NatWest Group has announced the appointment of Richard Haythornthwaite as its next chair, succeeding Howard Davies. This move comes as the bank aims to recover from the recent Nigel Farage scandal, which resulted in the resignation of its CEO.
Transition of Leadership
Haythornthwaite, who currently serves as chair of online retailer Ocado Group, will commence his role as a nonexecutive director on the NatWest board on Jan. 8. He will then officially assume the position of chair on April 15, upon Davies' departure from the board. Davies had previously disclosed his intention to step down before July 2024 after serving a nine-year tenure.
Renowned for his achievements in various sectors, Haythornthwaite's previous roles include chair positions at credit card company Mastercard, energy group Centrica, and railway operator Network Rail, among others. Recognized for his commercial success and knowledge of financial services markets and technology, Haythornthwaite brings a track record of delivery at significant customer-facing organizations.
Upon assuming the position, Haythornthwaite will receive an annual salary of £775,000 ($973,787.5) as chair, aligning with Davies' fee structure.
In July, Alison Rose was compelled to step down as CEO following a controversial conversation with a journalist regarding former Coutts customer and ex-UKIP leader Nigel Farage. As a result, Paul Thwaite, CEO of NatWest's commercial and institutional business, has taken on the role of interim CEO for an initial 12-month period.