Screwfix boss Andrew Livingston has quit the Kingfisher-owned DIY business to become chief executive of Howden Joinery Group. 

Livingston, who spent four years in charge of the 500-store retailer and oversaw a period of rapid growth, will be succeeded by Screwfix operations and property director Graham Bell.

Bell, who has held roles within the Kingfisher group for 18 years and been on the board for more than a decade, previously worked at stablemate B&Q before moving across to Screwfix. 

Livingston’s departure comes following a raft of other exits from the DIY giant.

B&Q boss Michael Loeve, Kingfisher chief of sales and operations Jean-Paul Constant and B&Q retail director Damian McGloughlin have all quit Kingfisher since the turn of the year.

McGloughlin, who exited last month after 32 years with the business, jumped ship to become chief operating officer at B&Q’s new UK rival Bunnings.

The B&Q and Screwfix-owner is in the process of implementing a five-year transformation plan – One Kingfisher – masterminded by group chief executive Véronique Laury.

A Kingfisher spokesman said: “We are delighted that Graham will become chief executive of Screwfix.

“The business has strong succession planning in place and it is a testimony to the pipeline of talent that we are able to make an internal appointment.”

‘Outstanding’ track record

Howdens, which boasts former Co-op chief executive Richard Pennycook as chairman, said Livingston will succeed current boss Matthew Ingle when he retires “in the first half of 2018”.

Ingle will remain at Howdens in the role of honorary lifetime president.

Livingston said: “I am delighted to be joining Howdens. I have always admired the brand and I look forward to building on the excellent foundations to drive the business through its next phase of development and create further value for all its stakeholders.”

Pennycook added: “I am very pleased to be able to welcome Andrew to Howdens.

“Andrew has developed an outstanding strategic and operational track record at Screwfix which, like Howdens, has developed great relationships with its trade customers.

“Under his leadership, Screwfix has shown very strong organic growth, at the same time as a significant trade counter rollout programme.

“Andrew’s appointment is a result of a rigorous and wide-reaching process conducted as part of our succession planning and we look forward to him leading Howdens through the next stage of its development.”