Comet strengthens board ahead of spring demerger

Electricals retailer Comet has restructured its management board and reorganised the business ahead of its demerger from Kingfisher this spring.

The changes follow the appointment of managing director Simon Fox, who will take up his role on Wednesday.

Two prime areas of business focus have been created under the new structure - supply chain and stores. Fox said the reorganised business will put the customer 'at its heart'.

Two newly-appointed deputy managing directors will drive each side of the business forward. Tom Barry is promoted to deputy managing director, operations, and will be responsible for stores, after sales and home delivery.

Hugh Harvey, also promoted internally, will oversee the supply chain and supplier relations as deputy managing director, commercial.

Fox's former position of sales director, and the role of development director - previously held by Peter McTague - will not be filled.

Fox said the new structure will be more streamlined and that more training will be given to store managers.

Both the new deputy managing directors will report to Fox, who will - in turn - report to the chief executive of KESA, Kingfisher's electricals division, Jean-Noel Labroue.

CSFB analyst Nathan Cockrell said: 'There has been uncertainty about which way the business would go, so Kingfisher has kept the management structure flexible. Now they are sure it's going to go to a demerger, it's time for them to shape the business accordingly.'