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FODO announce new structure and first ever managing director

News posted: 12/02/2019

In response to growing membership across its eye and hearing care businesses FODO has announced a new company structure and the appointment of Harjit Sandhu as its first-ever Managing Director.

Harjit, who was previously Director of Policy and Strategy at the National Community Hearing Association (NCHA), will now run the four FODO businesses:  FODO, FODO Ireland, the NCHA and ophthalmology partnerships.

Harjit Sandhu said: “I am delighted to take on this key role with such a wide remit, especially at this important and challenging time for the eye and hearing health sectors.  We will continue to support sector growth and ensure that our members remain at the forefront of meeting the nation’s eye and hearing health needs by carving out new opportunities and tackling emerging risks head on.  FODO, the NCHA and FODO Ireland are all sector leaders and we are now ready to move to the next level.”

David Hewlett, current FODO CEO, will take up the new post of Director for Leadership, Transformation and Strategic Partnerships.  Ann Blackmore the current Director of Policy and Strategy at FODO is changing career direction and leaving the FODO Group to work as a consultant.

Commenting FODO UK Chair Lynda Oliver said:  “We are extraordinarily lucky to have Harjit re-joining the Optical Sector in this important leadership role at a vital time for eye care in the UK and Ireland.  There are few people with his combination of analytical, clinical and health economics skills, and he even has the advantage of having started out as an optometrist. ”

David Hewlett said:  “Harjit’s appointment is great news for the FODO businesses and for the wider eye health and hearing sectors.   From now on Harjit will run the FODO Group businesses and I will be moving from my current role as Chief Executive to focus on aspects of our work programme which it has not been possible to progress over the past few years as the FODO Group has expanded.

I would also like to pay tribute to Ann who has contributed so much over the past five years. Ann’s input on a wide range of issues demonstrates the value FODO membership brings to its members and the wider sector. We wish Ann well with her consultancy. I am certain she will be in great demand.”

Commenting on the plans, Peter Ormerod, Chair of NCHA and Garvan Mulligan, Chair of FODO Ireland both said their respective Boards unanimously backed the new Group structure.  Peter Ormerod said: “Harjit and David, both experts in health policy and strategy, have been crucial in providing support to and developing the hearing care sector. The new structure will make the NCHA even more agile at a time when more than ever the sector needs the NCHA’s support”. Garvin Mulligan added: “The optical sector in Ireland has gone through major changes in recent years and FODO has been instrumental in making sure government and regulators got those changes right. We are confident that this new structure will continue to serve us well”.