Veteran Kingfisher executive George Adams is to leave at the end of next month as new group chief executive Ian Cheshire begins to reshape the retail giant.

Industry sources speculated that he decided to go after being overlooked as Cheshire’s natural successor to head Kingfisher’s flagship B&Q chain, but the suggestion was rejected by Kingfisher insiders.

Cheshire, who took over as chief executive in January, is likely to make changes to Kingfisher’s group structure and organisation as part of his recovery strategy.

It is understood that Adams’ role as managing director of European development, as well as chief executive of the UK trade division, did not fit with the structure being developed by Cheshire. Although he was offered alternative roles, Adams decided to move on.

Cheshire thanked Adams for his contribution over 15 years at Kingfisher. He said: “George has successfully carried out a number of important roles during the evolution of the business.”

He added that more change was likely. He said: “I’m looking at the structure and, when it’s finalised, it will create some movement.”