Nationwide unveils a major shake-up, with the exit of its long-standing boss and chairman
Nationwide has unveiled a major shake-up, with the exit of its long-standing boss and chairman.
Joe Garner, the chief executive, and chairman David Roberts will both stand down. Garner has been at the helm of the building society since 2016 and under his tenure it has grown its membership by 2m to more than 16m and generated nearly £3billion for its members.
But the 52-year-old has sometimes cut a controversial figure – in 2019 he was handed £185,000 in perks, on top of his £885,000 salary, £292,000 pension allowance and £1m bonus.
Signing off: Joe Garner, the chief executive, and chairman David Roberts will both stand down
During the pandemic, he agreed to sacrifice around £1.2m of his pay to show solidarity with staff and customers.
He said running Nationwide had been a ‘unique privilege’.
Kevin Parry, a senior independent director who also sits on the board of Daily Mail owner DMGT, has been appointed chairman-elect and is expected to take the role next March. He will lead the search for a chief executive.
Front runners are thought to include Nationwide’s chief product officer Sara Bennison and mission leader Paul Riseborough.
Garner reassured members that the board and the financial regulator would look for a replacement who appreciated its mutuality. The number of mutuals has been slipping, with Insurer LV set to be take over by private equity company Bain, if the deal is approved by regulators.
Parry said: ‘Nationwide Building Society has been part of the UK’s economic and social fabric for over 150 years, and I’m honoured to be given the opportunity to help shape its future.
‘I intend to work with my colleagues to engage all our energy and experience to continuing the development of the business in accordance with the principles of mutuality that deliver great service and value for our members.’