The duo that created Brico Depot, DIY giant Kingfisher’s French chain aimed at trade customers, are to leave at the end of this month.

Chief executive Patrick Langlade and commercial director Philippe Bon built the business into an 89-strong chain, following the opening of the first Brico Depot store in 1993.

Their departures are the latest high-profile exits looming at Kingfisher. Managing director of European development and UK trade George Adams and Asia chief Steve Gilman are also leaving.

Some observers fear that new Kingfisher chief executive Ian Cheshire’s hopes of turning the store group around may be affected by the loss of company veterans. However, a Kingfisher spokesman said that the Brico pair are retiring – Langlade is 60.

Their intentions had been known for some time and a succession plan implemented.
Brico Depot deputy chief executive Philippe Blanc will succeed Langlade as chief executive. Blanc is well known to UK analysts and investors from hosting visits to Kingfisher’s French operations. He has worked at Brico since 2000, when he joined as director of strategy and organisation.

Kingfisher chief executive Ian Cheshire said: “I would personally like to thank Patrick and Philippe for their commitment, enthusiasm and retailing passion in developing Brico Depot into the successful brand that it is today.”