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.
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 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.
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.”
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.