Wilko has unveiled a new senior leadership team as the company aims to drive strategic priorities and accelerate its turnaround after a prolonged period of hardship, which saw “difficult trading over the past two years”. 

Wilko Sunderland

The general merchandise retailer’s new CEO, Mark Jackson, said the business has quickly identified “significant changes to the Wilko operating model” and set up a more streamlined senior leadership team as a result. 

Jackson revealed the three priorities of Wilko’s new strategic plan: getting the business “in better shape”, driving sales both in store and online, and driving down operating costs.

The reshuffle of the leadership team sees Dave Murphy become chief financial officer, Amanda Jones promoted to chief operating officer and Deborah Rabey joining as interim chief customer officer.

Philippa McNamara will continue as managing director of the retailer’s product development unit Kin, Anne-Marie Haycock is now HR director and James Dorling continues as property, procurement and transformation director.

The shake-up in leadership follows recent news of the retailer cutting hundred of jobs and securing a £40m emergency funding lifeline from high street lender Hilco as it tries to recover from a decline in footfall, soaring inflation and shipment delays.

Jackson said: “To deliver our strategic priorities, we must remain focused and our leadership structure needs to be fully aligned to achieve this. Having now reviewed the current structure, we need to remove both the duplication of functions and operating costs. 

“As part of this review, we’ve had to take some necessary and difficult decisions as we create a new operating structure that helps stabilise the business, from which we can then drive the business forward.

“Having now announced the new top leadership functions, we’ve already begun conversations with the senior management team and wider organisation to implement the new structure. This includes some changes to our management structure at both our stores and head office.  

“Right now, we’re unable to confirm the scale of change as conversations are ongoing, but it will mean a number of roles will be made redundant to support the wider plan.

“We’re fully supporting affected individuals as a result of these changes. Such change will be unsettling to our team members and the wider business, and we’re acting swiftly to put in place the new organisational structure.”

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