Spotlight on: Jason Gissing, Ocadoco-founder


Haven't I seen him with Boris and Dave?

You are right. Jason Gissing was once a member of Oxford University's exclusive dining club, the Bullingdon Club, as was the PM Mr Cameron and London mayor Boris Johnson.

What is his day job?

Well, after spending eight years as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs, Mr Gissing co-founded the online grocer Ocado, with fellow bankers Tim Steiner and Jonathan Faiman.

How's he done?

Pretty well, as he lives in London's swanky Bayswater and still owns 17.3 million shares, or 3.27 per cent of Ocado. The company floated at 180p in July 2010. On the downside, the fast-growing online grocer, which delivers Waitrose products, has not yet made an annual pre-tax profit and its shares, at 85.6p yesterday, are down sharply since the IPO.

Why is he in the news?

Well, Mr Gissing has got a new job at Ocado in the newly created board role of commercial director, with responsibility for its retail activities, including buying and supplier relationships. The reshuffle follows its finance director Andrew Bracey jumping ship to the same position at the recruiter Michael Page.

Didn't Mr Gissing want to be Ocado's FD?

Well, he once was when it was privately held. But he has also said: "I would rather shoot myself than be a finance director of a listed company."

Will he have the joy of speaking to the press?

Don't bet on that either. Despite his previous job title of director of people, culture and communications, he was in effect gagged from speaking to journalists before the float, largely due to his colourful quotes.

Such as?

He once joked that his previous job title "makes me sound like someone from Leonid Brezhnev's politburo".

What a pity

Indeed, as Mr Gissing is good company and was the person at Ocado who engaged with and did the most to educate the press about it before it became a listed company.