Direct Line Group CEO steps down

Direct Line Group announced that Penny James is stepping down from her role as Chief Executive Officer and as a Director with immediate effect.

The Board is initiating a process to identify and appoint a successor CEO. Until then, Jon Greenwood, currently Chief Commercial Officer, has been appointed Acting Chief Executive Officer, and is to join the Board, subject to any additional regulatory approvals. Penny will assist with the process of transition to ensure a smooth handover of responsibilities.

“On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Penny James for her contribution, dedication and commitment to the company since joining to be CFO in late 2017 and subsequently as CEO from May 2019.

During her time as CEO, Penny has overseen significant strategic progress, transforming the technology and capability across the business, accelerating the digitalisation of customer journeys and helping to set the company up for the future.  She also deserves great credit for the way she led the business through the pandemic, in a very challenging market, ensuring that we continued to serve our customers.

The Board and I are grateful to Jon Greenwood for agreeing to serve as Acting Chief Executive Officer. Jon has a successful track record in leading our Commercial business and as Chief Commercial Officer has a deep understanding of the Group. The Board and I will work closely with Jon as he focuses on our priorities of driving our performance and restoring balance sheet resilience, following the significant headwinds the business faced in recent months.

Yesterday [January 26] we announced new strategic reinsurance arrangements, which are expected to increase the Group’s year-end 2022 solvency capital ratio by around 6 percentage points, and we will continue to focus on rebuilding our capital position.” -Danuta Gray, Chair of Direct Line Group.

“It has been a privilege to lead Direct Line Group for nearly four years and to work with such an amazing group of colleagues. While the business was impacted by significant headwinds at the end of 2022, the Group has continued to make strategic progress.

I am proud of what the business has delivered for customers, where our technology transformation has seen improved digital capability in our core business areas, setting the Group up for the future. I wish Jon and the team every success and have no doubt they will build on the underlying strengths of the business.” – Former CEO Penny James.