Former Somerfield managing director John Cleland is to join electricals specialist Maplin as chief executive at the start of next month.

The appointment reunites Cleland, who has also previously worked for Asda and B&Q, with serial dealmaker John Lovering who is chairman of Maplin and was Somerfield’s chairman.

The pair, along with Paul Mason, turned around Somerfield before selling it to The Co-op in 2009.

Cleland said: “I have been very impressed by the strength of Maplin in sourcing innovative products, offering great in-store customer service and operating as a lean effective organisation.

“I am excited to be leading the firm as it looks to accelerate its growth and performance over the medium term.”

Lovering said: “I am delighted that John is joining Maplin. We worked together at Somerfield and his all-round retailing and commercial skills are well known to me.

“He is a great leader and will be instrumental in implementing our growth plans on the high street and through multi-channels.

“As a highly profitable business with a strong balance sheet, we have a great opportunity to capitalise on the multiple growth opportunities ahead of us.”

Cleland will join Maplin, which is backed by private equity firm Montagu, on March 1.