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Dame Karen Jones DBE

Independent Non-Executive Board Member and Senior Independent Board Member

Dame Karen Jones DBE

Karen was appointed to the Board on 1 January 2020 and reappointed on 1 January 2024. She was also appointed as Senior Independent Board Member on 9 June 2020.


Dame Karen Jones is a successful entrepreneur and non-executive, with wide-ranging experience in the food, retail and leisure markets. In addition to her current roles listed below, Karen co-founded Cafe Rouge and the Pelican Group plc (sold to Whitbread in 1996) and subsequently Food and Fuel Ltd which was sold to The Restaurant Group in 2018. She was CEO of Punch Retail/Spirit Group from 2000 to 2006:  Spirit Group was sold to Punch Pubs in January 2006.

Karen has held non-executive roles at ASOS plc, Virgin Active and Booker Group plc where she was Senior Independent Director. Between 2008 - 2017, she was a non-executive director for the global retail, real estate and investment company, COFRA Group, whose subsidiaries include the major international retailer, C&A, and where she remains an advisor on the family side.  Karen also served on the Board of Firmenich ag between 2011 – 2023.  

External appointments

Karen is currently a non-executive director of both Whitbread Plc and Mowgli, Senior Independent Director at Deliveroo Plc and Chair of Hawksmoor Restaurant Group and Frontier Pubs. Karen is also Chair of the Board of National Theatre Enterprises Ltd and co-Chairs the Hospitality Sector Council together with the Minister for Hospitality.  

Key strengths

  • Food, retail and leisure markets

  • Digital and online retail

  • Property and placemaking

Our Board

Our Board has the balance of skills and backgrounds that are key to The Crown Estate's business and strategy.