With a CV full of leadership roles at the likes of Asda, Royal Mail, Wagamama and Entertainment One, Allan Leighton has been appointed non-executive chair of Simba, maker of the Simba Hybrid mattress.
He joins Henderson Global Investors, Numis Securities, entrepreneur Nigel Wray and Sir John Hegarty, among other high-profile names, as an investor in Simba, and takes over from Tom Teichman, of business incubator The Garage Soho, who has chaired Simba from launch and will continue his focus on investing in early-stage companies.
Founded by James Cox (now executive vice-chairman) and Steve Reid (now CEO) with support from mattress industry experts the McClements family, Simba is a D2C category leader across Europe, with sector-leading customer satisfaction scores. Since its launch in February 2016 the disruptor ecommerce brand has sold some 200,000 mattresses along with additional sleep products, to a sales value of more than £130m.
Allan Leighton comments: “Across my career, I have rarely seen growth, traction and a global brand built as quickly as the Simba team have achieved.
"I have long believed that one of the key ingredients to business success is common sense and keeping things simple and focused. Simba has created an innovative business that is sharply focused on delivering a narrow range of best-in-class sleep solutions, disrupting, and with ambition to take brand ownership of, the growing sleep market.”
Steve Reid adds: “Securing Allan to the board is a significant coup for Simba. A world-class retail veteran, there is no-one better placed to fuel our next exciting phase of growth.”
“We are also delighted to welcome Stephen to the team. Stephen has a phenomenal track record of scaling UK tech businesses to £1b+ valuations, and having access to his talents will be invaluable in powering Simba’s global success."
Simba has a nationwide partnership with John Lewis, and the brand is also sold through Furniture Village, Ocado, Amazon, Argos and over 100 AIS stores.