Hewitt was the unanimous choice of the seven-member selection panel, led by independent non-executive FA director Kate Tinsley, and subject to ratification by the FA Council, will succeed the interim FA Chair, Peter McCormick OBE.
The panel were in full agreement that she has the outstanding Chair and governance expertise, across an extensive range of business sectors, as well as the proven leadership qualities and character required for the role.
Debbie has an extensive non-executive career spanning over 15 years in Listed, Private Equity backed and privately-owned companies, across many different sectors.
She’s currently the non-executive Chair of Visa Europe, The Restaurant Group plc, BGL Group and White Stuff.
After six years at The Restaurant Group plc, she will step down from this business when she joins the FA in January. She’s previously held non-executive Chair roles at Moss Bros plc, Evander Group, HR Owen plc and the HPI Group. Debbie was awarded an MBE in 2011 for services to business and the public sector.
“I’m delighted to be nominated for the role of Non-Executive Chair of The Football Association,” she said.
“As the events in recent months have shown, this is a significant moment in time for English football, with a clear purpose for all stakeholders to secure the long-term health of the game at all levels.
“I’ve been passionate about football from a very young age and I’m excited by the opportunity to play my part in shaping the future of something that means so much to so many.
“I’m looking forward to working alongside our CEO Mark Bullingham and the team across Wembley Stadium and St. George’s Park, and relish the opportunity to Chair an organisation that has the potential to be a very positive force for good throughout the game and across society.”
Kate Tinsley, Independent Non-Executive FA Director and chair of the selection panel, said: “This is an excellent appointment for the FA and English football in general.
“Debbie was the outstanding candidate from a talented and experienced field. She immediately demonstrated her passion and ability to positively influence the direction of the FA on a domestic and global stage, providing strong and principled leadership along the way.”
Peter McCormick OBE, interim FA Chair, said: “We’re delighted to nominate Debbie as our new Chair. Her experience across many different areas of business and general approach will allow her to work collaboratively across the game, while providing her own insight, experience and judgement on the issues that matter most. I very much look forward to working with her.”
The FA Council will be asked to formally ratify the new Chair at its next meeting on 22 July 2021 and conditional on this, Debbie Hewitt will start the role with effect from January 2022. Peter McCormick will remain in position as Interim Chair until this date.