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Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post
Jon Robinson

Pets at Home, Co-op and The Very Group: The 29 latest North West hires and promotions

Companies large and small that are based all across the North West have made a series of top hires and promotions over the last week

The likes of online retail giants, law firms and consultancies have all made announcements recently.

Below, BusinessLive rounds up the latest hires and promotions we feel you should not miss.

READ MORE: Click here to sign up to the BusinessLive North West newsletter

READ MORE: Yodel to create 4,000 new jobs to help with Christmas demand

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Pets at Home

(Pets at Home)

Pets at Home has appointed Lisa Miao to succeed David Robinson as chief operating officer. She first joined the company in 2015, having previously worked for Morrisons.

Mr Robinson joined the company in 2019, having held roles at the likes of Dixons, Argos and Homebase.

He said: "I’m extremely proud of the enormous amount we have achieved at Pets at Home since I joined the business in 2019.

"From transforming the business into a true omnichannel operation to delivering record sales and profit, and navigating the challenges brought about by the pandemic, we have made great strides which were all made possible by being part of such a brilliant team. Pets at Home is a truly unique business, and I will watch on with great pride as it continues to go from strength to strength."

Read the full story here


Co-op Food chief executive Jo Whitfield won't return to her role (PA)

The boss of Co-op Food, who took a career break in May to help her sons through their exams, won't return to her role, it has been announced.

Chief executive Jo Whitfield stepped away for four months having first taken up the job in 2017. She has previously worked for Asda, Matalan and GE Capital.

She will be succeeded by commercial director Matt Hood who will become managing director of Co-op Food.

Michael Fletcher who has led Co-op’s wholesale arm, Nisa, is also stepping down from his role. He will be succeeded by Peter Batt, a former managing director of Co-op’s regional stores in the south.

Read the full story here

The Very Group

Shop Direct Finance Company Limited and Shop Direct Ireland, subsidiaries of The Very Group, have appointed Tim Franklin as chair.

Mr Franklin has been a non-executive director and chair of the Audit Committee at SDFC since October 2021.

His previous experience includes chief operating officer at Co-operative Banking Group and managing director of Britannia Building Society’s member business, as well as non-executive and chair roles at Post Office Insurance, HM Land Registry and not for profit organisation Reclaim Fund.

He said: "I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the business and team over the last 10 months and am excited about exploring the opportunities we have to further strengthen SDFC and Shop Direct Ireland in the years ahead."


Audit, tax and consulting firm RSM UK has appointed a new partner to its national and regional tax practice in the North West.

Simon Taylor has been appointed as tax partner and will be based in Manchester.

Mr Taylor, a qualified chartered accountant and chartered tax advisor, specialises in transfer pricing services and has more than 19 years’ experience working in various tax roles in industry and professional services including Moore and Smalley and Jaguar Land Rover.

He joins RSM from EY, where he spent 12 years advising national clients on transfer pricing and operating model effectiveness, most recently working as transfer pricing director.

David Field also joins RSM’s Manchester office this month from EY, where he worked for 16 years in employment tax and global strategy roles, including most recently as global mobility director. David has been appointed as director in our employment tax team and will support clients with global mobility solutions.


Symatrix, a Manchester-based Oracle HCM and ERP partner, has appointed Alan Parkinson as its new managed services director.

He has held managerial roles across a number of global organisations and has been the recipient of numerous awards both individually and as part of a team.

Mr Parkinson said: "There’s a great opportunity for Symatrix to expand its managed services offering and I’m excited to be heading up this growth. My background and experience in IT and service delivery will help me to hit the ground running and make an immediate impact."

Managing director Chris Brooks added: "Alan brings a wealth of experience in driving innovation and quality for customers. We’re hugely looking forward to having him join the management team to help us maintain and grow our strong net promoter score of 43, a key measure of customer experience, and continued expansion.

"Alan becomes a part of the Symatrix team at a time of growth across our entire service portfolio, including managed services. This latest senior appointment will assist in taking Symatrix to the next level."

The ONTO Group

North West-based bespoke data management service provider The ONTO Group has bolstered its team with a trio of new appointments.

Gill Edwards, Lynsey Marsh and Amy Davies have joined the company, offering management information system (MIS) consultancy for the group’s continuously growing client list and providing operational support.

Gill Edwards and Lynsey Marsh take on the roles of MIS consultant while Amy Davis has been appointed as operational support executive.

Gateley Vinden

Gateley Vinden has strengthened its building consultancy team in the North West with the appointment of Nick Coffey as associate director.

As a chartered building surveyor, Mr Coffey brings eight years of experience to the team, advising both public and private sector clients on all aspects of property and asset management matters including landlord and tenant matters, technical due diligence and project management.

He said: "I am really excited to join Gateley Vinden as part of the growth strategy for the building consultancy team. When discussing the vision for the future with Gayle, and how it aligned with my ambitions, I knew it would be a great opportunity to implement my experience and allow us to work towards the same goals. The close collaboration of property and legal professionals provides an exceptional platform to best assist our clients."

North West Business Leadership Team

The North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT) has welcomed two new members – Adeel Aslam, bouyges energies and services, contracting and James Byrne, sustainable ventures.

Deputy chair Joëlle Warren said: "These turbulent times are re-enforcing the value and importance of good leadership, and the addition of Adeel and James will further strengthen the membership of the North West Business Leadership Team.

"Both Bouygues ES and Sustainable Ventures bring expertise in sustainability and net zero which is a key focus for us and key to the long term growth of the region."

UK Circuits and Electronics Solutions

Manchester-based electronics manufacturer UK Circuits and Electronics Solutions Ltd (UKC) has announced the appointment of bookkeeper Gillian Dingle.

She joins the team bringing with her more than 24 years of experience in bookkeeping and accounts. Previously, she has worked at Outdoor Leisurewear, Sisa UK and Coinfactory Ltd.

Simon Deacon, CEO of Light Science Technologies Holdings plc, said: "We’re delighted to welcome Gillian onboard; with her depth of experience, she is very strongly placed to efficiently manage UKC’s finance function, in the midst of a significant period of growth in the business."


Joseph Seal-Driver of Be.EV (Mark Waugh)

Public electric vehicle (EV) charging network Be.EV has appointed Joseph Seal-Driver as its new chief commercial officer.

The Manchester-based business took over the Be.EV network from Transport for Greater Manchester last year.

Mr Seal-Driver will support a growing core team of 17, including co-founders Asif Ghafoor and Adrian Fielden-Gray.

He said: "Having run fleets of electric vehicles, I know how important reliable, safe and accessible charging is to EV adoption and how crucial this is to the decarbonisation of our transport system.

"The team I’ve joined is impressive and has a great pedigree. They work in long-term partnerships with organisations to develop charging locations that improve the local environment, rather than just installing kit and walking away. That approach really appeals to me.

"And as a new father, I want to work in a sustainable business and build something that I can be proud of in the face of the climate emergency."

Praetura Ventures

Manchester-based venture capital firm Praetura Ventures has made five new hires to its team of investment experts.

Jess Jackson joins Praetura Ventures as an investment manager while Grace Sanderson and Michael Rees join the team as investment executives.

Praetura Ventures has also recruited two new graduates as investment associates. Emily Bourne graduated with a linguistics degree from the University of Oxford this summer, where she also gained experience with a year abroad at Paris-based VC Partech.

Stefano Smith gradutated from the University of Dundee in 2020, and has spent 18 months as a trainee financial planner at Forth Capital.

Clough & Willis

Bury and Bolton-based law firm Clough & Willis has grown its private client department after appointing Ryan Browne as its newest solicitor.

Mr Browne joins from Myerson Solicitors. Prior to that, he worked in Co-op Legal Services’ Probate Department for five years. He will report into Nicola Finbow who is a partner at the firm and head of its private client team.

He said: "At my first interview, it became quickly apparent that Clough & Willis was a firm that had established roots in the local community and shared my strong client-focused way of working. I wanted my next career move to reflect my values and I knew instantly the fit was right."

Miller Homes

Miller Homes has announced a restructure within its North West team based at Birchwood Park in Warrington.

After five years at the helm, Ian Smith has recently retired from his position as managing director of the region and will be succeeded by a restructured senior team.

Following Mr Smith’s retirement to spend time with his family and to travel, David Brackley, who has also been with the business for five years, has been promoted to regional operations director from technical director.

Sales director for the North West, Clare Noakes is taking on wider responsibilities to support Mr Brackley and the management team in addition to her core role.

In order to ensure the sales team maintain their successful track record, Leanne Feeley has been promoted to head of sales and will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the sales teams, whilst still working under Clare Noakes’ leadership.

Nikki Burns has been promoted to technical director taking on Mr Brackley’s previous role.

AG Project + Building Consultancy


AG Project + Building Consultancy (AG), which has offices in Preston and Manchester, has expanded its team with the appointment of Michelle Williams, Gemma Parkinson, Paul Cartwright and Gian Wong.

Michelle Williams joins the firm as people manager, a new role for the business created to help facilitate the expected growth of AG over the next five years.

Gemma Parkinson and Paul Cartwright have joined the building consultancy as associate directors in Preston, with Gian Wong joining the firm's Manchester office as senior chartered building surveyor.


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