- Company founder Richard Tang becomes chairman and brand ambassador of £71 million Rochdale success story after 23 years as CEO
- Former Sage boss Paul Stobart moves from Zen chairman to CEO to lead ambitious growth strategy
ROCHDALE 21st August 2018: Zen Internet today announces two senior appointments as it accelerates its mission to challenge the UK broadband and commercial internet markets.
The move will see company founder – and one of greater Manchester’s most well respected business leaders and visionaries – Richard Tang move from being CEO into the role of Chairman of the board.
Paul Stobart, seasoned tech leader and former northern European head of FTSE 100 Sage Group, will move in the opposite direction from being Chair of the Zen Board into the CEO role – after working alongside Richard for the past year.
The changes reflect both Zen’s success to date – with 2018 turnover forecast to exceed £71m and staff numbers to approach 500 – as well as its ambition to improve the quality of the nation’s internet services through best-in-class customer service.
Zen, which provides both consumer broadband and commercial connectivity, network, voice, and cloud hosting services is in many ways the market’s best kept secret. It has retained its place at the top of the Which? Rankings since 2015 and is listed on the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For.
Richard Tang said: “At Zen, we believe in doing things differently. It was crucial for me that anyone replacing me as CEO was absolutely aligned with our people-first approach.
“Paul Stobart brings all of that and more: He is an excellent communicator, a visionary, and an inspirational leader of people who brings a wealth of strategic experience in running transformative technology businesses.”
Richard added: “I’m also incredibly excited about my own new role – where I’ll have time to actively champion Zen’s mission to raise standards in the UK’s internet market.
“Importantly, we believe these changes will make Zen more successful, whilst staying totally true to our most fundamental long-term objectives: Happy Staff, Happy Customers, Happy Suppliers.”
Paul Stobart joins on the back of experience as CEO at both listed plc and private-equity owned businesses, and brings expertise in a range of different sectors, including technology, finance, and healthcare.
Paul Stobart said: “I believe Zen is not just one of the UK’s most exciting businesses – but is also one of its most rewarding places to work too – which is why I couldn’t be happier about this new challenge.
“I’m coming on board at a critical stage of development – and we have big plans to shake up the market and drastically improve the standards UK consumers and businesses can expect from their internet supplier.
“Further – I believe this change suits the skill sets and ambitions of both Richard and myself. I will bring my experience of running large, high-growth businesses, while Richard will be able to develop his role as a powerful and proactive voice for Zen in the UK and beyond.”
Zen’s growth plans include ambitious targets, as it is aiming to become a £250m business in the next 10 years.