Following a pre-pack administration process at the end of June, Bensons for Beds has unveiled a new leadership team.

Chris Howell, who has worked with the business in an advisory capacity since the autumn of 2019, will become chairman. Chris previously held chairman roles at Maxeda DIY Group in Benelux and Oceanico Group, and has led and supported numerous private and publicly listed companies in an executive, non-executive and advisory capacity, including MD at KPMG. 

Under the leadership of CEO Mark Jackson, who continues to lead Bensons’ retail and manufacturing companies, Joe Wykes will become COO. Joe joined the team earlier this year from Sleepeezee, where he was CEO. He is a chartered accountant and was previously on the board at Adova Group, the France-based supplier of bedroom furniture and sofas.

Also in Mark’s team as CFO will be John Sidebotham. John has been working with the business as a restructuring adviser for the last six months and has now formally joined the team. His background includes KPMG restructuring and retail turnaround, as well as holding multiple senior management roles at ABF. 

Completing the team is Alan Williams, who will continue to lead Bensons’ stores as MD of retail. Alan has been with the business for over 20 years. He has a wealth of experience, including a number of roles at Sleepmasters, where he was also MD.

Mark comments: “While he’s no stranger to us, having guided us through the last eight months as an adviser, it’s good to formally welcome Chris as chairman to new Bensons. His experience and contribution will be invaluable as we invest to grow.

“He and my whole leadership team are looking forward to getting Bensons back on its feet. This is a good business with a bright future, and we’ll emerge from our restructuring refocused, resilient and ready to press ahead with our transformation plans."

Bensons entered administration at the end of June, and was immediately sold back to its owner Alteri in a pre-pack deal, leaving it operating through 200 stores, its head office in Accrington, Lancashire, and a sole manufacturing site in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, plus distribution centres in Ayr, Huncoat and Tewkesbury. The business secured £25m of new investment in the restructuring deal.