Former B&Q chief financial officer Regis Schultz, at present boss of French food-to-homeware retailer Monoprix, is one of the top candidates to succeed Véronique Laury as Kingfisher chief executive, Retail Week understands.
He is understood to be one of the final contenders, alongside former Direct Line chief executive Paul Geddes.
Schultz is a Kingfisher veteran and held the roles of chief financial officer, commercial director and chief operating officer at B&Q from 2005 to 2008. He was originally brought in to oversee the restructuring of the British DIY chain before moving on to take the helm at French retailer BUT, formerly part of Kingfisher’s electricals arm.
He joined Monoprix, where he is chair and chief executive and oversees 600 stores in approximately 250 towns.
Schultz was also previously chief financial officer and chief operating officer at Kingfisher-owned Castorama in charge of logistics, IT and property, format and development.
Schultz would bring a wealth of relevant experience to Kingfisher. However, it is thought that Kingfisher is considering whether it would be best to appoint someone who brings experience from other consumer industries beyond retail, which could give Geddes an edge.
Sources told Retail Week that opinion was divided at Kingfisher over the CEO succession. Geddes has strong support from the UK division of Kingfisher, while Schultz is preferred by their French counterparts.
Kingfisher said earlier this year that Laury would stand down, but did not state exactly when. She has attempted to turbocharge performance through her One Kingfisher strategy, but profits fell last year and the plan has been questioned by investors.
A Kingfisher spokesperson declined to comment.