Consumers' Association appoints former commission chief as chair

Sam Younger will take up the role at the charity behind the Which? brand on 1 January

Sam Younger
Sam Younger

A former chief executive of the Charity Commission has been appointed chair of the charity behind the Which? brand. 

A statement from the Consumers’ Association said Sam Younger, who spent almost four years in the top job at the regulator until 2014, would succeed Tim Gardam as chair of the charity on 1 January 2020. 

Gardam will have completed four years as chair of the charity, consisting of two terms of two years. 

He led the charity through a period of controversy over bonus payments to senior executives, which were eventually dropped, and the appointment last year of Anabel Hoult to succeed the long-serving Peter Vicary-Smith as chief executive.

He also oversaw the completion of a governance review, initiated last year  after a 400-strong pressure group called for reforms to the charity to make it more democratic and transparent.  

The review, which was completed in September, made 33 recommendations aimed at improving transparency and accountability to members, simplifying the existing governance structures and opening up the trustee recruitment process. 

Reforms arising from the review are due to be considered at the charity’s annual general meeting on 23 November. 

A spokeswoman for the charity said Gardam had always been clear that he would serve only two terms as chair. 

Gardam said in a statement: "Sam’s background and experience make him the perfect person to take up the challenge of ensuring Which? continues to adapt in order to remain relevant and powerful for consumers, now and into the future."

Younger, aside from his role at the Charity Commission, has also spent time as director-general of the British Red Cross and managing director of BBC World Service, and is currently chair of Voluntary Service Overseas and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives. 

He said: "I’m proud to have the opportunity to play a part in securing the future direction and growth of Which?.

"It’s exciting to be joining at such a pivotal point in the organisation’s history, when UK consumers need a champion more than ever."

The chair's position at the charity is not paid, aside from expenses.

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