Saga Group chief steps down after four years

Saga Group boss Euan Sutherland is standing down after four years to be replaced as chief executive by current chief financial officer Mike Hazell.

Sutherland, who previously headed clothing brand Superdry, steered the over-50s travel and insurance group through the pandemic after joining in January 2020.

The company said: “Euan informed the board of Saga earlier this year that he believed the time was right time for him to stand down, allowing for the appointment of a new CEO to take Saga onto the next phase of its development. 

“After joining Saga in January 2020, Euan stabilised the business, launched a new strategy and significantly strengthened the leadership team. 

“He steered Saga through the Covid-19 pandemic and oversaw detailed work to strengthen the brand and identify new income streams.”

Hazell joined Saga in October and was most recently interim CFO at The Co-op Group. He was previously joint chief executive of Debenhams and held senior roles at BSkyB and Pfizer.

Mark Watkins, group chief corporate development officer, a chartered accountant, steps up to become CFO as part of the changes.

Saga said: “Mike and Mark, who have been working closely together since Mike’s arrival at Saga, will assume their new roles with immediate effect; Euan will stay on until 31 January 2024 to support in the transition to new leadership.”

Non-executive chairman Sir Roger De Haan said: “I would like to thank Euan for the enormous contribution he has made to Saga since he joined the business four years ago. 

“His belief in the strength of the Saga brand and the talent of our people was central to everything he has done to stabilise this business and return it to profitable growth. We wish him well for the next phase of his career.

“I am delighted that Mike is becoming group CEO and that Mark is stepping up into the role of CFO. These changes are the result of carefully managed succession planning. Mike and Mark have the right skills and experience to take Saga into the next phase of its development.”

Sutherland added: ”I joined Saga because I was excited about working to strengthen a unique British brand with a strong heritage, great people and a customer cohort that was under served. 

“I am very proud of everything we have achieved over the past four years, particularly our work to strengthen the brand and to better serve our customers with unique products and services. 

“The time is right for someone else to take Saga into the next phase of its development and I am delighted to hand over to Mike and Mark, who I know will lead this business with passion and determination.”

Hazell said: “Saga is a unique business, with a strong brand, a committed workforce and an exciting future. 

“I am delighted to take over from Euan and will continue to deliver against the group strategy to maximise the performance of our existing businesses and reduce debt.”

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