Peter Johnson has been appointed as president of automotive industry charity Ben.
The newly created role will see the former dealer group boss become an ambassador for Ben, to help the organisation develop further links with the UK automotive industry.
The former joint position of president and chairman of the board of trustees, held by Robin Woolcock, has been divided into two senior leadership roles.
Woolcock remains chairman of the board of trustees.
Johnson (pictured) will lead Ben in its ongoing strategy to be an integral partner to the automotive industry and provide added value by supporting its people for life.
He has more than 40 years’ experience in the automotive industry, having spent 30 years in senior roles in retail and distribution with the Rover group, Inchcape and Marshall Motor Group.
After leading the Marshall retail business between 1990 and 1995, Johnson joined Inchcape, heading up its retail operation.
He was then appointed chief executive of Inchcape from 1999-2005, during which time he oversaw the group’s growth in market capitalisation from around £250 million to over £1.5 billion.
Johnson is currently non-executive chairman of Marshall Motor Group and chairman of the Retail Motor Industry Federation. He has also served on the Bunzl Public Limited Company board from 2006 to 2015 as its senior independent director and chairman of its remuneration committee. He also chaired Rank plc from 2007 to 2012 and served on the Wates Group Limited board from 2003 to 2013.
Woolcock said: “We are extremely pleased that Peter has joined Ben as our new president. His knowledge of the automotive industry is boundless, spanning over 40 years, and will be instrumental in taking the organisation to the next level.
“It was essential for us to appoint an individual with a strong automotive background and we believe Peter’s sound industry knowledge will help us to forge more relationships and help us to further promote Ben and its services.
“With Peter’s energy and experience, we believe that we can start to reach even more people in the industry.
“We have been through a significant period of change, including how we partner with the industry through the provision of relevant support services and, more recently, the launch of our new brand and online platforms.
“In light of this, we believe that Peter is the right person to help us continue on this important journey.”
Johnson said: “I’m committed to working with Ben’s board and senior leadership team to help the organisation achieve its future potential by making sure Ben’s services are relevant to the needs of the people working in the industry and really add value.
“Ben’s services are vital to the industry and the tailored, holistic care and support services that the organisation provides focus on the four main pillars of peoples’ health and wellbeing: financial, physical, mental and social.
“I look forward to working with colleagues across the company and harnessing their energy, passion and drive to help Ben in continuing to support the people in the automotive industry.”