Very Group appoints new CEO

Very Group appoints new CEO

Lionel Desclée has been appointed as group CEO at The Very Group, effective from 19th September. He will replace Henry Birch who is stepping down on 24th September after four and a half years in the role.

Henry Birch commented: “It has been a privilege to lead this amazing and committed team through such an important chapter in the company’s development. As I move on to my next challenge, I am proud of the progress we have made together for our customers and our people. I am confident that under Lionel’s leadership, The Very Group will continue to thrive in the years ahead.”

Desclée joins from McKinsey & Company, where he is a senior adviser. He previously spent three years as president and CEO of Walmart in Japan and held the same roles prior to that at Tom & Co.

Lionel Desclée said: “I am delighted to be appointed CEO of The Very Group. The company has a rich history of transformation and an even more exciting future supporting families in the UK and Ireland with amazing brands, flexible payment options and a simple customer experience. I can’t wait to start working with the team to further strengthen the convenience, flexibility and value Very provides, whilst exploring new products and services to support our customers.”

Dirk Van den Berghe, The Very Group’s chairman, said: “Lionel is a highly respected leader with a wealth of global experience across digital and both food and non-food omnichannel retail. He has a proven track record of achieving growth through transformation and operational excellence, developing and coaching world-class teams, and helping companies become even more customer-centric. I am confident that Lionel’s collaborative and strategic approach will prove invaluable as The Very Group further develops its proposition, having successfully navigated the pandemic.

“Henry has guided the group superbly over the last four and a half years. He is a dedicated, innovative and people-oriented leader, and he leaves a fantastic legacy. When he heads off to take on his next challenge later this year, it will be with our very best wishes.”


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