Former Kingfisher director Nigel Whittaker died on Saturday after a long illness.

Whittaker, 62, joined Kingfisher aged 34 and played a key role in the reinvention and expansion of the business following the legendary Paternoster deal.

He spent 13 years at the business where his roles included being chairman of B&Q and corporate affairs director.

Whittaker also played a prominent role on behalf of the entire retail industry as one of the leading lights in the campaign to liberalise Sunday trading, through involvement with the BRC and as an enthusiastic supporter of Retail Week – he was a member the magazine’s advisory board when it launched in 1989.

After leaving Kingfisher Whittaker went on to forge a career in public relations and corporate affairs. He was chairman of Burston-Marsteller UK and Edelman before co-founding ReputationInc.

In 2000 however, he was part of a consortium including former Tesco boss Lord MacLaurin that aimed to take control of Storehouse, the ailing owner of Bhs.