Warehouse Group picks B&Q boss as new chief

New Zealand-based discounter Warehouse Group has poached Kingfisher executive Ian Morrice to be managing director and chief executive.

B&Q managing director, commercial, Morrice was touted last year as a possible replacement for B&Q chief executive Bill Whiting. However, he was pipped to the post in November by the then B&Q managing director, commercial, Rob Cissell.

Morrice will take the reins at Warehouse Group after the year-end in July, following the resignation of company founder Stephen Tindall, who has been acting managing director for the past year.

Warehouse Group chairman Keith Smith said Morrice had a strong track record in the UK as a leading contributor to B&Q's market share and earnings growth over the past three years. Morrice was managing director, B&Q Warehouse from 2001 to December last year, when he was promoted to replace Cissell.

He began his career as a trainee manager at Dixons in 1978 at the age of 17, and spent five years at Woolworths before joining B&Q.

Warehouse Group comprises three brands, and had a turnover of NZ$2.04 billion (£695.2 million) in the year to July last year, and profit of NZ$75.4 million (£25.7 million). Its main fascia, The Warehouse, has a turnover of NZ$1.35 billion (£460 million) and 80 stores.

The Australian chain of the same name comprises 130 stores, and achieves turnover of NZ$519.4 million (£177 million). The smaller Stationery Warehouse business has 39 stores and sales of NZ$164 million (£55.9 million).

The company has been trading for more than 20 years.