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Virgin Active Group Board Changes

3 December 2014: Virgin Active announces the appointment of Simon Susman as Non-Executive Chairman

03 December 2014
By: Virgin Active
In: Latest News

Virgin Active today announced the appointment of Simon Susman as Non-Executive Chairman with immediate effect. He succeeds Richard Baker who has been Chairman since 2008.

Simon Susman has been Non-Executive Chairman of Woolworths Holdings Limited since 2010, one of the largest retailers in the Southern Hemisphere with over 1000 stores in 17 countries. Simon was Chief Executive of the Woolworths business for ten years before that.  In addition to its leading position in South Africa, Woolworths also owns the Country Road Group and the David Jones luxury department stores in Australia.  

Simon started his career at Marks & Spencer in the UK, before returning to South Africa to launch and build the Woolworths food business in 1982.  He has a deep understanding of the consumer market in South Africa, the UK and Asia and will therefore bring significant insights into Virgin Active’s business. Amongst his other roles, he is Chairman of the University of Stellenbosch Business School Advisory Board and a Director of Trent Tata Retail in India.  

Commenting on his appointment, Simon Susman said:

“Virgin Active has been a great success story since the company was established in 1999.  I am very much looking forward to joining the Board as the company continues its growth, both in its existing territories and in new markets.”

Richard Baker, Chairman of Virgin Active, commented:

“It’s been a great pleasure being Chairman of Virgin Active over the last six years, during which time the company has grown to become a leading global health club operator.  Simon brings strong and relevant experience to the business as it continues to deliver on its growth strategy. I wish him and the company well.”  

Paul Woolf, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Active, said:

“Richard has chaired Virgin Active during a significant and successful period of our corporate development.  During this time, his relentless passion for putting the customer at the heart of our business has been a major contributor to our ongoing positive performance.  He has both our thanks and our best wishes for the future.

We are delighted that Simon has agreed to join us, and look forward to him being part of the Board.”

For further information please contact:

Ben Foster - Pendomer Communications, Tel: + 44 203 3603 5221

Nicholas Williams - Instinctif Partners South Africa, Tel: +27 82 600 2192