Division of Responsibilities



The role of the Board is to direct the affairs of the Group so that long-term, sustainable performance may be achieved which meet stakeholder and shareholder interests.

The Directors are collectively responsible for developing the strategy of the Group and ensuring there are sufficient resources to successfully implement that strategy. They should challenge the performance and decisions of the senior management team and provide counsel to the senior management team in their day-to-day running of the business. They are also responsible for setting and protecting the culture and values of the business – a role particularly pertinent to Howdens where integrity, respect, individual accountability and recognition are fundamental tenets of the business.

Matters which are reserved for consideration by the Board and are not delegated to a Board Committee or to the Executive Committee, are detailed in a Schedule of Matters Reserved for the Board (the “Schedule”), which is reviewed annually. These matters include setting the Group’s values, standards and strategy as well as taking decisions about:

  • acquisitions and disposals
  • risk management
  • internal control
  • significant capital projects
  • annual budgets
  • Group borrowing facilities
  • significant financial and operational matters

The Board also considers legislative, environmental, health & safety, governance and employment issues.

The Chair’s Role
The Non-Executive Director's Role
The Executive Directors’ Role
The Company Secretary's Role
External Advisors’ Role

The Chair is primarily responsible for the leadership and effectiveness of the Board and for creating a culture of openness, debate and challenge in the boardroom. He is also responsible for ensuring effective communication with our shareholders.

The Chair is responsible for setting the Board's agenda (with support from the Company Secretary) and ensuring that adequate time is given to discussion of all agenda items at meetings.

Non-Executive Directors have the same general legal responsibilities to the Company and the same commitment to its success as the Executive Directors. However, the Non-Executive Directors are removed from the day-to-day management of the Company and so are able to provide independent judgement and oversight, and to constructively challenge senior management.

Non-Executive Directors are also key to providing the business with valuable insights, specialist knowledge and creative solutions gained from experience outside the Company. Our Non-Executive Directors, therefore, have been selected for the diversity of their backgrounds, perspectives, experience and personal attributes, as well as for their impressive business acumen.

As well as their general legal responsibilities as Directors of the Company, the Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Financial Officer have been delegated the day-to-day running of the Group by the Board and are responsible for satisfactory execution of the policies and strategy agreed by the Board.

The Company Secretary is an officer of the Company and shares various legal obligations with the Directors. He provides the Board with guidance and advice on various governance and regulatory matters (under the direction of the Chair) and ensures that information flows effectively and in a timely manner between the Board and senior management, as well as within the Board and between the Board’s Committees.

The Company Secretary is also responsible for developing and overseeing the systems which ensure compliance with various legal and code requirements and for supervising the day-to-day administration of the Company.

External advisors provide a range of services to the Board and its Committees including banking, brokerage, legal, audit, actuarial, financial PR and Executive remuneration, as well as other consulting services. Both the Executive Committee and the Board rely on such advisors to provide counsel and guidance on specialist matters when necessary. The Non-Executive Directors can engage with advisors at the Company’s expense, independent of management where appropriate.

The competency, value, length of tenure and independence of advisors is reviewed by the Board on an annual basis.


The roles of Chair and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) are held by separate members of the Board and are clearly defined. This provides a crucial safeguard so that no one person has unlimited decision-making power and that no one person is responsible for monitoring their own performance. The Senior Independent Director (SID) role also ensures that issues may be raised in the event a principal shareholder feels unable to raise them with the Chair directly and ensures that there is an alternative communication channel between the Chair and the Board.

HOWDENS Making space more valuable

Business Model and Strategy

Find out more about our business model and strategy, the markets in which we operate and our strategic approach to protect our unique business model and ensure that the business continues to grow.


As a familiar sight across towns and cities in the UK and Europe, our depots are always within easy reach, so a trade professional never has far to travel to find their nearest Howdens. Get to know more about how each one operates.


Our sustainable behaviour is at the heart of our business and enables us to reduce some of our risks. We take great pride in ensuring that our business positively impacts the world around us and the people within it.


We are passionate about supporting the local communities we operate in, which is why our depots and support staff actively seek ways to give something back. Whether it is running half marathons or sponsoring local Scout groups, discover the many ways we help good causes.


With around 80 kitchen ranges, our exclusive Lamona appliance brand, and thousands of products across joinery and hardware, learn why our builders have come to trust the range and quality of the products we offer.

People and Careers

The Sunday Times named Howdens as one of the top 25 big companies to work for. Discover why Howdens is a great place to work, how we develop our people and reward them, whilst building a culture with an entrepreneurial spirit.

Financial Results

Download copies of the latest financial results for Howdens both past and present including the associated presentations and Interim Management Statements released between results announcements.


Howdens is a responsible business which was founded on the tenet that the Company should be worthwhile for all concerned, with a commitment to the people within its reach and the wider world. Here we provide the links to the framework that informs our decisions and outcomes.