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Does Conviviality's hire of Argos COO mark an imminent sale?


Conviviality has poached Argos’s Chief Operating Officer David Robinson for the role of Conviviality Retail, the business unit focused on franchise store operations. 

He was a member of the Executive Board at the catalogue retailer’s parent company Home Retail Group and in his position as COO, was one of the architects of Argos’ Transformation Plan: leading the implementation of its strategic, operational and financial initiatives.  Prior to this, Robinson was Commercial Director and sat on the Argos Board. He also has experience as Commercial Director at Homebase, in senior roles with Dixons Stores Group and in running his own events management business for six years.

His start date will be confirmed in due course.

Conviviality Retail also appointed Mark Simmonds as CFO. He joins from Mitchells and Butlers plc where he was Director of Financial Planning and Analysis and will take up his role in March.

“I am delighted to welcome David as Managing Director of Conviviality Retail,” said Diana Hunter, Chief Executive Officer of Conviviality.David brings a significant track record of delivering results and has a wealth of experience in the retail industry.  David is ideally placed to continue to develop and grow the Retail business with our Franchise partners.

We are also pleased to welcome Mark as Commercial Finance Director for Conviviality Retail. We believe we now have a strong team in place to drive the Conviviality Retail business forward.”

“I am looking forward to working with the Conviviality team and the Franchisees to develop further opportunities and continue to drive growth in the business.” said Robinson. “I am also excited to explore how the recently acquired Matthew Clark business can help us accelerate these aims as more and more synergies are realised.”

Following Home Retail’s sale of Homebase to Wesfarmers last week, Robinson’s move is likely to fuel speculation that the sale of Argos to Sainsbury’s will go ahead.  The supermarket chain’s quiet bid to Home Retail was rejected in November, but the grocer is still vying for the retailer having outlined a clear proposal for the acquisition on the same day as its Christmas trading update earlier this month.

Published on Tuesday 26 January by Veebs Sabharwal

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