Board of Directors
Penny Hughes CBE
Independent Non-Executive Chairwoman
Penny has served on the board of directors of firms across the consumer, media, technology and finance sectors.
Since January 2010 she has been a non-executive director of The Royal Bank of Scotland plc where she has been chairwoman of the remuneration committee and now leads the sustainable banking committee. Penny is also a non-executive director of SuperGroup plc.
Penny has experience as chairwoman of each board committee within former non-executive director roles which include Morrison Supermarkets plc, The Body Shop plc, Home Retail group plc, Gap Inc., Vodafone plc, Reuters plc and Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB.
Penny has acted as adviser to Bridgepoint Capital, with representation on the board of Molton Brown during its sale and spent the majority of her executive career at CocaCola and was appointed President CocaCola Great Britain & Ireland in 1992.
Having been President of the Advertising Association for 6 years, Penny received a CBE for services to the media in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in June 2011.
Penny is Chairwoman of the Nomination Committee and a member of the Audit and Risk and Remuneration Committees.
Chief Executive Officer
John founded The Gym in 2007 and has served as its Chief Executive Officer since its inception. John has over 20 years’ experience with the health and fitness industry and has considerable experience in developing successful and profitable businesses in the private sector.
John launched Dragons Health Clubs plc in 1991 and grew the business to 22 health clubs and 9 golf clubs by 2002. Dragons Health Clubs successfully floated on AIM in 1997 and was sold to Crown Sports plc in 2000. John served as a managing director of Crown Sports plc from 2000 to 2002.
John is on the board of ukactive, a not-for-profit trade body comprised of members and partners from across the UK active lifestyle sector. He was recognised as the ‘CEO of the Year (South East)’ by the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association Management Team Awards in 2013.
John is a member of the Nomination Committee.
Chief Financial Officer
Richard joined The Gym as Chief Financial Officer in May 2015. He possesses extensive experience working for leisure and FMCG companies in the UK and internationally.
He has previously held the positions of chief financial officer of Essenden plc from 2009 to 2015 and chief financial officer of Paramount Restaurants from 2003 to 2008. He led both companies through periods of significant strategic and operational change.
After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with Coopers & Lybrand, Richard worked with a number of high profile brands in strategic development roles, including The Rank Group plc, Hard Rock Café International and Diageo plc, where he completed a number of high value mergers and acquisitions.
Senior Independent Non-Executive Director
Paul was the Non-Executive Chairman of The Gym from February 2012 until September 2015.
In March 2014 he was appointed as non-executive chairman of Clothingsites.co.uk Ltd, an online branded menswear retailer. Paul was also appointed as the non-executive chair of Hiring Hub, an online recruitment business, in October 2014 and Sykes Cottages, an online travel business, in July 2015.
Paul’s previous roles include non-executive chairman of Betterbathrooms, chief financial officer and acting chief executive officer at Matalan, chief financial officer at TJ Hughes and chief financial officer at National Car Parks. He has held senior finance management roles at GUS plc, Littlewoods and News International plc.
Paul is an economics graduate from the University of Cambridge and a Chartered Accountant.
Paul is Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee, and a member of the Nomination and Remuneration Committees.
Independent Non-Executive Director
David is currently a non-executive director of On the Beach Group plc and Trinity Mirror Group plc. David co-founded mydeco.com in 2007 and, more recently, has built a wide portfolio of non-executive and advisory positions, including non-executive Chairman of Love Home Swap, Pure 360 and MBA & Company.
David previously held roles as Operations Director at Amazon in the UK, Chief Operating Officer at Lastminute.com, Vice President, Operations/Chief Operating Officer at eBay and Senior Vice President of International at Rackspace.
David is Chairman of the Remuneration Committee, and a member of the Audit and Risk and Nomination Committees.
Independent Non-Executive Director
Emma has wide-ranging marketing experience within the FMCG and leisure sector, and brings a senior level of digital marketing knowledge to the Board.
Emma is currently the Group Marketing and Digital Director for Merlin Entertainments plc, where she has worked since 2013.
Emma spent 5 years as Marketing Director for Pizza Express, and was also Marketing Director for Unilever where she started her career.
Emma is a member of the Nomination, Audit and Risk, and Remuneration Committees.