A Blueprint for Better Business, an independent charity whose purpose is to create a better society through better business, is delighted to announce the appointment of Sarah Gillard as Chief Executive Officer from 1 May 2022 to succeed Charles Wookey.

Sarah is currently Director of Purpose and Special Projects at John Lewis Partnership. Sarah joined the John Lewis Partnership in 2010, following a number of years working in commercial roles with other major high street retailers. She has held senior positions across several different areas: trading, commercial strategy and people strategy. As Director of Purpose and Special Projects, she has been responsible for rearticulating and embedding the purpose of the John Lewis Partnership so that it continues to be a source of inspiration, innovation and strategic differentiation. She is a passionate advocate for making business “more human” – places where people flourish, communities prosper and long-term sustainability is the driving force.

Sue Garrard, Chair of Blueprint’s Trustees, said:

“I am delighted that someone of Sarah’s calibre and personal values will take over the reins from Charles. He has done an outstanding job of forming Blueprint, taking it from a concept to an organisation that advises FTSE CEOs and Executive Teams on how they can re-think the role of their company in society. This is a deceptively complex and layered journey, and we know from extensive feedback from CEOs that Blueprint has a unique position to both help and challenge company leaders. Our charitable status means our only motive is to improve society through better business purpose and practice. Sarah’s background means she can build on what Charles has created and ensure it meets the quite unique needs of our time.”

Sarah Gillard said:

“I am really delighted to be taking up this role and joining the brilliant team at Blueprint. I have long admired the work that Charles and the team have done and the positive impact they have had on businesses and their leaders across a number of different industries. As countries emerge from the shock of the pandemic and adjust to a different world, the role that businesses play in society has never been more important. I am very much looking forward to leading Blueprint into the next exciting phase of its development.”

Charles Wookey announced last year that he intended to step down after co-founding Blueprint and running it for almost 10 years. He said:

“It’s been a great privilege as well as hugely fulfilling to have helped set up and then run the charity, with the commitment and support of many wonderful people. That collective effort has enabled Blueprint to establish a distinctive role as a catalyst for change and a growing reputation through its work with major companies. Sarah is the ideal person to take over now and build on what has been achieved so far. She brings exactly the right combination of senior business experience and acumen, combined with a personal passion and commitment to this work. I wish her well in the role and look forward to supporting her and the fantastic team at Blueprint in the years ahead.”

Charles will be working with Sarah between now and the end of April to ensure a smooth transition and will become a Trustee of the charity when he steps down as CEO.