Verastar Group, a leading provider of essential services to small businesses, has appointed former TalkTalk, Virgin Media and UKFast executive Lee Hull as Chief Executive Officer.
Verastar provides utilities, telecoms, insurance and digital payments services to more than 160,000 small businesses across the UK, trading under a number of customer-facing brands including kinex, Clear Business and The Insurance Octopus.
Hull joins the Manchester-headquartered group from TalkTalk Business, where he held the position of Managing Director.
He said: “Having watched Verastar’s rapid rise over the last decade, I am incredibly excited to lead one of Manchester’s flagship businesses through the next exciting phase of growth.
“The UK economy is going through major transformation, presenting many challenges but also significant opportunities in markets such as utilities, fibre connectivity, payments and insurance.
“No other provider offers the range of services that we do on one bill and, as UK businesses look for value and a trusted partner, Verastar is uniquely placed to simplify admin and reduce costs.
“Verastar is one of the best-kept secrets in the UK business market, with an enormous B2B customer base and 900 passionate and talented colleagues. We’re leading the way with 100% green energy and helping huge numbers of businesses connect to the full fibre broadband they need to thrive in years to come.”
Founded in 1998, Verastar Group achieved a turnover of £183m in the financial year ending April 2020.
Hull added: “The greatest organisations I’ve been part of over the last 20 years genuinely put the customer and the colleague at the heart of everything they do, and that’s my primary focus as CEO of Verastar.
“I want customers to love the simplicity and the value we bring, and I want them to enjoy every interaction with us. As our team continues to grow, I want our colleagues to feel good about working for Verastar, build brilliant careers with us and have pride in the level of service we deliver for customers.”
Hull replaces former CEO, Chris Earle, who informed the board earlier this year that he would like to step down after more than two decades with the company.
Verastar’s Chairman, Geoff Unwin, said: “We thank Chris for the remarkable job he has done in leading and transforming Verastar into the incredibly strong company it is today. Who, 22 years ago, could have believed the change that has so successfully taken place? We wish him every good fortune for the future.
“Lee brings a wealth of experience in B2B, having operated at exec level within some of the UK’s best-known brands. The small business market is one of the most vibrant sectors of the economy, and continues to be so, as evidenced by the rate of new company formation. Lee has all the attributes necessary to reach and service it.”