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Very hires former BBC tech director as CIO

November 19, 2020

The Very Group, the UK’s largest integrated online retailer and financial services provider, has hired Matt Grest as chief information officer (CIO). He will become part of the Group’s executive board and report to CEO, Henry Birch.

Matt will join The Very Group on 21 December 2020 from the BBC, where he led a 400-strong team of technologists as director of digital platforms and oversaw the transformation of the corporation’s digital and broadcast products into a fully integrated tech platform. Combining content and user data with audience personalisation, the platform powers the BBC’s flagship products, including iPlayer and Sounds, and the syndication of content to a weekly global audience of 500m users.

Prior to the BBC, Matt was at Sky, where as digital platform director he was responsible for IT delivery and transformation across the company, including for Sky Sports, Sky News and He also led the creation of Sky’s digital hub in Leeds, building a team of 650 people within 18 months and implementing new agile ways of working. With over 20 years’ experience, he has also held a range of senior technology roles with Yorkshire Building Society, the NHS and Plusnet.

Matt will lead The Very Group’s 350-strong technology team as it continues to transform its technology and platforms, enhances access to, and analysis of, data, and further improves ways of working to deliver positive changes to the customer experience.

Henry Birch, CEO at The Very Group, said: “Technology and data underpin everything we do, including the digital journey that keeps our customers coming back to Very. Matt is a talented technologist and leader, with a track record for driving strong performance through tech and new ways of working. Under his stewardship, I am confident we will continue to deliver the platforms we need to support our ambitions and make changes to the customer experience faster than ever before.”

Matt Grest commented: “The Very Group has a history of reinvention powered by technology and this is an exciting time to be joining the business. With more people shopping online than ever before and continued appetite for flexible ways to pay, providing the best possible experience – powered by technology and data – has never been more important. I can’t wait to get started.”


Contact information

Investor enquiries

Edward Fry

David Fletcher

Media relations

Dave Lafferty (The Very Group)
07552 283 266

Sam Chiene (Brunswick)020 7404 5959

About The Very Group

The Very Group is the UK’s largest integrated pureplay digital retailer and financial services provider, with annual sales of over £2bn.

Our largest and fastest growing retail brand is, supported by the and brands.

We receive an average of 1.9m website visits every day with 82% of online sales completed on mobile devices.

We sell 1,900 famous brands, including big name labels and our own exclusive brands. We serve four and a half million customers, delivering 49 million products every year.

We exist to make good things easily accessible to more people and our aim is to be the number one destination for shoppers who value flexible ways to pay.

By offering customers the brands they love and options to spread the cost, we help them say yes when it really matters.

We have over a hundred years of history behind us, but at our heart there is a passion for change – to constantly improve what we do, to innovate with data and technology at our core and to be the best possible place to work.

For more information, visit our website or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.