AO World plc (“AO” or the “Company”), a leading European online electrical retailer, announces that, Steve Caunce has decided to step down as CEO and from the Board with immediate effect. As CEO, Steve has successfully strengthened the Group’s organisation, senior management resources and operational plans. He has also rapidly expanded AO’s continental European operations and broadened the Group’s product categories, including through the acquisition of Mobile Phones Direct.
Steve has been a key member of the Group’s management team for over 13 years and having led the Group though two years of intense activity, he has now decided to step back to a less demanding business role and re-balance his lifestyle. Steve will remain involved in the business on a part time basis as an adviser to the CEO and the Board.
The Board has re-appointed John Roberts, AO’s founder, as CEO (pictured above). John led the business until the end of 2016 when Steve became CEO and John decided to focus on innovation and development projects. He now has a renewed energy to focus on the business he created and to lead AO on the execution of its strategy.
AO Chairman Geoff Cooper said:
“Steve has significantly professionalised and upgraded our business and operating capabilities. He has established and strengthened management teams in the UK and continental Europe, who are both getting on with execution of our strategy. As Chairman I have been impressed with his work as CEO, and with the fundamental contribution he has made over 13 years to building AO into the business it is today.”
Steve Caunce said:
“It is a privilege to have played a significant part in AO’s success and to have led the Company for the last two years. I have decided to step down at a time when I feel AO is well placed to continue to thrive as a leader in our sector. I look forward to contributing to the AO team as we execute our strategy.
John Roberts said:
“Steve has played a vital part in AO’s development and in the last two years has created the foundations for our future success. I look forward to continuing to work with him, as I have over the last 13 years. AO’s future is incredibly bright given our depth of talent at all levels of the business. I am fully committed to the business and the execution of our focussed strategy and can’t wait to get stuck in again as CEO as we move onto the next exciting stage of the AO story.”