Michael Topham: Chief Executive OfficerAppointment: September 2018
Michael is Chief Executive Officer of leading UK sustainable waste management company, Biffa plc. He joined Biffa in 2010, was appointed Chief Financial Officer in 2013, and subsequently CEO in 2018.
Under Michael’s leadership, Biffa has created a strong purpose: ‘to change the way people think about waste’. Michael is committed to helping solve the UK’s waste challenge and understands the key role the sector has in tackling the climate emergency. Biffa has become the most efficient, low-carbon commercial waste collection platform in the UK, has strengthened its market leading position in closed-loop plastic recycling and has become a leader in the redistribution of surplus produce, following its acquisition of Company Shop Group. In 2020 Michael oversaw the launch of Biffa’s first sustainability strategy, ’Resourceful, Responsible’ which has given the company an ambitious plan with clear targets, setting a high bar not just for the business but for the waste sector as a whole.
Michael successfully steered Biffa through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, making sure its key workers were protected and essential services were delivered while maintaining financial resilience and continuing to deliver the company’s growth strategy. In March 2020, under Michael’s leadership Biffa entered the FTSE 250, reflecting the business’s progress since listing in 2016. Michael is a Chartered Accountant and Director of the Environmental Services Association (ESA).
Michael was appointed Chairman of the Environmental Services Association (ESA) in November 2023, leading the sector’s response to the Government's plans to deliver higher levels of recycling and decarbonise the industry.
Maxine Mayhew: Chief Operating Officer, Collections & Specialist ServicesAppointment: April 2022
Maxine leads Biffa’s Collections and Specialist Services divisions. Using her significant experience, Maxine is focused on growing both businesses in line with their strategy.
Prior to joining Biffa in April 2022, Maxine was previously the managing director Natural Resources at Costain Group plc, where she was responsible for the water, energy and defence sectors as well as Costain’s consultancy proposition. Her experience also involves senior roles at companies including Karbon Homes, Northumbrian Water Group and United Utilities. Maxine is the senior independent director at Low Carbon Contracts Company and Electricity Settlements Company and is a council member at Cranfield University.
Paul James: Chief Financial Officer
Appointment: September 2023
Paul joined Biffa as Chief Financial Officer in September 2023, leading both Biffa’s Group and Divisional Finance teams accountable for the financial stewardship of the company and working with the senior leadership team to deliver the strategy.
Prior to joining Biffa, Paul held the role of CFO at Genuit Group plc, a FTSE 250 company, where he helped steer the business through the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and significant cost inflation. Paul has also held senior management roles at Currys plc and Inchcape plc, and spent the greater part of his career as an expatriate senior manager with British American Tobacco plc, living and working in the Netherlands and Russia for over a decade. Paul is a Chartered Accountant, having trained with Ernst & Young.
Mick Davis: Chief Operating Officer, Resources & EnergyAppointment: September 2010
Mick was appointed Chief Operating Officer, Resources & Energy with effect from April 2019, having previously held the role of Managing Director of the RR&T Division from September 2010. He is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Resources & Energy Division and the development of new facilities, including the EfW plants. In addition, he has oversight of the Group’s Environmental strategy as well as being a trustee of the charity Biffa Award.
Jane Pateman: Group HR DirectorAppointment: December 2010
Jane joined Biffa in 2010 having worked as Group HR Director for several FTSE listed companies, proving strategic HR direction and implementing HR programmes to deliver business benefits and growth. At Biffa, Jane focuses on its people strategy and her responsibilities include wellbeing, employee relations, learning and development, employee engagement, diversity & inclusion and rewards & benefits. Under Jane’s leadership Biffa’s employee engagement score has doubled since 2011 and the Group is committed to supporting the Living Wage, creating a Living Wage Workplace across the Group.
Jane is also a non-executive director of the legal and professional services business, Knights plc.
David Gooding: Chief Information OfficerAppointment: July 2011
David was appointed Chief Information Officer in April 2020, having previously held the role of Group IT Director from July 2011. David has worked in the waste industry for 15 years. In his role David is responsible for IT services, IT strategy, the development of management information, project governance, and leading Project Fusion, the current initiative to improve the Group’s systems and processes, and Group innovation.
Sarah Parsons: General Counsel and Company SecretaryAppointment: June 2019
Sarah joined Biffa in June 2019 as General Counsel and was appointed Company Secretary on 11 July 2019. She is responsible for managing legal risk and in supporting the Chairman and the Board in maintaining high standards of corporate governance. She joined Biffa from Rotork plc, where she was Senior Legal Counsel and Company Secretary. Prior to that, Sarah spent a number of years in Australia as a senior in house counsel at ANZ Bank. She began her career in London at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner where she spent more than a decade as a corporate M&A lawyer. Sarah is qualified as a solicitor in England and Australia.