Stephenson is responsible for the HR function and people agenda for over 8,500 employees across the UK and Ireland. Since 2016 Lookers has become the only automotive retailer to have attained the UK Top Employers accreditation, become a Stonewall diversity champion and a major national supporter of BBC Children in Need. Lookers has introduced a meaningfully different new benefits package including dramatically increased holiday provision, critical illness cover for all and a sector-leading twelve months full maternity pay. This has resulted in increased engagement and Lookers receiving some of the highest Glassdoor reviews in the country.
Prior to Lookers Stephenson spent seven years at DFS Furniture as group HR and property director. During that time the company has added over 1,500 new jobs via increased UK manufacturing and over 40 new stores, floated on the London stock exchange, expanded into Europe, raised over £6.5 million for charity through recycling sofas, and delivered over 800 nationally recognised qualifications to its employees. Stephenson also led a cultural transformation that led the company to be recognised as one of the UK’s Top Employers and to win numerous awards for its outstanding customer experience, including from the Institute of Customer Service.
Prior to DFS Stephenson held a number of HR and operational roles across retail and telecoms including, Vodafone, B&Q, Virgin and Dixons.
Stephenson is a trustee of national charity Citizens Advice, chairing the remuneration committee, has published academic work on consumer behaviour in conjunction with doctoral supervisors from Staffordshire University, and is a Stoke City season ticket holder currently working his way round the 92 grounds.