corporate governance.

The move follows investor disquiet earlier this month and criticism of founder Matt Moulding’s decision to operate as both CEO and executive chair, especially as the share price plummeted after last year’s flotation.

In an announcement to the London Stock Exchange this morning about a robust trading performance in Q3, THG also confirmed the immediate appointment of SoftBank managing director Dr Andreas Hansson to the board as a non-executive director.

It follows the announcement in May 2021 that THG had raised $730m from Japan’s SoftBank Group.

This morning’s announcement shows group revenue up 38 per cent year-on-year to £507.8m but it’s the news around the beefed up corporate governance that THG will hope will ease investor fears.

Last week the eCommerce giant announced its intention to enter the premium segment of the main market of the London Stock Exchange in 2022, with Moulding giving up his ‘golden share’ which allowed him to potentially block a hostile takeover.

Moulding has come under intense pressure from investors and the media after a disastrous  capital markets day  saw £1.85bn wiped off the company’s market value as the share price nosedived by a third.

This morning THG confirmed: “The board has appointed Russell Reynolds Associates to undertake a search for a new independent chair for the company. This will align THG to the recommendations of the UK Corporate Governance Code.”

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In a statement Moulding said: We have delivered a strong trading performance in Q3 and enter our peak trading period with confidence.

“The recent successful migration of Cult Beauty onto the Ingenuity platform is testament to the resilience of the infrastructure and the expertise of our digital talent.

“In under 10 weeks we have seamlessly migrated Cult Beauty, whilst delivering significant website and customer user-experience improvements at the same time.

“I would like to thank all of our employees given how much they have achieved in the 12 months since IPO.

“Our talented workforce has grown considerably and as well as significantly outperforming the trading guidance provided at IPO, they have been tirelessly expanding the business model across all divisions.

“The appointment of two independent non-executive directors and four special advisors since IPO has been hugely beneficial to the board, and we have real optimism for 2022 with the step-up to a premium listing on the main market of the London Stock Exchange following the appointment of an independent chair.

“Finally, we extend our warmest welcome to Dr Andreas Hansson from the THG Board and management. Our experience with Andreas and the entire SoftBank team has been first-class and this appointment is testament to the strength and depth of the partnership that we have developed.”

In early trading this morning THG’s share price had slipped to 295p  – compared to its flotation price last year of 500p.