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Employee Ownership Association appoints The 1:1 Diet Managing Director as new Chair

Posted: 15/10/20 by Cambridge Weight Plan

Employee Ownership Association appoints The 1:1 Diet Managing Director as new Chair

Chris McDermott, managing director of The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan, has been appointed as the new chair of the Employee Ownership Association (EOA).

Officially beginning his role at the next board meeting on October 22, Chris will be taking over from former John Lewis Partnership director of communications, Simon Fowler, who has been chair for the past decade.

Chris (pictured here) brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from leading The 1:1 Diet, which transitioned to a 100 per cent employee owned business five years ago.

The EOA Chair appointment will act as an extension of Chris’s expertise, not detracting from his role as MD at The 1:1 Diet, where he has worked for the past 17 years in various positions, and five years as MD.

In 2019, The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan won the Employee Owned Business of the Year in the UK Employee Ownership Awards.

The company has 237 employees (who are called Employee Stakeholders) and 6,500 independent consultants across the UK and ROI, each offering vital one-to-one support to dieters, as well as a range of flexible weight loss plans to help people achieve their goals.

Judges praised The 1:1 Diet’s continued evolution of its culture, engagement and performance, which last year saw it record a 75 per cent employee satisfaction rate, a 23 per cent increase in turnover and 10 per cent profit distributed in dividend to all employee stakeholders.

Chris McDermott said: “There has been encouraging growth in employee ownership – which offers huge benefits to individuals, businesses and the economy – with 50 per cent of transitions to employee ownership happening since 2017.

“However, there is still enormous untapped potential for employee ownership to help tackle key economic and social issues in the UK – the pandemic has only heightened the need for these benefits to be realised.

“During the pandemic in my own business we really felt the value of the trust built up through years of employee ownership, which meant we have been able to quickly adapt, make decisions and use the ’power of ours’ to make sure everyone is doing what is needed, now and in the future.”

Deb Oxley, chief executive of the Employee Ownership Association, said: “We warmly welcome Chris to the role of chair and look forward to drawing on his insight and leadership to support both the growth of the EOA and the understanding of and respect for employee ownership and the role it has to play in supporting the UK to build back better.

“Our profound thanks go to outgoing chair Simon Fowler whose dedication as a director on the EOA’s board for the past 16 years, and as chair for the past 10 years, has driven a multitude of positive impacts for the EOA, its members and the EO sector as a whole.”

For more information on The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan, please visit More about the Employee Ownership Association, please visit

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