Very Group names new COO, ops director steps up
Online retail giant The Very Group has announced that operations director Sean Hallows is being promoted to the role of chief operating officer, joining the executive team and reporting to CEO Henry Birch.
He succeeds Phil Hackney, who will step down next month “after six successful years in the role”.
Hallows has spent six years at the business, during which time he has led all outbound logistics and returns, as well as the planning, development and launch of the company’s highly automated fulfilment centre, Skygate alongside Hackney.
This centre has been a key part of the firm’s drive to reduce delivery times and offer later cut-off times for orders. Most recently, he headed the transfer of all fashion returns activity to Skygate.
Prior to joining Very, he was COO at Clipper Logistics.
Meanwhile, during his time in the COO’s chair at Very, Hackney led the operations team, “using technology to transform its fulfilment, logistics and customer care capabilities”. He conceived and oversaw the launch of Skygate and digital improvements in the customer care team, including the rollout of its automated chatbot and a significant reduction in call volumes into the business’ contact centres. He was also responsible for Very's sustainability strategy.
The company also announced that Charlotte Heiss is joining as group general counsel and company secretary in May, also reporting to Henry Birch.
Most recently, she spent 11 years at RSA Group, latterly as group general counsel, company secretary and a member of the group executive committee.
Birch said she will play “a vital role in reinforcing good governance and leading our business’s response on legal, regulatory and compliance matters”.
He added that “Sean is a hugely respected leader within our business and brings industry-leading experience. [And] I want to say a massive thank you to Phil, who is responsible for some of the most successful and important developments in our business over the last decade. He is a dedicated, talented and universally respected leader, who leaves an exceptional legacy at The Very Group. We wish him all the very best.”
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