Kate Swann

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Kathryn Elizabeth Swann (born 1964)[1] is a prominent English retail executive. And until July 2013, was the Chief Executive of WH Smith. She is now the Chief Executive of SSP

Early life[edit]

Born in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, Swann graduated from the University of Bradford in 1986 with a BSc in Business Management. She was ranked number 21 in the Financial Times Women in Business, Europe's top 25, in 2006. She received an honorary doctorate from the University of Bradford in July 2007. [2]


Swann was made Chief Executive of food & beverage operator SSP Group in September 2013, having been CEO of WH Smith since November 2003. She previously held positions with Tesco Plc as a graduate trainee in 1989, Homepride Foods, Coca-Cola Schweppes and Dixons Stores Group. She then worked for Homebase, ultimately as Managing Director, and in 2000 was made Managing Director of Argos.

In 2006 Fortune listed her as one of the 50 most powerful women in business.[3]

In April 2015, Swann was announced as the new chancellor of the University of Bradford.[4]

Personal life[edit]

She lives in Bishop's Stortford and is married to Michael, a manager at Sainsbury's, with two daughters (born August 1995 and April 2003). They married in May 1987 in Bishop's Stortford.


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