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Westerleigh Group appoints new CEO

Smith has extensive executive and board level experience across the UK and Ireland, predominantly in large, complex, customer-facing organisations in regulated markets culminating in MD, Boots Ireland, CEO Retail, Post Office and chair, Payzone Bill Payments Services.

Westerleigh Group has announced that Debbie Smith will take up the role of CEO from 10 January 2022.

Westerleigh Group is the UK’s largest independent owner and operator of crematoria and cemeteries, with 35 sites in England, Scotland and Wales, all set within landscaped gardens of remembrance.

Smith will succeed Roger Mclaughan, who has stepped down after leading the group for nearly two years, due to recently learning that he has inherited Huntington’s Disease.

Smith has extensive executive and board level experience across the UK and Ireland, predominantly in large, complex, customer-facing organisations in regulated markets culminating in MD, Boots Ireland, CEO Retail, Post Office and chair, Payzone Bill Payments Services.

She is a development board member of Dementia UK and is renowned for championing inclusivity and diversity throughout her career, most recently, as a Retail Week ‘Be Inspired’ ambassador.

Neil McCausland, Westerleigh Group chairman, said: “On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Roger for his outstanding leadership over the last two years, the commitment to our business and its stakeholders, and the level of care which visibly permeates through everything he does.

“He is undoubtedly a tough act to follow and the board has undertaken a comprehensive search to find an equally excellent and experienced CEO to build upon Roger’s work. We are confident that, in Debbie, we have found someone we believe is the perfect person.”

Smith added: “I am delighted to be joining Westerleigh Group at such a pivotal time, building on the foundations and strategy introduced by Roger and leading the next phase of growth.”

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