Kingfisher has appointed Vodafone’s Karen Witts as group finance director.

Witts, who is currently Vodafone’s chief financial officer for Africa, Middle East, Asia and Asia Pacific, joins the DIY giant’s board in October.  She replaces Kevin O’Byrne who will become Kingfisher divisional chief executive, B&Q.

Kingfisher said Witts has “significant financial, operational and international experience”.

A chartered accountant, Witts has held her position at Vodafone since June 2010.

Kingfisher group chief executive Ian Cheshire said: “I am delighted that Karen is joining Kingfisher. She has an outstanding financial and operational background at BT and Vodafone, where her international experience will be very helpful.

“Her appointment will complete the group executive team at Kingfisher. It is a strong, diverse senior management team, ready for the next phase of our growth plan under Kingfisher’s ‘Creating the Leader’ programme.”

Witts said:  “It is a great opportunity to be joining a growing, international retailer at such an interesting time in its development.  I look forward to working with the Board and the Group Executive to help deliver Kingfisher’s ‘Creating the Leader’ plan.”

Witts has previously worked at BT Group for more than 10 years.

She has also worked at Grand Metropolitan (now Diageo) and Mars Electronics International, as well as The Observer newspaper.