Challenger management consultancy Shape Beyond launches

14 September 2021 2 min. read
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Former ASOS Chief Financial Officer Helen Ashton has launched a management consultancy in the UK. Based in London, Shape Beyond will work as a strategic transformation partner to ambitious businesses.

For the best part of three decades, Helen Ashton has worked to help retail businesses adapt to their ever-changing markets. Skilled in transformation, finance, leadership, retail, financial services, and business strategy, she has a demonstrated history of working in a range of C-Suite roles in listed and private equity portfolio companies. Now, she has decided to put that expertise to work with the launch of a new consulting brand.

Following 25 years of transforming complex, high-growth organisations, Ashton has founded Shape Beyond, a consultancy which is relevant in a rapidly changing business environment. Operating as a strategic transformation partner, the firm will supplement strategic thinking with operational expertise, hands-on experience and bench strength to support high-growth, ambitious organisations.

Helen Ashton, CEO of Shape Beyond

Ashton, who takes on the role of CEO at Shape Beyond, said, "Continuous evolution is vital to organisational success in today's never normal world. We partner with purpose-driven, brave leaders to create sustainable value. We help them adapt at pace to stay ahead of the curve. And we embed change in their culture to create a lasting impact.”

Most recently, Ashton worked as Group CEO for commercial laundry, catering and heating company JLA – holding that role since 2019. Before that, she spent three eventful years with UK fashion retailer ASOS, where she was CFO, before a surprise departure in early 2018. During her tenure, the value of the business more than doubled to £6.5 billion with top line growth in excess of 30%. Continuing this, not long before her exit, Asos had reported a three-month 30% rise in sales to £790.4 million.

Earlier in her career, Ashton also held senior roles with Capquest, Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays, and Asda. Thanks to these experiences, she has deep knowledge of the retail industry and is a passionate advocate of digital transformation and agile, diverse cultures.