Floorcoverings giant Carpetright has overhauled its management team resulting in a new boss being appointed and the exit of founder Lord Harris and two directors.

Carpetright has hired Wilf Walsh as chief executive with effect from July 21. He has 20 years experience including eight years as managing director of Coral and six years at HMV.  

Founder Lord Harris is to retire from the board in September, along with his son Martin, who joined Carpetright in 1991 and holds the position of group development director. Martin Harris is leaving to “pursue other business opportunities”.

Graham Harris – no relation to Lord Harris – is also to leave the retailer, which he only joined a year ago. His position of chief operating officer has been made redundant.

The changes follow the departure of Darren Shapland last October. He was only in the chief executive role for 17 months.

Lord Harris said: “I will be 72 this year and shareholders will be aware that I have been planning a managed handover of my responsibilities for some time. 

“I am delighted that Wilf Walsh has agreed to join Carpetright as chief executive.  He has strong retail and online credentials and a successful track record in managing multi-site consumer-facing businesses.  I am confident that I will be leaving the business in safe hands.”

Walsh is currently chairman of Fortuna Entertainment Group, a listed betting and gaming group operating in Central Europe. He steps down from the role next month.

Walsh said: “Carpetright is a great brand and I am looking forward to working with the team to drive profitability and share going forward. Lord Harris has 56 years in the carpet business and will be a hard act to follow but the market-leading position he has built for the business is an excellent place from which to start.”

Lord Harris, at present executive chairman, will become non-executive chairman of Carpetright from July 21 before retiring at the retailer’s AGM September 4. He will remain available to Walsh in an “advisory capacity thereafter”, Carpetright said.

A search for a new chairman will now begin. The retailer said if it has not appointed a new chairman by the time of the AGM, Baroness Noakes, at present deputy chairman of Carpetright, will become interim chairman “until such time as a permanent appointment is made”.

Carpetright appoints new boss as management team overhauled