Business insight Leadership and Governance

  • Graham Holden

    Graham Holden

    Non-Executive Chairman

    Graham joined the Board as a Non-Executive Director in November 2007 and became our Non‑Executive Chairman on 1 April 2014. Graham was Group Chief Executive of Marshalls plc from 2004 until 2013 and before that was a divisional CEO between 2000 and 2004. Prior to that he was Group Financial Director from 1992 to 2000. This means that Graham brings significant experience to the Board of leading a listed business of a similar size to KCOM. Based in Yorkshire, Graham understands the regional market in which KCOM operates in Hull & East Yorkshire and, as a Chartered Accountant, Graham brings considerable financial knowledge and expertise to the Board. Graham is a Visiting Fellow in the School of Management at Cranfield University.

    Board Committees 

    R N

  • Bill Halbert

    Bill Halbert

    Chief Executive

    Bill joined the Board as a Non-Executive Director in September 2006 before stepping up to become Executive Chairman in July 2009. Bill was then appointed as Chief Executive on 1 April 2014. On 22 February 2018 it was announced that the Board had started the process to recruit a new Chief Executive, in order to effect a managed succession plan for the leadership of the business. Bill brings a huge amount of industry knowledge and expertise to the Board, having worked in the information technology sector for over 40 years. Prior to KCOM, he founded Syntegra, BT’s global consultancy and systems integration subsidiary, and was the CEO there for 13 years. Bill has also had many years of experience of working on a PLC Board and operating in a regulated environment. Bill holds directorships at Excelsys Ltd and Tacit Connexions Ltd.

  • Anna Bielby

    Anna Bielby

    interim Chief Financial Officer

    Anna joined KCOM in 2014. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales and before joining KCOM spent 13 years at PwC, latterly as a Director. During her time at KCOM, Anna has been the Finance Director responsible for Group and also led the consolidation of finance and the creation of Group Finance Services. In June 2018 Anna stepped up to take on new responsibilities as interim Chief Financial Officer, joining the Board on 1 July 2018.

  • Patrick De Smedt

    Patrick De Smedt

    Senior Independent Non-Executive Director

    Patrick joined the Board in January 2016. Skills and experience Patrick has a wealth of experience in the technology sector, having held a number of senior positions in Microsoft between 1983 and 2006, during which he founded the Benelux subsidiaries, led the development of the Western European business and served as Chairman of Microsoft for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He brings experience of leadership and strategy-setting in the sector and has also undertaken a range of non-executive roles with a number of different organisations, which has given him significant experience of PLC boards. Patrick is the Senior Independent Director at Morgan Sindall Group plc and Pagegroup plc and Chairman of GCI Limited.

    Board Committees 

    A R N

  • Liz Barber

    Liz Barber

    Non-Executive Director

    Liz joined the Board in April 2015. Liz brings a breadth of financial experience to the Board, having previously been a Partner at Ernst & Young from 2001 and their Head of Audit for the North of England from 2006 to 2010. She joined Kelda Group in 2010 as Group Director of Finance, Regulation and Markets and therefore brings knowledge of operating in both a regulatory environment and the Yorkshire region. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. As well as her full-time role at Kelda Group, Liz is a Non-Executive member of the Board Council for Leeds University, a member of the Prince of Wales Accounting for Sustainability Group and a Steering Group member of the Two Percent Club, which seeks to support balanced board memberships

    Board Committees 

    A R N

  • Peter Smith

    Peter Smith

    Non-Executive Director

    Peter joined the Board in January 2015. Peter has worked for L.E.K.Consulting LLP for 30 years and brings to the Board a broad range of experience in assisting companies across a range of sectors in setting their strategic plans and optimising their performance. Prior to joining L.E.K., Peter worked for Schlumberger Wireline in the Middle East as a field engineer and a line manager. Peter works full-time at L.E.K. Consulting LLP.

    Board Committees 

    A R N

  • Kathy Smith

    Kathy Smith

    Company Secretary

    Kathy took on the role of Company Secretary in July 2010. Kathy is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, qualifying with Deloitte. She joined KCOM in September 2005 as Head of Internal Audit and now leads our risk and governance teams, alongside her Company Secretary role. She is an Associate member of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries and Administrators.

Board committees

The following are all Committees of the Board, and as such have the delegated authority of the Board as set out in their relevant Terms of Reference. Committee Meetings are always minuted, and a Committee update is provided to the Board after each meeting.

Audit Committee Remuneration Committee Nomination Committee
Liz Barber (Chair) Peter Smith (Chairman)   Graham Holden (Chairman)
Patrick De Smedt  Liz Barber Liz Barber
Peter Smith Patrick De Smedt Patrick De Smedt
  Graham Holden Peter Smith
Other Attendees, By Invitation
Graham Holden Bill Halbert Bill Halbert
Bill Halbert Kathy Smith Kathy Smith
Kathy Smith    
External Auditors    


Corporate Governance

KCOM is committed to high standards of corporate governance and responsiveness to stakeholder expectations. We take full account of the principles of good governance, and in particular the UK Corporate Governance Code. We report as fully and transparently as possible each year in our report and accounts on our methods of corporate governance and on whether we have complied with the UK Corporate Governance Code. We regularly review published guidance regarding corporate governance, and wherever possible, we aim to follow that best practice.