Boohoo and The Hut Group try to appease City governance fears

The digital companies have hired new non-executives to bolster their boards in a bid to reassure investors

Boohoo also owns brands such as Pretty Little Thing

Online retailers Boohoo and The Hut Group have each drafted in a non-executive directors to sit on their boards as they seek to distance themselves from corporate governance concerns. 

Scandal-hit fast-fashion retailer Boohoo, which has been taking steps to improve its reputation after the controversy around its supply chain in Leicester, hired Shaun McCabe, who will chair the audit and remuneration committees. 

Separately, The Hut Group, whose founder Matt Moulding has landed a £840m bonus payout, drafted in Damian Sanders to chair the remuneration committee. He was already advising the board and until recently he was a senior audit partner at Deloitte. 

Mr McCabe serves as finance chief at Trainline, the tickets firm, and is a non-executive director at online white goods retailer He previously worked for Asos and Amazon Europe. 

Boohoo's executive chairman and co-founder Mahmud Kamani, who has been accused of wielding too much power at the retailer, said he was committed to building a "better" Boohoo. 

A recent report by Alison Levitt QC into how the business was run showed that Boohoo directors raised concerns at five board meetings about the amount of influence exercised by the Kamani family between 2014 and 2020.

In April 2020, non-executive director Sara Murray resigned, with some industry observers pointing out the lack of influence of impartial directors. 

Andrew Wade, an analyst at Jefferies, said he was “encouraged” by the appointment, and that McCabe “brings considerable experience and knowledge” 

“We expect him to be able to leverage best practices and expertise gained across these digital organisations,” he added. 

The Hut Group, which floated on the London stock market in September in a blockbuster deal, said it will appoint its fourth independent non-executive director within the next 12 months. 

Mr Moulding holds the roles of chief executive and chairman and has retained a golden share in the business for two years to fend off any unwelcome takeover bid.