31 October 2019

Karen Jones CBE appointed to The Crown Estate's Board

The Crown Estate has announced today that Karen Jones CBE has been appointed to its Board, with effect from 1 January 2020.

Karen Jones

Karen Jones is a successful entrepreneur and non-executive, with wide-ranging experience in the food, retail and leisure markets. Her current roles include Executive Chairman of Italian restaurant chain Prezzo, Chair at Hawksmoor, which operates eight restaurants in London, Manchester and Edinburgh, and Mowgli Street Food. Karen is an Independent Director at Firmenich, the global fragrance and flavour company based in Geneva. She also chairs the Board of National Theatre Enterprises Ltd.  

Karen has built a number of businesses, including co-founding Café Rouge and The Pelican Group, which she grew and floated before selling it to Whitbread. She was part of the group that bought Allied Domecq’s 3,500-strong pub estate in 1999, and after the demerger of Punch Group Plc, took over the remaining 1,100 managed pubs as CEO of Spirit Group, buying Scottish and Newcastle’s managed pub estate in 2003 and leading Spirit’s successful sale in 2006.

Karen has held non-executive roles at ASOS plc, Virgin Active and Booker Group plc. Between 2008 and 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.

Robin Budenberg, Chairman of The Crown Estate, said:

“I am delighted to welcome Karen to The Crown Estate’s Board. Karen is passionate about putting the customer at the heart of everything a business does and has championed this across her impressive track-record in the food, leisure and retail sectors. Her extensive experience, and enthusiasm for purpose-led business, will be invaluable as we shift towards a more customer-centric approach and ensure we continue to deliver strong returns to the nation’s finances.”

Karen Jones CBE said:

“I am honoured to be joining The Crown Estate’s Board. It is an exciting opportunity given its wide-ranging customer base and the communities within which it works.  The Crown Estate stands out for its commitment to doing business in the right way through thinking long-term about how it creates value for its customers, communities and partners. I am very much looking forward to working with the Board and the leadership team.”

James Darkins has also been re-appointed to The Crown Estate’s Board to serve a second four year term, effective from 1 January 2020.

James has an extensive track record of success in the global real estate investment management industry. From 2001 he led the expansion of Henderson’s real estate business in Europe and Asia Pacific. He retired as Chief Executive of TH Real Estate (now Nuveen Real Estate) in 2015.

The recruitment of Karen Jones, and the re-appointment of James Darkins, was made in accordance with the Code of Practice published by the Commissioner for Public Appointments and the positions are appointed by the Queen under Royal Warrant.

Back to Media & Insights

Unless stated otherwise, all material on this website is the property of The Crown Estate. The material may be used, provided it is reproduced accurately and appropriate acknowledgement is given. You may not sell the information to a third party. By continuing on this website you are agreeing to our Terms of use.

We also use cookies on this website to enhance your user experience. By continuing on this website you are agreeing to the use of these cookies. For more information please read our Cookie policy.

Close Close banner
Back to top