Today the Department for Communities and Local Government has appointed two Non-Executive Directors to the Department’s Board.
Sara Weller, Managing Director at Argos, will take on the role of Lead Non-Executive Director. Sara is Managing Director of Argos, where she has been since 2004. Sara has led the expansion of Argos’s online business as well as opening 30 stores per year and led a pilot of the Argos model in India. Prior to her role at Argos, Sara was Deputy Managing Director and a plc Board member at Sainsbury’s plc, and Consumer Marketing Director at Abbey National (now part of Santander). In addition, Stephen Hay, Chief Operating Officer at Monitor, will continue to serve on the Board and as Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee.
Sara brings a wealth of experience to the DCLG Board from a varied career in the private sector.
On her appointment to the role, Sara says:
I very much look forward to joining the Board and working with colleagues in DCLG. These are challenging times for government; I hope my experience of delivering value for money services through large and diverse organisations with a strong customer focus will contribute to the DCLG as it works to devolve more power to local communities.
Permanent Secretary Sir Bob Kerslake welcomed Sara’s appointment:
I am delighted that Sara has agreed to take on the role of Lead Non Executive for the Department. Her experience of working at the top of leading British businesses will be of invaluable help to us as we go through our radical changes.
I am also very pleased that Stephen has agreed to continue to sit on the Board and Chair our Audit and Risk Committee. Stephen has brought a great deal of focus and constructive challenge to the work of both the Committee and the Board.
Notes to editors
1. The Department will confirm the appointment of a further two Non-Executive Directors in due course.
2. The position of Lead Non-Executive Director is a new role created by the Coalition Government. It involves:
meeting regularly with other non-execs
ensuring the Secretary of State is aware of any concerns
supporting the Secretary of State in his or her role as chairman of the board
ensuring that the non-execs meet alone with the Secretary of State from time to time
liaising with the government-wide Lead Non-Executive Director.
3. Sara Weller, Lead Non Executive Board Member
Sara is Managing Director of Argos, where she has been since 2004. Argos is the UK’s leading general merchandise retailer, with a turnover exceeding £4bn, 750 stores across the UK and Eire, 25,000 employees, and is the largest “bricks and clicks” retailer in the UK. Sara has led the expansion of Argos’s online business as well as opening 30 stores per year and led a pilot of the Argos model in India.
Prior to her role at Argos, Sara was Deputy Managing Director and a plc Board member at Sainsbury’s plc, and Consumer Marketing Director at Abbey National (now part of Santander).
Sara spent her early career at Mars where she rose to be Consumer Development Director for Europe, after graduating from Oxford University in 1979 with a first class honours degree in Chemistry.
Sara has served as a member of the Advisory Committee on Advertising (now the Government Strategic Marketing Advisory Body), was a Non Executive Director on the board of Mitchells and Butlers plc, the pub-restaurant group from 2002 to 2009, is a visiting Fellow at the Said Business School at Oxford University and is a member of the HEFCE Enterprise and Skills Advisory Committee.
4. Stephen Hay, Non-Executive Board Member
Stephen joined the Board in May 2009 and is Chief Operating Officer at Monitor. He is responsible for the authorisation, compliance and intervention teams at the regulator for NHS Foundation Trust hospitals. Currently just over half of all hospitals in England are foundation hospitals with a combined turnover of c.£30bn. Stephen joined Monitor in 2004 and with the Chairman, Bill Moyes, set up this new health regulator.
A qualified chartered accountant, Stephen previously worked with KPMG, as a director where he advised boards of corporate and private equity houses. His portfolio of financial experience is wide ranging and includes mergers and acquisitions, due diligence IPO’s and risk assessment. Stephen chairs the Department’s Audit and Risk Committee.
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