Board Changes 15 January 2021
The Gym Group plc (the “Company”), the nationwide operator of 184 low-cost gyms, is pleased to announce that Wais Shaifta and Rio Ferdinand have been appointed as Independent Non-Executive Directors of the Company with effect from 1 February 2021.
Wais and Rio bring a wealth of complementary business and life experience that will enhance the breadth of knowledge, customer insight and quality of work of the Board and the wider Executive team.
Wais has gathered substantial e-commerce expertise from a number of leading online businesses. He is currently CEO at Push Doctor, one of the leading digital healthcare companies in Europe, working in partnership with the NHS to connect thousands of patients each week with clinicians. Before joining Push Doctor, he was Director of Global Operations at Europe's largest online beauty marketplace, Treatwell, and prior to that spent six years with Just Eat, culminating in the role of International Operations Director in which he was responsible for overall group operations strategy.
Following his renowned football career, Rio has pursued a number of interests in business, broadcasting and charity. He has launched #5Magazine, a lifestyle brand that spans online content and fashion; he is a television pundit for BT Sport as well as an author and filmmaker; and he has worked closely with the government and other influential thinkers on how to reinvigorate communities in social housing. Through the Rio Ferdinand Foundation, he works collaboratively with young people and communities to deliver progression pathways aimed at ensuring young people are socially mobile and empowered to be independent. Rio is a passionate advocate for fitness, mental health and well-being and diversity.
The Company also confirms that Senior Independent Director, Paul Gilbert, will retire at the AGM in May after nine years with our business.
The individual Committee responsibilities of Non-Executive Board members are currently being reviewed and will be announced at the time of publication of our Annual Report.
Penny Hughes, Chairwoman of The Gym Group plc, commented:
“At The Gym Group we are planning to restart growth as we serve a changing society that is significantly more conscious of the benefits of good health and well-being. I am delighted that Rio and Wais will join our Board bringing real insight to our purpose and our colleague and membership profile. We will continuously strive to innovate to be ever more relevant in providing access to affordable fitness for all. Paul will leave with our sincere gratitude; he has done more than most in shaping this business from near start up to significant enterprise and retires with our best wishes.”
Wais Shaifta, commented:
“I am enjoying getting to know The Gym Group and look forward to contributing to growth by adding my experience of innovative entrepreneurial businesses in the health and well-being sector. This proposition is hugely relevant as we recover from the shock of the Covid 19 pandemic.”
Rio Ferdinand commented:
“This is an exciting new step for me. I am a passionate believer in the wide-reaching mental and physical benefits of living a healthy and active lifestyle. I have been impressed at how The Gym Group is breaking down barriers to fitness by providing high quality gym facilities at low prices with a welcoming and inclusive culture. I look forward to contributing as a Director to the next stage of growth.”
The Gym Group Board was advised in these appointments by the MBS Group.
There are no further details required to be disclosed under LR 9.6.13 (1)-(6) for Wais and Rio.
For further information, please contact:
The Gym Group:
Penny Hughes, Chairwoman
Matthew Smallwood, Justine Warren
0207 457 2005/10
Luke Bordewich, George Price
0207 260 1366
Dan Webster, George Sellar
0207 418 8900