Back to the newsroom

10 May 2019
Bunzl plc

Retirement of Brian May and appointment of Richard Howes as Chief Financial Officer

Bunzl plc, the specialist international distribution and services Group, today announces that after more than 13 years in the role of Group Finance Director and 25 years with Bunzl, Brian May has decided to retire from the Company. He will be succeeded by Richard Howes who will join the Company on 1 September 2019, initially as Chief Financial Officer designate before joining the Board and assuming the role of Chief Financial Officer on 1 January 2020. In order to allow for a successful handover, Brian May will step down from the Board on 31 December 2019 and leave the Group on 28 February 2020.

Richard Howes is currently Chief Financial Officer of Inchcape plc, the leading independent global multi-brand automotive distributor and retailer. Prior to joining Inchcape he was Chief Financial Officer of Coats Group plc, the industrial thread and consumer textiles business. He originally qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Ernst & Young before moving to the investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort Benson where his focus was on mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare and aerospace sectors. During his career, he has also worked for Geest plc and Bakkavor Group plc, both international food manufacturers, where he held a number of positions including that of Chief Financial Officer of Bakkavor Group.

Commenting on the change, Frank van Zanten, Chief Executive of Bunzl, said:

“On behalf of the Board I would like to thank Brian for the outstanding contribution he has made to Bunzl’s success over many years since he first joined the Group in 1993. His expertise and knowledge of the Group have been extremely valuable in helping us to grow and develop into the business that we are today. Brian will leave the Company with our very best wishes and our deepest gratitude and thanks for his dedicated service to Bunzl.

I am delighted that following an extensive search and selection process we have been able to appoint Richard to succeed Brian. Richard has a wealth of experience across a number of sectors, working for multisite businesses with substantial global footprints. He has a strong track record of leading finance functions at a number of international public companies. We are pleased to welcome him to Bunzl.”

Brian May said:

“I have very much enjoyed being part of this great company and I will be sorry to leave the Group after 25 years, the last 13 of which have been as Group Finance Director. Bunzl is a diversified, balanced and resilient business operating across more than 30 countries and I have no doubt that the Company will see continued success in the future.”

Richard Howes said:

“I am delighted to be taking on my new role. Bunzl is a successful and growing company with a well-established and successful business model and a consistent and proven strategy. I look forward to joining the Board and the executive management team.”

The Company confirms that there are no other disclosures that need to be made under Listing Rule 9.6.13 relating to the appointment of Richard Howes.


Bunzl plc Tulchan
Frank van Zanten, Chief Executive David Allchurch
Brian May, Finance Director

Martin Robinson

Tel: +44 (0)20 7725 5000 Tel: +44 (0)20 7353 4200



The details relating to Brian May required by Section 430(2B) of the Companies Act 2006 can be found on in the Investors section under corporate governance (remuneration).

Richard Howes will receive a base salary of £565,000 per annum. All other elements of his remuneration package are in line with the 2017 Directors’ remuneration policy, the details of which will be included in the 2019 Directors’ remuneration report.