Internal moves for Tesco’s senior staff, Bonmarché poaches its new boss from Asda and Harrods veteran Michael Ward steps down.
Moves of the month
First is the news that Tracey Clements is taking over the leadership of Tesco’s convenience business from Tony Reed as part of Dave Lewis’s ongoing transformation of the grocer.
Reed – a Tesco lifer of 39 years – is the latest in a growing list of Tesco stalwarts to make way for the new wave of executives who Lewis trusts to shape the retailer’s future.
Previously customer strategy and insight director, the move represents a big step up for Clements who has become a key member of Lewis’s inner circle and is earmarked as one of the business’s future leaders.
Don’t be surprised if in a couple of years’ time the highly intelligent Clements is trusted with an even bigger role.
Second is the appointment of Asda’s highly regarded senior buying director Helen Connolly as the replacement for Beth Butterwick as boss of Bonmarché.
Connolly has forged a reputation as ‘one to watch’ in the industry during a successful stint at Asda, and despite not having held a board-level role to date, she has in her favour experience of leading a large team at George.
This, coupled with her depth of experience in fashion buying, would seem to make her an ideal fit to take the helm at Bonmarché.
Yet Butterwick’s are big shoes to fill and Connolly should be prepared to undergo a steep learning curve in her first chief executive role.
Harrods veteran steps down
in a month awash with eye-catching moves the news that Michael Ward is to leave his role as managing director of Harrods cannot be allowed to pass without comment.
Ward has been a pillar of stability for the iconic retailer throughout the past decade, skillfully managing Harrods’ affairs under the eventful Al Fayed regime and most recently under the ownership of Qatar Holding.
He’s also proved himself a terrific retailer, keeping Harrods relevant and delivering strong financials throughout the recession and out the other side.
I’ve no doubt his services will be in high demand in the future.
Promotion of the month
…is for Ian Kellett who is taking over from Nick Wood as chief executive of Pets at Home following Wood’s decision to return to London to be closer to his family.
With experience both of running Pets at Home’s retail division and as the retailer’s chief financial officer, Kellett brings with him an unrivalled knowledge of the business and the news that Wood is staying on until July in an advisory role suggests this is a carefully crafted succession plan.
Following Kellett’s promotion, Peter Pritchard, currently chief operating officer for the retail division, will step up to take on Kellett’s role as chief executive of the retail division.
And it’s goodbye from
…one of the titans of value retailing, Jim McCarthy, who has decided to retire from the Poundland business he has run for ten years.
McCarthy has overseen a period of tremendous growth for Poundland, taking the business from a relatively niche retailer to a major high street player generating in excess of £1bn pounds in sales every year.
The canny McCarthy may have taken his leave at just the right time with the retailer’s share price tanking amid falling profits, fierce competition in the discount sector and problems integrating the 99p stores business.
Former B&Q boss Kevin O’Byrne is the man tasked with building on McCarthy’s impressive legacy.
It’s always tempting for the new owner of a business to start with a clean slate, but Wesfarmers seems to be taking the concept to the extreme in its boardroom makeover of Homebase.
Last month it was reported that the excellent Echo Lu has left the chief executive’s role just a year into her tenure with a host of other senior executives set to follow to be replaced by personnel from Wesfarmers’s Bunnings business.
On the one hand this is perfectly understandable: Wesfarmers has little interest in retaining the Homebase brand, nor it seems its business culture, and so why shouldn’t it ditch the top team for a ready-made Bunnings replacement?
Yet for all that Bunnings is admired in Australia for its outstanding customer service, strong range and keen pricing – qualities that will resonate with a UK audience – there is an inherent risk in eschewing any kind of continuity in leadership.
Bunnings may be an excellent business Down Under but the UK is a different market and it’s hard to believe that the cumulative wealth of local knowledge held by the current Homebase executive team is not worth tapping into.
Westfarmers ‘carte blanche’ approach is a bold one, but not without its risks.
People moves in March 2016 – the list in full
|Job Role||Company Exiting||Company Joining||Job Role|
|Béatrice Lazat||human resources director, Asia Pacific||L’Oréal||Kering||human resources director|
|Echo Lu||managing director||Homebase|
|Mark Lynch||director of supply chain||internal promotion||BrightHouse||operations director|
|Kevin O’Byrne||Poundland||chief executive designate|
|Jim McCarthy||chief executive||Poundland|
|Jonathon Brown||chief executive||MandM Direct||PhotoBox||chief operating officer|
|Ben Stimson||partnership registrar||John Lewis Partnership||Waitrose||retail director|
|Guy Colleau||operations director for ‘big box’||Kingfisher|
|Alain Souillard||operations director for ‘medium box’||Kingfisher|
|Tony Reed||convenience retail director||Tesco|
|Neil Ritchie||global commercial fiinancial director||Dyson Group||Mulberry||group finance director|
|Roger Mather||group finance director||Mulberry|
|Tracey Clements||customer strategy and insight director||internal promotion||Tesco||managing director for convenience and chief executive of One Stop|
|Steve Anderson||operations director||Celesio UK|
|Alistair Cochrane||interim project director||Amey||Parcelforce Worldwide||operations director|
|Michael Ward||managing director||Harrods|
|Roger Mclaughlan||managing director||Toys R Us||Wyevale Garden Centres||chief executive|
|Kevin Bradshaw||chief executive||Wyevale Garden Centres|
|Janet Saunders||vice president/general manager of the Clinique, Origins and Darphin brands||internal promotion||Estée Lauder||vice president/general manager commercial|
|Lee Williams||director of finance||Asos||French Connection||group finance director|
|Chris North||managing director||Amazon||Shutterfly||North President and Chief Executive Officer|
|Mike Iddon||chief financial officer||New Look|
|Nick Wood||chief executive||Pets at Home|
|Ian Kellett||chief executive officer for the retail division||internal promotion||Pets at Home||chief executive|
|Peter Pritchard||chief operating officer for the retail division||internal promotion||Pets at Home||chief executive of the retail division|
|Michelle Le Prevost||managing director||Black & Lizars||Oasis Dental Care||mergers and acquisitions manager|
|Jean-Philippe Bailly||director of supply chain and procurement||Richemont||Kering||chief operating officer|
|Jonathan Miller||chief financial officer||internal promotion||McColl’s||chief executive|
|Neil Alexander||chief executive||PKR||Secret Sales||chief financial officer|
|Susannah Bosanquet||managing director||owner of lifestyle PR agency in Milan||McArthurGlen||director of communications & PR|
|Helen Connolly||senior buying director||Asda||Bonmarché||chief executive|
|Richard Campbell||customer director||Rank Group||Mamas & Papas||chief marketing officer|
|Maria Hollins||global product and trading director||Asos||House of Fraser||executive director for buying and design|
|Simon Pickering||trading director||Fat Face|
You can call Tony Gregg on 01564 796830 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tony Gregg is chief executive of the Anthony Gregg Partnership. Founded in 2003 and located in Henley-in-Arden and London,The Anthony Gregg Partnership specialises in the consumer search market space.