B&Q owner Kingfisher names new Chief Executive Officer

Mark Johnson's picture
by Mark Johnson

Kingfisher, the owner of do-it-yourself retail brands B&Q and Screwfix, has named Thierry Garnier as its new Chief Executive Officer.

The London-listed company has been on the hunt for a new chief since current incumbent Véronique Laury announced her intention to step down, earlier this year.

Garnier will be based at Kingfisher's headquarters in London and will join Kingfisher in the autumn. 

The effective date of his appointment will be announced as soon as it is finalised, the FTSE100 company said, however Laury is expected to step down by the end of September this year.

Carrefour experience

Kingfisher, which also owns the Castorama and Brico Depot DIY chains in Continental Europe, and Koçtaş DIY stores in Turkey, said Garnier is an experienced retailer having spent 20 years in senior roles at Carrefour, the French multi-national retailer. 

He is currently a member of the Carrefour Group Executive Committee and the Chief Executive Officer of Carrefour Asia, where he is responsible for over 350 stores in China and Taiwan, with 55,000 employees, and gross sales of over €6bn. 

In this role, he has established a successful track record of implementing business transformation in the face of significant competitive pressure and sector disruption. As the leader of Carrefour's Asian business since 2012 he has developed and executed a strategy oriented around innovative new digital capabilities, centralised buying, new format implementation, e-commerce and strengthening stakeholder relationships.

From 2003 to 2008, Thierry was the Managing Director of Supermarkets for Carrefour France, where he successfully rebranded the Champion supermarket format to the Carrefour Market fascia. 

This format was rolled out to 1,000 supermarkets in France, with sales of approximately €13bn. 

During this period he oversaw a significant improvement in performance by doubling non-food sales, investing in own-brand ranges, improving the pricing structure and restructuring the supply chain. Following this successful period, he became Carrefour's International Operations Director in 2008, with a broader remit including Asia, Latin America and various European countries.

"On behalf of the Board, I am delighted to welcome Thierry to Kingfisher”, Andy Cosslett, Chairman of Kingfisher, said. 

“He is a highly talented international retailer and proven business leader, with a strong track record over many years at Carrefour. 

“Throughout his career he has led significant businesses through complex change programmes while operating in competitive and rapidly changing retail environments.

"In what was a rigorous recruitment process, Thierry stood out for the Board from a strong list of candidates due to his recognised operational know-how at a multi-national retail business, his delivery of long-term value creation, and his experience in driving leading edge digital innovation, most recently in China.

"At Kingfisher he will take the reins of a strong and profitable business, and one which is also transforming to better serve its customers. In Thierry, we are convinced that we have found the right individual with the right skills to drive success from the platform that Véronique has established at Kingfisher.

"The Board and I would again like to thank Véronique for her energy, her vision and determination in driving the transformation, and for successfully laying the foundations for future growth."

Garnier said he was delighted to be joining Kingfisher at an exciting point of its development. 

“For over 20 years, I have had a great passion for retail, for retail teams, and for understanding and addressing changing customer behaviours. 

“I believe that the home improvement market provides great opportunity for us, and by harnessing Kingfisher's market leading positions and obvious strengths, consistently meeting our customers' needs, embracing our digital opportunity and driving innovation, I am confident that we can build an even stronger business for our customers, our colleagues and our shareholders."

Kingfisher's shares were trading 2.8% higher at £2.11 in London following the announcement.

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