Bensons for Beds and Harveys have restructured their senior leadership teams as new boss Stuart Machin puts his stamp on the Steinhoff-owned chains.

Machin, who joined the South African conglomerate in August as chief executive of its UK retail home and housewares division, has created new chief operations officer and chief customer officer roles as he bids to drive the businesses forward.

Alan Williams, who has spent 19 years with Sleepmasters and Bensons and is the retailer’s current managing director, has been installed as Bensons’ chief operations officer.

Dean Simpson, who has worked for a string of food and apparel businesses across Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East, will take on the same role at Harveys.

Machin said Williams and Simpson would have responsibility for leading the stores and implementing the retailer’s strategies, including its customer, people and visual merchandising plans.

The group’s interim marketing director Henry Swift has been appointed to the newly created chief customer officer role.

He will be responsible for all aspects of the customer journey and will also lead the two retailers’ marketing and public relations functions.

Mark Jackson, the former finance boss of Pepkor UK, has joined as finance director for both brands, and Chily Fachler has been promoted from IT and process director to chief information officer.

Following the reshuffle, David O’Connor and Mark Cort will continue in their roles as commercial directors for Harveys and Bensons respectively, looking after all buying, merchandising and stock decisions for the two chains.

Debbie Jones retains her position as head of people, talent and development for the group, while Kalwant Singh will continue to serve as supply chain and logistics director, 18 months after joining from former Argos and Homebase owner Home Retail Group.

Following the changes, Machin revealed Harveys and Bensons for Beds would be launching an internal talent development programme as well as a women in leadership programme in order to “improve on our gender diversity throughout the business”.