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The Very Group names Nadhim Zahawi as non-executive chair

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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V by Very SS24 Credits: Very

British e-tailer The Very Group, which operates digital retailers Very and Littlewoods, has appointed YouGov founder, former senior government minister and MP, Nadhim Zahawi, as its non-executive chair and board member.

Zahawi, who has served in some of the most senior and high-profile ministerial roles in the British government, including as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Secretary of State for Education, will replace current non-executive chair Aidan Barclay, who assumed the role on an interim basis in February 2024 after Dirk Van den Berghe stepped down at the end of his contract term.

In a statement, The Very Group said that Zahawi will work closely with the current directors and management team “to achieve continued sales and profit growth, as well as exploring expansion of the business in new areas”.

In addition, he will work with the shareholders on the strategic options for the business and the optimal capital structure to achieve its growth ambitions. This may involve fresh equity investment in the short to medium term.

Politician Nadhim Zahawi appointed as non-executive chair at The Very Group

Zahawi, who recently confirmed he would stand down as an MP at the next general election, co-founded and was chief executive of digital polling and market research specialist YouGov, which capitalises on advances in data analytics and the internet to develop its online-based survey methodology.

During his tenure, the firm expanded globally, establishing operations into the Middle East and the US, and joined the London Stock Exchange.

On his appointment, Zahawi, said: “I am honoured to be asked to join the board and become chair of The Very Group. As one of the UK’s largest digital retailers and flexible payments providers, the Company has an important role to play in helping families get more out of life. With a heritage of over 100 years, Very has an unrivalled knowledge and understanding of its customer, demonstrating resilience even in the face of challenging conditions.

“I would like to thank both Aidan and Dirk for their stewardship of the business during their tenures as chair. I am excited about the strategic opportunities for the group and look forward to working alongside the management team as they further develop and grow the business for the future.”

Commenting on Zahawi’s expertise, Barclay added: “With a proven track record in digital growth and innovation, and highly respected in the UK and global markets, he is ideally suited to lead our Board as the company enters its next stage of strategic development and growth.”

Executive Management
Nadhim Zahawi
The Very Group