EOA seeks new CEO to lead new era of growth

The CEO of the EOA Deb Oxley OBE has announced that she will step down from the EOA once she has supported the recruitment and induction of a new CEO – expected to be late 2021 early 2022.

Deb has announced she will be leaving the EOA at the end of 2021 after 9 years – 3 as Membership Director and 6 as CEO.  The move to pass on the baton of CEO comes as the EOA welcomes its 500th member and progresses with a transformation programme and strategy to ensure its future sustainability and continued growth and influence.

Supported by the EOA team, Deb is playing an active role in the process to identify her successor, which is being led by EOA Chair, Chris McDermott, and the Nominations Committee of the Board, with the involvement of the EOA Membership Council and supported by EOA members, specialist search agency, Perrett Laver, and change consultants Telos.

The EOA’s new Chair Chris Mc Dermott and President Patrick Lewis were appointed earlier in 2021, bringing new strategic leadership to the EOA Board.

During Deb’s tenure she has overseen the growth of the EOA including more than doubling the number of members and creating relationships that have helped drive both the success of the EOA and the growth of the employee ownership sector.  This included Deb’s leadership on the Ownership Effect Inquiry, the most significant body of research for the UK employee-owned sector detailed in the report The Ownership Dividend, the Economic Case for Employee Ownership.

The legacy of this work includes a National Strategy for Employee Ownership and a partnership with Cooperatives UK on the #1MillionOwners campaign, which is seeking to grow the number of employees that have a stake and say in the business in which they work to one million by 2030.

The partnership is also responsible for the launch of a new regional programme of growth in employee and worker ownership, the Ownership Hub.

The launch of the first Ownership Hub regional partner with Sheffield City Region in June 2021 sees a commitment to growing employee ownership and worker cooperatives as part of the region’s economic plan, and a pipeline of other interested English regions now wait to be unlocked through the partnership.

EOA Chair Chris McDermott, who is also MD of the 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan, said:

“As we look for new CEO, we do so from a great base, having smashed through the 500th member milestone, seeing the employee ownership sector grow by more than 30%, and key relationships established that will help support a pipeline of future employee owned businesses and address the barriers to the growth of the employee ownership sector.

“This new era of growth for the EOA is an exciting challenge for a new CEO and we look forward to welcoming someone whose values, ambition, and acumen to innovate unrivalled value for members like us, advocate and champion employee ownership and ensure influence and impact in the policy space.”

Deb Oxley OBE, Chief Executive of the EOA said:

“It has been the greatest honour and pleasure of my career to date to lead the EOA as its Chief Executive, supported by a brilliant team of colleagues, a superbly qualified Board, and an engaged and supportive group of members and stakeholders – and therefore this was never going to be an easy decision.

“I am pleased to have developed the EOA to be in the position to grow, the opportunities are both substantial, and within our grasp, and therefore I felt now is the time for someone with a fresh perspective, new ideas and different experiences to lead the organisation into its next chapter of growth and maturity.”