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.
Penny is a non-executive director of SuperGroup plc and is also the Chairwoman of iQSA.
Penny has experience as chairwoman of each board committee within former non-executive director roles which include The Royal Bank of Scotland plc, 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.
John founded The Gym in 2007 and has changed to a new role as Founder Director from September 2018 (previously 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 Executive Officer
Richard joined The Gym as Chief Financial Officer in May 2015 and has been promoted as Chief Executive Officer in September 2018. 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.
Paul was appointed as the non-executive chairman of Hiring Hub, an online recruitment business, in October 2014 and Sykes Cottages, an online travel business, in July 2015. In May 2018, Paul was appointed as a Non-Executive Director of New Look Retail Group Limited.
Paul’s previous roles include non-executive chairman of Clothingsites.co.uk, 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.
David is currently a non-executive director of On the Beach Group plc, Trinity Mirror Group plc Camelot Lotteries, Holiday Extras and Simply Business. 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 Pure 360, MBA & Company, Atcore and Prezola.
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,Senior Vice President of International at Rackspace and non-executive Chairman of Love Home Swap.
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 Customer Director at Wagamama and has previously held roles as Group Marketing and Digital Director for Merlin Entertainments plc, Marketing Director for Pizza Express and Marketing Director for Unilever.
Emma is a member of the Nomination, Audit and Risk, and Remuneration Committees.