Poundland has unveiled a change at the top with long-serving boss Jim McCarthy to be replaced by former B&Q chief Kevin O’Byrne.

Long-serving boss Jim McCarthy to be replaced

McCarthy, 60, who has spent a decade as the value retailer’s boss, has told Poundland’s board he wishes to retire, but will remain available to the board until September.

O’Byrne left B&Q last year after three years as boss

Kevin O’Byrne

O’Byrne left B&Q last year after three years as boss

O’Byrne will become chief executive designate from April 4, then formally take over on July 1.

McCarthy’s exit comes after a turbulent six months for Poundland in which its share price has nearly halved, as competition in the value sector has intensified.

The group also faced a delay over acquiring its rival 99p Stores after the Competition and Markets Authority launched a ‘phase 2’ investigation into the deal.

Profits tumbled

In January Poundland warned that full-year pre-tax profits were likely to come in at the lower-end of expectations. In its first-half, the retailer reported a 26% tumble in underlying profits.

However, during McCarthy’s time he has built Poundland up from 146 stores with £310m sales to more than 900 stores and added an extra £1bn in sales.

Poundland’s chairman Darren Shapland said: “Jim has skilfully guided the business from a small private operation in 2006 to the strong and growing business it is today.”

He added: “His energy, enthusiasm and passionate management style has touched many people during his successful tenure.”

McCarthy said: “Poundland is a strong business, which I am privileged to have had the opportunity to lead through a period of significant growth and change.”

“Great potential”

His successor, O’Byrne, who left B&Q last year after three years as boss of the Kingfisher-owned DIY retailer, said Poundland is a “strong brand” with “great potential”. 

He added: “Jim and his team have built a very good business. I look forward to working with the talented and experienced management team to deliver its ambitious plans.”

O’Bryne is also a former chief financial officer at Dixons and is currently a senior independent director at Land Securities.