Ikea has appointed Gillian Drakeford to the role of country manager for the UK and Ireland.
She will take up the position on Thursday, and joins from Ikea’s China business where she was previously country manager.
Drakeford has been at Ikea for 26 years and formed part of the management team that opened the company’s first UK-based store in Warrington. Since then she has gone on to work across the Far-East in China and Hong Kong for the past decade.
At present, Ikea’s Beijing store receives the highest number of Ikea visitors in the world.
Ikea said that Drakeford had taken an ‘incisive’ approach to management and added “As a leader, Gillian has a genuine belief in people working together and successfully developed local senior leadership in the Ikea stores in China.”
Ikea said the appointment of Drakeford ‘supports Ikea’s continued ambition for increased diversity within the company’s senior leadership’.
The retailer also stated that the retailer has grown in share from 6.4 per cent to 6.8 per cent under her leadership.
Ikea north central Europe region retail manager Jeanette Söderberg said: “I would like to thank Carole for carrying through the assignment as acting country manager in the UK and Ireland with a dedicated heart and mind, strong common sense, thorough way of working and clear leadership. I am also happy to welcome Gillian to the UK and Ireland. Her personal capabilities, experience and energising leadership will be of great support in delivering the UK and Ireland’s strong business agenda”.