Our Board of Directors

Executive Directors

  • Laurence Bain, CA Aged 60

    Role: appointed as Chief Executive Officer on 12 June 2012. Laurence joined the Board as an Executive Director in his former role of Chief Operating Officer on 1 July 2003.

    Skills and experience: Laurence is a chartered accountant and spent ten years working in the profession in Scotland. He has extensive financial and operational management experience which he gained at the highest level, primarily in electronics manufacturing and distribution. Before joining Premier Farnell in July 2002 as Chief Operating Officer, Laurence was Vice President and Director of Operations for Motorola in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

  • Mark Whiteling, M.COMM (HONS) Aged 51

    Role: appointed as Chief Financial Officer on 5 November 2012.

    Other appointments: Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit Committee of Future plc.

    Skills and experience: Mark is a chartered accountant, with extensive financial and commercial experience in the global distribution and electronics industries. Mark was Premier Farnell’s Chief Financial Officer and a member of the Board from 2006 to 2011, rejoining the Company in November 2012 in an expanded role. From August 2011 to November 2012 he was Chief Financial Officer of Autobar Limited. Before joining Premier Farnell in 2006 Mark was Group Finance Director of Communisis plc and, prior to that, of Tibbett & Britten plc.

  • Steven Webb, Secretary, LLB Solicitor Aged 51

    Role: appointed as Company Secretary and General Counsel in December 2000.

    Other appointments: Member of the Board of Governors of Leeds Metropolitan University.

    Skills and experience: Steven is a qualified lawyer with a specialism in company law and has served the boards in a number of regulated and non-regulated business and consumer industries. Before joining Premier Farnell, he was the Company Secretary and General Counsel of Kelda Group plc (formerly Yorkshire Water) and Company Secretary of Kalon Group plc.

Non-Executive Directors

  • Val Gooding, CBE Aged 63

    Role: appointed as Non-Executive Chairman on 15 June 2011

    Other appointments: Non-Executive Director of Vodafone Group Plc and TUI Travel plc. Trustee of Historic Royal Palaces and the English National Ballet.

    Skills and experience: Val has formerly held a number of senior operational and strategic roles in businesses with a reputation for high levels of customer service and brings a wealth of global business experience to the Board. Val was CEO of BUPA during a ten-year period of strong growth and global expansion and was a senior manager at British Airways, serving latterly as Director for Asia Pacific. Val has also served as a Non-Executive Director of J Sainsbury plc, Standard Chartered plc, the BBC and the Home Office.

  • Paul Withers, MA Aged 57

    Role: appointed as a Non-Executive Director in September 2007. Paul chairs the Remuneration Committee.

    Other appointments: Non-Executive Director of Hyder Consulting plc and Devro plc, and Senior Independent Director of Keller Group plc.

    Skills and experience: Paul has a background in engineering and has considerable experience of business expansion and operations in developing markets, particularly Asia. Paul was formerly an Executive Director of BPB plc, where he led their Emerging Markets operations.

  • Dennis Millard, CA (SA), MBA Aged 65

    Role: Appointed as a Non-Executive Director in September 2007 and as Senior Independent Director in June 2008. Dennis chairs the Audit Committee.

    Other appointments: 

    Non-Executive Chairman of Halfords Group plc and of Connect Group plc (formerly Smiths News Plc), Senior Independent Director and Chairman of the Remuneration

    Committee of Debenhams plc, Deputy Chairman of the Board and Chairman of the Remuneration Committee of Pets at Home Group plc and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Holy Cross Children’s Trust charity.

    Skills and experience: In addition to the extensive experience that Dennis brings of non-executive Board leadership, Dennis is a chartered accountant and was, for nine years until 2005, Group Finance Director of Cookson Group plc.

  • Thomas Reddin, BSc, MBA Aged 53

    Role: appointed as a Non-Executive Director in September 2010.

    Other appointments: Non-Executive Director Asbury Automotive Group, Deluxe Corporation and Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc. He is Managing Partner of Red Dog Ventures, LLC, a venture capital and advisory firms in the digital arena, and also publisher of

    Skills and experience: Tom’s expertise ranges from marketing, branding and innovation to the web. Tom was formerly Vice President of Consumer Marketing at Coca-Cola USA and President, COO, and ultimately CEO, of LendingTree LLC, a market leader in web-based lending.

  • Andrew Dougal, B Acc, CA Aged 62

    Role: appointed as a Non-Executive Director in September 2006.

    Other appointments: Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit Committee of Carillion plc, Senior Independent Director and Chair of the Audit Committee of Creston Plc and Council Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS).

    Skills and experience: Andrew is a chartered accountant and has considerable leadership experience in finance, operational and strategic roles. Formerly he served as Chief Executive Officer of Hanson plc, the international building materials company, following its demerger from Hanson plc, the Anglo American diversified industrial company where he had been Group Finance Director. Previously Andrew was a Non-Executive Director of Taylor Wimpey plc, Taylor Woodrow plc and BPB plc.

  • Peter Ventress, Aged 52

    Role: appointed as a Non-Executive Director with effect from 1 October 2013.

    Other appointments: Chief Executive Officer of Berendsen plc.

    Skills and experience: Peter has broad international experience in the B2B environment.  Prior to joining Berendsen in 2010, he was International President of Staples Inc and also spent ten years in senior management positions with Corporate Express N.V., becoming Chief Executive in 2007.   During his roles at Corporate Express and Staples, Peter was also a non-executive director of Corporate Express Australia Ltd.

  • Gary Hughes, Aged 52

    Role: appointed as a Non-Executive Director on 1 November 2014.

    Other appointments: Senior Member of the Operational Excellence team at Apax Partners LLP and a Non-Executive Director of J Sainsbury plc, Matomy Media Group plc, Smart Technologies Inc, and SECC Limited.

    Skills and experience: Gary is a qualified Chartered Accountant with extensive experience in both financial and operational roles.  Gary was formally Chief Financial Officer of Gala Coral Group, Chief Executive Officer of the largest operating division of United Business Media plc and Group Finance Director of Emap plc.