Focus chief executive Bill Grimsey is to become chairman at the DIY chain with managing director Rob Gladwin taking over as chief executive.

The retailer has also drafted in two big hitters to beef up its management team.

Chris Morgan, currently finance director of Tesco in the Czech Republic, joins as chief financial officer, replacing Andrew Unitt. Morgan has been at Tesco for 16 years and will join Focus on June 21.

Brian Robbins, who was previously at Home Depot, the world’s largest DIY retailer, holding vice-president roles in merchandising and sourcing, takes up the position of chief commercial officer responsible for trading and marketing.

Gladwin has been at Focus since 2008 and was previously managing director of Travis Perkins’ Benchmarx business. Prior to that he was retail operations director at Wickes. Grimsey said Gladwin is a “talented retail leader who is ready for the challenges ahead in the next phase of the recovery”.

Grimsey oversaw a CVA in order to dispose of its non-trading “dark” stores. At the time Grimsey said Focus would have collapsed if it had not managed to offload the stores that were costing the retailer £12m a year.

He said: “Good progress has been made in the past two and half years against very difficult economic conditions. We have managed to survive the recession and create a new look Focus for future development.”

Grimsey added he will still be the “face of the retailer” and be “very actively involved” in it. He insisted he would not take on any other directorships at other companies just yet. “I am passionate about this. It is a full time role,” he said.

When Grimsey was appointed Focus chief executive by owners private equity firm Cerberus in July 2007 the plan was for him to become chairman sooner, but Grimsey said the recession delayed the strategy.