The NEC Group has appointed Richard Ashton as its new Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”).
The news comes as John Hornby announces that he will be stepping down from his position as Chief Operating Officer, following 16 years with the leading live events venue operator. Hornby, alongside CEO Paul Thandi, has steered the business through two sales processes – a management buyout backed by LDC in 2015 and an acquisition in 2018 by private equity funds managed by Blackstone.
Following Hornby’s departure, two new Executive Board positions have been created – CFO and Chief Development Officer (“CDO”) to drive the strategic focus of the Group.
As CFO, Ashton will also assume a Board position and as was the case with Hornby, he will have a remit across the entire Group as a business partner to Thandi. His key areas of focus will be the Group’s financial performance, acquisitions, major development and transformational programmes.
Ashton will also be overseeing the activity of the Group’s Finance, IT, Legal, Procurement and Group Operations departments, whilst the new CDO will lead on HR and Marketing. In addition, the CDO will move forward real estate projects and assist Thandi and Ashton in the Group’s mergers and acquisitions work.
Recruitment for the CDO is currently underway.
Ashton’s previous experience includes CFO of Home Retail Group Plc, and both European and US based roles at General Electric (including CFO of their European Equipment Financing division based in Amsterdam). He qualified as a Chartered Accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, and has represented Great Britain at various World Championships in both the duathlon and triathlon.