Chief Executive Officer
A life-long entrepreneur, Andrew Tinkler’s first involvement with the Eddie Stobart business was as a friend of the Stobart sons and an occasional cleaner of trucks for the company as a teenager. He later served his apprenticeship as a cabinet maker and went self employed in the mid-1980s, forming WA Tinkler Building Contractor.
Following a series of successful contracts the company became WA Developments, completing large civil engineering and railway infrastructure contracts across the UK and in Europe. By the late 1990s the company’s turnover had grown to more than £20 million a year and Andrew’s old friend William Stobart joined the business as a shareholding director in 2001. Soon, Andrew took a renewed interest in the Eddie Stobart business, and with William Stobart, acquired the company in 2004, immediately becoming CEO. Andrew is credited with turning the company around during the years following the 2004 acquisition, and is central to the strategic development and vision that forms the backbone of the Group’s multimodal offering and FTSE250 listing today.
Chief Financial Officer
Ben Whawell joined the Board as Chief Financial Officer in March 2008. Ben started his career in Grant Thornton where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant and progressed to Senior Corporate Finance Manager. He joined Stobart in 2004 after advising on the acquisition of the Group by WA Developments International. Since joining Stobart, Ben has managed the International Division, led a number of other areas in the Group, implemented financial and IT changes across the business and was involved in the merger with Westbury in 2007. Since the formation of the Company, he has overseen the acquisitions of James Irlam, Innovate Chilled, WA Developments, LSA, CLDA and more recently the Biomass business. Ben received the North West Financial Director of the Year Award in 2009 and the Large Company Finance Director of the Year Award in 2012.
John Coombs has been appointed to the Stobart Group Board as a Non-Executive Director, effective 1st July 2014. John is also the Managing Director of Unilever Ventures Ltd, a role which has included taking Non-Executive Director positions in 12 portfolio companies. Currently he is Chairman of Snog Frozen Yogurt Ltd, Non-Executive Director of Brandtone Holdings Ltd & Catexel Ltd, previously he was an Executive Director of Unilever Foods UK Ltd.
During a long career with The Unilever Group he has held senior positions in manufacturing, consumer marketing and venture capital, in the UK & Europe.
Chief Executive Stobart Energy & Infrastructure
Richard Butcher heads up the Stobart Infrastructure and Energy divisions, with additional responsibilities for identifying investment opportunities for Stobart Investments. He brings a long track record of asset management and financial expertise to the PLC and Executive Boards. Richard has been part of the Stobart business since 1997, after14 years in senior positions within HSBC Corporate Finance.
Richard is one of the longest serving Stobart leaders on the Executive Board and has held a number of key positions within the Group including managing director of Eddie Stobart Limited. More recently Richard has played a key role in the development and leveraging of the company’s property assets, such as the Group’s extensive land and commercial interests in the North West. He has also concentrated on other property purchases and disposals across the Group, as well as continuing the Stobart tradition of building close and lasting relationships with customers.
Andrew Wood has been appointed to the Stobart Group Board as a Non-Executive Director, effective 1 November 2013. Andrew also holds Non-Executive Directorships and the positions of Audit Committee Chairman at Berendsen plc, Lavendon plc and Air Partner plc (where he is also Chair of the Remuneration Committee). He was previously Group Finance Director of BBA Aviation plc, a position he held from 2001 until 2011, when he retired from the role.
Throughout his career Andrew has held numerous finance director and financial controller positions across the electronics and aviation sectors and he has been a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants since 1975.
At Stobart Group Andrew serves as the Board’s Senior Independent Director.
Iain Ferguson, CBE
Iain Ferguson joined the Stobart Group Board as Chairman on 1 October 2013. He brings a wealth of experience to the Group, and also serves as Chairman of Berendsen plc and a Non-Executive Director on the Boards of Balfour Beatty plc and Gregg’s plc.
John Garbutt joined the board of Stobart Group as a Non- Executive Director on 1 July 2014 and is Chairman of the Remuneration Committee. During his executive career since 1975, John worked at a number of major City and industrial firms including Kleinwort Benson, Schroders, Rowe and Pitman and ICI. This covered a wide variety of senior roles in fund management, stock broking, marketing and client servicing. He retired last year as a Director at HSBC, after almost 23 years in their investment businesses during which time he headed up various departments including corporate governance, property and ecommerce.
John is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment, and a member of the Society of Investment Professionals and the Chartered Financial Analysts Institute. He is also an Alderman in the City of London and a Justice of the Peace.