Mr. Leighton has had an extensive and varied business career holding a series of high profile roles for major corporations in the food retail, FMCG and communications sectors. From 1996 to 2000 he was Chief Executive of Asda, leading its sale to Wal-Mart for £6.7bn and then Non-Executive Chairman of the Royal Mail from 2002 to 2009, steering the organization through a transformational program of modernization. Mr. Leighton is currently Non-Executive Chair of the Co-operative Group; and Non-Executive Chairman of Entertainment One plc and Wagamama Ltd.
Charles Noall, President & CEO commented: “We are delighted that Allan has joined Element as Chairman. With the recent acquisition of Exova, Element has more than doubled in size and Allan’s wide-ranging experience in successfully leading large organizations through significant change will be a major asset to the business. Our ability to grow sustainably was recently reconfirmed in the 13th annual Sunday Times Grant Thornton Top Track 250 league table, where we placed 108th; a rise of 36 places from the 2016 ranking. Allan’s impressive track record of delivering growth while transforming companies will be invaluable as we embark on the next phase of Element’s development.”
Allan Leighton added: “This is a very exciting time to be joining the Element Board. The business operates in attractive end markets and it is clear that the opportunities for further growth are significant. I am impressed by the scale of the business’s ambition and I look forward to working with Charles, the rest of the Board and the Executive team to help make Element the world’s most trusted testing partner.”
In his early career Mr. Leighton spent 18 years at Mars UK in a variety of sales and marketing roles, before joining Asda as Group Marketing Director in 1992, where he was instrumental in reviving the fortunes of the supermarket group. He is currently Chairman of the Canal and River Trust; 2nd Deputy Chairman of Pandora AS; and a Patron of Breast Cancer Care. Mr. Leighton holds an honorary degree from Cranfield University and an honorary fellowship from the University of Lancaster.