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AO World plc (AO.)

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Thursday 31 January, 2019

AO World plc

Directorate Change

RNS Number : 6060O
AO World plc
31 January 2019

31 January 2019




Directorate Change


AO World plc


Steve Caunce to step down as CEO and founder John Roberts to reassume the CEO role


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. John led the business until February 2017 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 continued 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; he has made a fundamental contribution over 13 years both in building AO into the business it is today and in setting out our commitment to delivering for shareholders going forward."

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."


The person making this notification on behalf of AO World plc is Julie Finnemore, Company Secretary.




AO World plc

Julie Finnemore

Company Secretary

Tel: +44(0)1204 672400


Tulchan Communications

Tel: +44(0) 20 7353 4200



Notes to Editors:


John Roberts (Age 45)

John Roberts founded AO in 2000. Until February 2017 he led the business as Chief Executive Officer and has remained on the Board and as a visionary leader since then.   He currently owns c. 23% of shares in AO.


Steve Caunce (Age 50)

Steve joined AO as Chief Financial Officer in October 2005 and quickly took on wider operational responsibilities, becoming Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer. He became CEO in February 2017.  Steve currently owns c.11% of shares in AO.

This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider in the United Kingdom. Terms and conditions relating to the use and distribution of this information may apply. For further information, please contact [email protected] or visit

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