Bob Darke, the former chief executive of collapsed electricals retailer Comet, is relocating to Thailand to run 100-store electricals chain Power Buy.
Darke, who will be based in Bangkok, will take over the new role of managing director of the chain, which is owned by Thailand’s biggest retail conglomerate Central Retail Group, in May.
Speaking to Retail Week, Darke said he has been given a brief to expand the business, which was launched in 2006 and currently only has stores in Thailand. He did not rule out the possibility of international openings, saying: “Watch this space”.
His appointment follows a reorganisation of CRG that aims to promote growth across its portfolio of interests, which includes a number of department stores in Thailand as well as La Rinascentre in Italy and Illum in Demark, and a grocery and convenience group, under the Tops, FamilyMart and Central Food Halls brands.
It also has a speciality retail division which, alongside Power Buy, comprises stationers Office Depot, home improvement chain homeWorks and construction industry supplier Thai Watsadu, booksellers B2S and Page One, which is based in Singapore, and sports clothing and equipment retailer SuperSports.
Comet veteran Darke took over as chief executive in May 2011 amid mounting speculation that the beleaguered chain would be sold or significantly scaled down. He held a variety of roles, including head of marketing, at Comet over a decade. Comet went into administration in November last year, with all stores closed before Christmas.
Darke is understood to have been placed at Power Buy by recruitment firm Agora Group International.