Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Group General Counsel and Company Secretary
Appointment: Joined the Group in August 2018. Appointed Group General Counsel and Company Secretary in October 2018.
Key skills and competencies: Alison has more than 25 years’ international experience in FTSE and NYSE listed companies across the services, industrial and engineering sectors. She has significant experience in strategic M&A, crisis and change management. Alison is a solicitor and holds an LLB (Hons) from Bristol University.
Previous experience: Alison is the former Chief General Counsel and Company Secretary of Amec Foster Wheeler plc, Company Secretary and General Legal Counsel of Hays plc and Company Secretary and Group Legal Adviser of Charter plc. Prior to joining Charter, Alison held a number of senior legal roles at Johnson Matthey plc and was a corporate and commercial lawyer at Turner Kenneth Brown.
Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Appointment: Appointed to the Board in October 2021, having joined the Group in 2001. Assumed the role of Group CFO in November 2021.
Key skills and competencies: Palmer joined Compass in 2001. During his tenure, he has held a variety of senior finance, strategy and legal positions and played a central role as a member of the Executive team in North America. He also coordinated many of the acquisitions and disposals for the Group. Palmer has degrees in business and law and is a certified public accountant.
Previous experience: Palmer is a former Group Commercial Director and Chief Strategy Officer, Compass Group North America. Prior to that, he served as General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Corporate & Legal Affairs for the Group’s US business.
Group Chief People Officer
Appointment: Appointed to the Executive Committee in September 2021, having joined the Group in 2019.
Key Skills and competencies: Deborah is highly experienced in strategic leadership, stakeholder engagement and people management in multinational environments. She is a chemistry graduate from Imperial College, London, holds a post-graduate qualification in Personnel Management, an HR MBA and is a Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
Previous experience: Deborah started her career at BT as a graduate in 1997, where she spent almost 20 years in various senior leadership roles across HR and learning and development. In 2016, she joined a luxury Italian online fashion retailer as Chief People Officer before joining Compass in 2019 as Group Engagement Director. Deborah possesses a wealth of global experience, having studied and worked in the US, Europe and the UK.
Group Chief Operating Officer (COO), North America
Appointment: Joined the Board and Executive Committee in January 2007. Appointed Group Chief Operating Officer, North America in April 2012.
Key skills and competencies: Gary brings strong business and operational leadership as well as business development and wide-ranging sales experience. Gary is a chartered accountant and in 2001 received an honorary doctorate from Johnson & Wales University in the USA.
Previous experience: Gary joined the Group in 1986 in a senior finance role in the UK and became a UK director in 1992. He relocated to the USA in 1994 as Chief Finance Officer of the Group’s North American business and in 1999 became Chief Executive Officer, North America.
Group Chief Commercial Officer
Nationality: Austria / South Africa
Appointment: Appointed to the Executive Committee in January 2022, having joined the Group in 2017.
Key skills and competencies: Shelley has extensive strategic, operational and commercial management experience, including M&A, gained in leadership positions with Australian and FTSE listed organisations in highly complex operating environments. She is a Chartered Accountant (ICAEW), Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds a Bachelor of Business Science and Finance (Hons) from the University of Cape Town.
Previous experience: Prior to joining Compass, Shelley was the Chief Operating Officer at Sydney Airport, Managing Director of Tiger Airways and also worked in investment banking at Macquarie Bank as a Division Director in Australia. Shelley qualified as a Chartered Accountant at KPMG in London, subsequently joining easyJet Plc, where she held various senior finance and strategy roles in the UK.
Managing Director, UK & Ireland
Appointment: Appointed to the Executive Committee in November 2015, having joined the Group in 2008. Appointed Managing Director of the Group's UK & Ireland business in November 2019.
Key skills and competencies: Robin holds a bachelor’s degree in History. He is a respected innovator with significant experience in people management and business operations.
Previous experience: Robin has held a variety of roles at Compass. Previously, Robin was Managing Director of Chartwells, UK and Group Chief People Officer. Prior to joining Compass, Robin’s career included senior HR roles at Scottish and Newcastle Breweries, Diageo plc and Woolworth’s (part of Kingfisher PLC).
Regional Managing Director, Europe & the Middle East
Appointment: Appointed to the Executive Committee in February 2022, having joined the Group in 2012.
Key skills and competencies: Kathinka has extensive commercial and operational experience and significant experience in change management. Kathinka holds a BI Executive in Board Management from Oslo Norwegian Business School, and a Bachelor’s degree in International Business from Oslo University.
Previous experience: Kathinka has led the Group’s Nordic business since 2017 and was instrumental in successfully integrating Fazer Food Services into the Group following its acquisition. She joined Compass in 2012 as Operations Director for Norway, later serving as MD of Norway from 2016 to 2020. Prior to joining Compass, Kathinka’s career included a number of senior roles, including Operations Manager at a Nordic facilities management company.
Regional Managing Director, Latin America
Gaétan de L'Hermite
Regional Managing Director, Asia Pacific
Appointment: Appointed to the Executive Committee in October 2022, having joined the Group in 2002.
Key skills and competencies: Gaétan has 20 years’ international experience working at Compass where he has held a number of Managing Director roles in Africa, Central Asia, Ireland and more recently in France. During his time with the Group, Gaétan has acquired strong business development and operational leadership acumen and brings significant experience in market innovation and change management.
Previous experience: Gaétan started his career in audit with accounting firm Mazars before moving to management consulting at Deloitte where he specialised in large scale outsourcing projects. Gaétan holds an MSc in Management from Emlyon Business School.