Soon to retire Tesco chief executive of retailing services Andrew Higginson has joined the boards of N Brown and Poundland. What will he bring in his new roles?

While the 55-year-old Tesco chief executive of retailing services Andrew Higginson will hang up his boots at the UK’s biggest retailer on September 1, as he retires from the board and executive committee, 2012 looks like being anything but quiet for him.

Higginson, who was previously Tesco finance director, will join home shopping group N Brown as chairman in September, taking over from Colin Smith OBE. Smith is to become non-executive director of Poundland, where the two will shortly make acquaintances again - as a former chief executive of Safeway, Smith was of course formerly one of Higginson’s competitors.

Higginson was finance and strategy director at Tesco from 1997 until 2008 and is credited with making an important contribution to Tesco’s moves into Asia and online. From 2008, in his services role, he led the development of Tesco Bank and the extension of Tesco’s online offer both to general merchandise and clothing, and to Korea and Ireland.

Of his departure, which was announced last year, Higginson declared that having completed 15 years on the board, plus what at the time was anticipated as establishment of the bank as a standalone entity, it seemed an “appropriate moment to hand over, and move on to the next phase of my career.”

For Poundland – which has ambitious aspirations both in the UK and Ireland and potentially beyond – Higginson brings both a wealth of global experience and also a strategic take on building a rapidly expanding value business.

Meanwhile his appointment at N Brown will, the retailer will hope, stem rumours that the business may be put up for sale following the looming double departures of chairman Lord Alliance and chief executive Alan White. Steeped in the online Tesco business, he will also be able to bring a wealth of e-commerce experience to the Figleaves-to-Simply Be owner.