DIY giant B&Q has poached Asda marketing director Katherine Paterson and appointed her to the board, reinstating a marketing role at that level for the first time in two years.
Paterson joins B&Q as marketing director later this year. Existing marketing director Warren Scarr, who does not sit on the board, will remain in the business but it is not known in what capacity. In 2008 he replaced Jo Kendrick, who previously sat on the board.
Paterson has nine years under her belt at the UK’s second-largest grocer in format development, ecommerce and marketing. Before joining Asda she worked at Mars.
One marketing expert said that returning the marketing role to the board signalled B&Q’s appetite to drive revenue.
“B&Q does a good job of improving profitability but marketing is all about top line sales,” he said, adding that Paterson was a “decent fit” with B&Q as both it and Asda are “firmly in the value part of the market, so they’re pretty much talking to the same type of customer”.
He said Paterson’s background in new formats would help B&Q in its quest to open smaller stores.
Kingfisher UK and B&Q chief executive Euan Sutherland said Paterson joins at an “exciting time in B&Q’s evolution”, when its strategy is “all about making it easier for our customers”. He added: “Marketing plays a vital role in this - making it easier for customers to turn their ideas into reality will grow demand for the future.”
Stephen Robertson, former B&Q marketing director and director- general of the British Retail Consortium, said: “It’s really important that businesses have a marketing function at board level. Getting the customer’s voice into every part of the business is essential.”
Asda said it does not yet have a replacement for Paterson.
News of the appointment came as John Colley, B&Q’s commercial and marketing director, steps down from the business to join Dutch retailer Maxeda DIY as chief commercial officer in November. Maxeda DIY has also appointed former Kingfisher executive George Adams as its new chief executive.
B&Q is now in the process of hiring a new commercial director to replace Colley.