Brothers Sam, Martin and Julian Rayner are stepping down from the board at Lakeland from September (although retaining family ownership of the businesss). Lakeland’s current chief executive Catherine Nunn is taking up the role of deputy chair, in line with a planned succession.
However, plans for succession have been accelerated, along with a review of the retailer’s structure, as a result of the pandemic.
The retailer states that ‘a smaller board will allow Lakeland to be more agile while focusing on the most important areas of strategy and operational delivery.’ It will also be announcing further changes to company structure and jobs in weeks and months to come.
The immediate changes will see Steve Knights (currently Lakeland’s commercial director) take up the role of chief executive. The board will also consist of Paul Lewis (chief financial and operating officer), Scott Jefferson (chief commercial officer) and Neil Piggot (chief customer officer).
Gary Marshall, operations director is leaving Lakeland at the end of August after 16 years.
Sam Rayner expressed his pride in how the Lakeland team has risen to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, stating: “In all my 46 years at the helm of Lakeland, I have never been so grateful to our colleagues, who responding to the recent unprecedented events, transformed and changed our company in just a few days to meet the challenges we all faced.”
Looking to a “new era” for Lakeland, with its new board, Sam stated: “We believe that Lakeland’s overall strategy remains even more relevant now than ever before and will provide clear focus and direction for the years to come.”
Lakeland was founded in 1956 by the Rayner brother’s father Alan. Sam, Martin and Julian have jointly received The Excellence in Housewares Awards’ Honorary Achievement Award for their contribution to the housewares industry.
Top: Sam, Martin and Julian are retiring from the board of Lakeland.