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Halfords appoints Virgin Active exec Jo Hartley as new CFO

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Wednesday 13 Oct 2021

Halfords appoints Virgin Active exec Jo Hartley as new CFO

(Sharecast News) - Halfords has appointed Jo Hartley as its new chief financial officer, succeeding Loraine Woodhouse.
The retailer said on Wednesday that Hartley will join the business in mid-April 2022. To ensure a smooth transition, Woodhouse will stay on and in post until the FY22 preliminary results in June next year, at which point she will step down from her role.

Hartley joins Halfords from Virgin Active, where she has been group CFO since 2015. She began her career at Deloitte UK, before moving to Tesco in 1999. At Tesco, she performed a number of roles, including finance director for convenience stores, operations and then property for Tesco UK, before spending time as CFO of Tesco Poland and latterly leading the finance function for Tesco UK as interim finance director.

Chairman Keith Williams said: "On behalf of the board, I am delighted to be welcoming someone of Jo's calibre to Halfords. Her experience and expertise will be invaluable as we look to build on the strong momentum within the business, while also navigating our way through the current challenges and uncertainties of the wider trading environment.

"I would also like to express the board's thanks to Loraine for her commitment, professionalism and dedication to Halfords during her time at the group; I'm sure she will do well as she pursues a non-executive career."

Broker Peel Hunt said Hartley's track record is impressive. "It appears she touched almost every department within Tesco (from the US experiment to non-food) in her decade and a half there and she has spent the last six years as CFO of Virgin Active.

"It is a touch disappointing, as Loraine was very well respected, but the mantra of under-promise and over-deliver was not just her and is now instilled throughout the group."

Liberum said that as part of the new CEO/CFO partnership that joined Halfords in 2018, Woodhouse has helped to implement the new strategy and steer the group through the pandemic with impressive results.

"Today's news is therefore disappointing, but with a high calibre CFO already appointed it seems to have been on the cards for some time and should not be a cause for disruption."


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