Our management

Home Retail Group is managed by an experienced team of executive and non-executive directors and each of the Operating Companies has its own executive board.


Board of Directors

John Coombe


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John Coombe - Chairman

John held a number of senior financial roles within Charterhouse Group and Charter Consolidated before joining Glaxo holdings in 1986. Appointed to the board in 1992, he was ultimately Chief Financial Officer of GlaxoSmithKline for five years before retiring in 2005. He joined the GUS board in 2005, became the Senior Independent Director of Home Retail Group in 2006 and was appointed Chairman on 4 July 2012. He is a Non-Executive Director of HSBC Holdings, Chairman of Hogg Robinson Group and a former member of the Code Committee of the Panel of Takeovers and Mergers and of the UK Accounting Standards Board.

Mike Darcey

Senior Independent Director

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Mike Darcey - Senior Independent Director

Mike took up the position of Chief Executive Officer of NI Group ltd in January 2013, following 15 years with BSkyB, where he had been Chief Operating Officer since 2006. Prior to BSkyB Mike was an economic advisor with a number of consulting companies including Lexecon, Putnam Hayes & Bartlett and KPMG, working across a wide range of industries, with particuar focus on entertainment and telecommunications. Mike joined Home Retail Group in April 2010 and was appointed Senior Independent Director in July 2012.

Jacqueline de Rojas

Non-Executive Director

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Jacqueline de Rojas - Non-Executive Director

Jacqueline is the Vice President and General Manager of CA United Kingdom & Ireland. She previously performed leadership roles at McAfee, Novell, Business Objects and Informix. She holds external positions as Advisor to the Board at Bazaarvoice Inc, a judge on Women in Technology awards 2012 and 2013 and Member of Prince's Trust Technology Leadership Group. Jacqueline was appointed to the Home Retail Group Board in December 2012.


John Walden

Chief Executive

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John Walden - Chief Executive

John joined Argos as Managing Director in February 2012 and was appointed Chief Executive of Home Retail Group on 14 March 2014. He started his retail career in the 1990s as Chief Operating Officer of Peapod, a pioneer in online supermarket retailing. He joined Best Buy, the giant US electricals retailer, in 1999 as President of its internet and direct channels division, and over an eight year career also served as Executive Vice President, Human Capital and Leadership, and ultimately as Executive Vice President of its Customer Business Group. John later moved to Sears where, as Chief Customer Officer and Executive Vice President, he led marketing, merchandising and the internet, catalogue and home services divisions. More recently, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Inversion Inc, a retail consultancy, and Chief Executive of Activeion Cleaning Solutions.

Ian Durant

Non-Executive Director

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Ian Durant - Non-Executive Director

Ian is a former Finance Director of Liberty International (renamed Intu Properties) and is Chairman of Capital & Counties Properties and a Non-Executive Director of both Greene King and Greggs. In his earlier career he worked for Hanson and Jardine Matheson and was Finance Director of Hongkong Land, Dairy Farm International and Thistle Hotels and Chief Finance Officer of SeaContainers. He joined the Home Retail Group Board in July 2011.


Richard Ashton

Finance Director

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Richard Ashton - Finance Director

Richard started his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers where he trained as a chartered accountant, and joined GE in 1994, spending eight years in a variety of positions including Chief Financial Officer of GE Capital's pan-European equipment-financing business, assistant to GE Capital's Chief Financial Officer in the US and various finance roles in the UK. He joined Argos Retail Group as Finance Director in 2001 and, in October 2006, became Finance Director of Home Retail Group.

Cath Keers

Non-Executive Director

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Cath Keers - Non-Executive Director

Cath started her career in retail with Thorn EMI and, after marketing and business development roles at Sky TV, Avon and Next, joined the BT Group in 1996, holding a number of commercial roles, including Marketing Director O2, Chairman of Tesco Mobile and Customer Director O2. She is a Non-Executive Director of Telefonica O2 Europe, the Royal Mail Group and LV=. Cath joined the Home Retail Group Board in September 2011.


Operating Board

Paul Loft

Managing Director, Homebase

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Paul Loft - Managing Director, Homebase

Paul has more than 25 years experience in retailing in both finance and general management roles.

His early career was spent in the Burton Group where he held senior finance roles in a number of areas including Group Planning Controller and Finance Director of Burton Menswear and ultimately Finance Director of Debenhams.

He has been Managing Director of Shoe Express and Shoe City, the GUS Home Shopping businesses and for the last nine years, Managing Director of Homebase, within Home Retail Group.

Maria Thompson

Commercial Director

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Maria Thompson - Commercial Director

Maria joined Argos in 1990 and has held a variety of roles, and was appointed Commercial Director, Argos Retail Group in 2003 and subsequently Commercial Director, Home Retail Group in 2006. Prior to joining Argos, Maria had worked in various marketing, buying and product management roles in the Young & Rubicon Group, Boots the Chemist and Associated British Foods.


Greg Ball

Managing Director, Customer and Financial Services

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Greg Ball - Managing Director, Customer and Financial Services

Greg started his career at Courtaulds Plc. In 1988 he joined Littlewoods where he spent 17 years and held a variety of positions. These included Marketing Director, Group E-Commerce Director and Managing Director of Littlewoods Finance Co. Greg joined Home Retail Group in November 2004 as Managing Director of Financial Services. In March 2009, he assumed additional responsibility covering Customer Services and Home Delivery across the retail brands.

Julie Elder

Group HR Director

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Julie Elder - Group HR Director

Julie joined Home Retail Group in October 2012, as Group HR Director. Prior to joining the Group, she spent thirteen years at BAA in a number of senior roles, latterly as HR and Commercial Services Director (Airports division). She has extensive retail HR experience, having also spent periods at Dixons Retail plc and Storehouse plc. She is also an ambassador for 'KidsOut UK'.


Gordon Bentley

Company Secretary

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Gordon Bentley - Company Secretary

Gordon started his career as a solicitor with Dundas & Wilson and Dickson Minto. In 1998 he joined Standard Chartered and held a number of roles including senior management positions in legal and compliance, the group chief executive's office and government relations, and company secretary. In 2004 he joined GUS as Company Secretary. He was appointed Company Secretary of Home Retail Group in October 2006.

Peter Connor

Information Systems Director

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Peter Connor - Information Systems Director

Pete started his career with CAP (UK) Limited, a leading software house, where he trained in information systems. He then spent five years with Mars Group Services before joining Coca-Cola & Schweppes Beverages Ltd in 1987 where he held a variety of senior systems roles. Pete joined Argos in 1997 and shortly after was appointed Information Systems Director. In October 2006 he became Group IS Director of Home Retail Group.