Electricals etailer AO World has reshaped its top management as it seeks to make the most of existing business strengths and chase new opportunities.
AO has promoted Danny Emmett to the new role of UK chief operating officer while Alpay Guener takes up the same role in Europe. They join chief brand and people officer Michael Bates, who took up that post late last year, reporting to chief executive Steve Caunce.
The management restructure, at a one-off cost of £1.4m resulting from associated departures of unnamed executives, came as AO gears up to build its brand in the UK and internationally and considers extending its business-to-business offer in fields such as third-party logistics.
In the next few months AO will reveal a “new brand platform” following customer research that has enabled “a new direction aimed at illustrating our strengths”. Existing customers rate AO highly and are repeat shoppers, but “overall levels of spontaneous and prompted brand awareness are low”.
The new marketing push means AO is about to “embark on a really exciting journey, becoming even more widely trusted, famous for our difference and loved by our customers”.
Caunce said the changed team structure better reflected a changing company, with retail operations in Germany and the Netherlands as well as the UK, and new businesses such as recycling and third-party delivery, while keeping to AO’s core purpose “to have the happiest customers by relentlessly striving for a better way”.
He said: “Our business is more complex and we have to structure ourselves accordingly. We’re looking at what’s next and we see an opportunity to sell our services and expertise to other people so long as there’s not a negative effect on the AO brand. We now have the team in place to do that.”