Carpetright’s founder and chief executive Lord Harris of Peckham is to step down from day to day running of the the retailer. He will become non-executive chairman.

He will be succeeded by Darren Shapland, a former Carpetright and Sainsbury’s finance director who is at present a non-executive director. Shapland will take up his new role this Monday, May 14.

It was widely believed Lord Harris’ son Martin Harris, who is currently commercial director at the retailer, was being groomed to take over as chief executive. He will remain on the board as group commercial director.

Lord Harris said: “I am delighted that Darren has agreed to become chief executive of Carpetright. He was an outstanding finance director of the group from 2002 to 2005 and knows our business well.

“Since leaving Carpetright he has had extensive experience at J Sainsbury, first as finance director and then as group development director.

“I am confident he will make a huge contribution to the future of the business.”

Carpetright has restructured its board further, appointing Baroness Noakes Carpetright’s senior independent director as deputy chariman, also from Monday.

Executive directors Claire Balmforth and Andy Corden have stepped down from the board with immediate effect but retain their executive responsibilities for the UK and European business respectively.

The retailer said the reason for the changes was to keep the right balance between executive and non-executive directors on the board for corporate governance reasins.

The board now comprises a chairman, three executive directors and four non-executive directors.

Baroness Noakes said: “The non-executive directors have been discussing the chief executive succession with Lord Harris for some time and are very pleased that Darren has agreed to take on the role.

“Lord Harris has been in the carpet business for over 50 years and he has built Carpetright from scratch since 1988. He is a hard act to follow and the Board is also pleased that he will stay with the company as chairman.”