Kingfisher hires former Carrefour exec to lead French unit

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Kingfisher, the FTSE 100-listed home improvement company, has appointed Alain Rabec as CEO of Kingfisher France, which includes the Castorama and Brico Dépôt businesses. 

He will be responsible for over 200 stores, 20,000 colleagues and £4bn of sales (€4.5bn), the company said. 

He will join Kingfisher on 1 October and will also be a member of Kingfisher’s Group Executive.

Rabec is a highly experienced, operational retailer who has spent over 30 years in senior roles at Carrefour, the French retail group. 

Most recently (2016-2018) he was executive director of Carrefour Hypermarkets, where he was responsible for 230 stores with sales of €17bn. 

Previously, he was executive director of Carrefour Supermarkets where he was responsible for 1,000 stores.

Rabec successfully led the commercial and operational transformation of Carrefour’s supermarket business, leading a large-scale reorganisation of the business to make it more agile. 

In addition, he restructured the operations to make it more customer-orientated, revamped the product offer and introduced a new loyalty scheme. 

His earlier roles included sales and marketing director at Carrefour Supermarkets and several operational roles leading key Carrefour regions.  

Commenting on the appointment, Kingfisher’s new CEO, Thierry Garnier, said: “I am delighted to welcome Alain to Kingfisher. 

“He is one of the most experienced and respected retailers in France and will bring a wealth of deep operational experience to Kingfisher. 

“His knowledge of the French retail market is second to none. I am looking forward to working with him.”

Rabec said of his appointment: “I am very excited to be joining Kingfisher in France. “Castorama and Brico Dépôt are businesses with great potential and many growth opportunities ahead in an attractive market. 

“I look forward to working with the teams to build on that platform and deliver an outstanding offer for customers.”

The current CEO of Kingfisher France, Christian Mazauric, will be taking some time out from Kingfisher to recover from an operation. 

“Christian has led our companies in France, B&Q in the UK and Brico Dépôt in Romania, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his valuable contribution to Kingfisher”, Garnier said. 

“I look forward to welcoming him back to Kingfisher in the future.”

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