The UK boss of Lloydspharmacy Mark James has stepped down as the pharmaceutical retailer appoints its fourth managing director in two-and-a-half years.

James left the business yesterday after less than a year as managing director of Lloydspharmacy UK’s parent company Celesio UK. He has been replaced by the managing director of the group’s Irish division Cormach Tobin with immediate effect.

James was appointed to lead the UK arm of the pharmaceutical retailer in April last year as the company revealed a new Celesio UK country board structure which included its wholesale division AAH, where James had been group managing director.

Prior to this former Woolworths boss Tony Page had headed the business as Lloydspharmacy managing director from February 2011 but left almost a year later in January 2012.

Before Page, the business was without a boss for a year after Richard Smith exited the business in 2010.

Lloydspharmacy declined to say why James exited the business but a source close to the situation said his lack of retail experience had contributed to his departure.

Lloydspharmacy has been the subject of huge change of late. Two of its top team - chief commercial officer Steve Gray and business efficiency director Philip Streatfield - left in May last year and shortly after the company made 120 head office redundancies.

But more recently, the retailer has attempted to boost business by trialling a more service-led offer and a store refresh across its whole European store estate. But it emerged it had closed its trial Healthcare Villages in Thurrock and Brent Cross.