Danny McCance 8 Nov 2018 02:46pm

Movers and shakers

A round-up of this week's appointments, promotions, board moves and resignations


Robyn Denholm has been appointed as the new chair of the engineering group and will replace Elon Musk, effective immediately.

Denholm, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Australia and New Zealand, has been on the Tesla board as an independent director since 2014. She is currently CFO and head of strategy at Australian telecommunications company Telstra, but will leave the role to dedicate her time to Tesla following the completion of her six-month notice period.

Prior to this she held roles at ABB, Juniper Networks – where she spent nine years as chief financial and operations officer – Sun Microsystems and Toyota. Denholm spent more than four years in the audit and accounting services at Arthur Andersen.


Jeff Fairburn has agreed to step down as group CEO of the housebuilding company over controversy regarding his remuneration packet, and will leave the role on 31 December.

Fairburn agreed to a shortened notice period and will be replaced by Dave Jenkinson, who will serve as interim CEO.

Under Fairburn’s control, Persimmon more than doubled in size to a market capitalisation of £7.5bn, selling more than 74,000 homes across the UK.

Persimmon chairman Roger Devlin thanked Fairburn for his contribution over 29 years with the company, but said that “the board believes it is now necessary for there to be a change of leadership”.


Rick David has been appointed as the new global chairman of the mid-tier accountancy firm and will take over from Bernard Fay, managing partner at UHY’s Spanish member firm UHY Fay & Co.

David was previously COO of US member firm UHY Advisor. He joined the board of directors in October 2012 and was previously CFO of Midwest law firm, Butzel Long. He has more than 40 years experience within the profession, more than 30 of which was spent in the audit team of KPMG US.

David served on the Professional Ethics Executive Committee of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.


Jill Halford has been appointed as an audit partner in the mid-tier firm’s charities group, effective immediately.

Halford has almost 20 years’ experience within the not for profit sector and joins BDO from PwC where she was a director. Halford is currently treasurer at Seacology and ACEVO as well as being an advisory board member at HighTide and a co-opted member of the Finance and Audit Committee at the School for Social Entrepreneurs.

Provident Financial

Simon Thomas has been appointed as CFO of the subprime lender and will join the board, effective 3 December. He will replace current finance director Andrew fisher, who after stepping own from the board will remain at the company for a three-month handover period.

Thomas, ACA, was previously group CFO of FTSE 250-listed financial services company Just Group, where he spent more than two years. Prior to this he was group FD at Just Retirement Group between 2013 and 2016 after being appointed as group FD of Just Retirement (Holdings) in 2006. Previously he was finance and customer services director at Canada Life, head of finance at HECM Limited and group financial controller at Nationwide Building Society.


Clive Lovett has been appointed as group FD of the gas, electrical and building services provider, and will replace David Ellingham who has been appointed as group CEO, effective 12 November.

Lovett, ACA, was previously group FD at digital transformation group Kin and Carta (formerly St. Ives) subsidiary St. Ives Marketing Activation, where he spent eight years. Prior to this he held senior finance roles at Informa and IBC Business Publishing. Lovett qualified as a chartered accountant in 1989 while with Finnie & Co (now BDO Stoy Hayward, a BDO International member firm).