Our Board of Directors

Executive Directors

  • Laurence Bain, CA Aged 58

    Role: Chief Executive Officer in June 2012. Laurence joined the Board as an Executive Director on 1 July 2003.

    Skills and experience: Laurence is from a chartered accountancy background but also has a wealth of operational management experience at the highest level, primarily in electronics manufacture. Before joining Premier Farnell, Laurence was Vice President and Director of Operations for Motorola in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

  • Mark Whiteling, M.COMM (HONS) Aged 49

    Role: appointed as Chief Financial Officer on 5 November 2012

    Other appointments: Mark is a non-executive director 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 from 2006 to 2011 during which time he had a key role in developing the Company's current strategy and worked closely with CEO Laurence Bain in its implementation. Mark rejoined Premier Farnell in November 2012 in an expanded Chief Financial Officer role, leading IT in addition to the responsibilities he held during his previous tenure with the Company to August 2011. From August 2011 to November 2012 he was Chief Financial Officer of Autobar Limited. Before joining Premier Farnell in 2006,  he was Group Finance Director of Communisis plc and before that Group Finance Director of Tibbett & Britten plc.

  • Steven Webb, LLB Aged 49

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

    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. Steven is also a member of the Board of Governors of Leeds Metropolitan University.

Non-Executive Directors

  • Val Gooding, CBE Aged 61

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

    Other appointments: Non-Executive Director of Standard Chartered plc, the Home Office, the Lawn Tennis Association and XL Group plc.

    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 she 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 Non-Executive Director of J Sainsbury plc and of the BBC.

  • Paul Withers, MA Aged 55

    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.

    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 Aged 63

    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 Smiths News Plc, Non-Executive Director of Debenhams plc and Non-Executive Director and Senior Independent Director of Xchanging plc. 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.

  • Andrew Dougal, B Acc, CA Aged 60

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

    Other appointments: Non-Executive Director of Carillion plc and Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit Committee of Creston Plc.

    Skills and experience: Andrew is a chartered accountant by background and has considerable leadership experience in finance, operational and strategic roles. He was formerly Chief Executive of Hanson plc, the international building materials company after its demerger from Hanson plc, the Anglo American diversified industrial company where he had been Group Finance Director. Previously Andrew was a NED of Taylor Wimpey plc, Taylor Woodrow plc and BPB plc after his retirement from Hanson.

  • Thomas Reddin, BSc, MBA Aged 51

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

    Other appointments: Non-Executive Director of Valassis Communications Inc and Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc. He is also a Managing Partner of Red Dog Ventures, LLC, a venture capital and advisory firm in the digital arena, and is 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.

  • 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.