Kingfisher has found its first chief customer officer in former McDonald’s executive Pierre Woreczek.
Woreczek has a ten-year history at McDonald’s before leaving two months ago. Most recently he served as Chief Strategy, Customer and Digital Officer, and now plans to apply his skills to the ‘One’ Kingfisher plan.
“This is a great opportunity to join a business at a really interesting stage in its development,” said Woreczek. “I look forward to working with all the teams to continue Kingfisher’s journey to create good homes by making home improvement accessible to everyone.”
Kingfisher is not the only retailer to adopt the role Woreczek will be taking on. Tesco, John Lewis, British Airways and others have introduced the role of ‘chief customer officer’; a post designed to streamline the customer’s journey from marketing to transactions.
“Being customer centric is not enough,” Woreczek continued. “People are judging organisations with more elements in their hands so now I’m talking about winning the advocacy battle. We need to be more focused on advocacy.
Profit will only happen if people understand the value of a company and can buy into those values. Corporate strategy has become more important than brand strategy… companies are the engine of the brands.”
“I am delighted to welcome Pierre to Kingfisher,” said Véronique Laury, Kingfisher’s Chief Executive Officer. “He is a highly experienced international executive with a strong track record in marketing, operational and customer‐facing roles. I look forward to working with him as we develop the ‘ONE’ Kingfisher plan and become a single, unified company where customer needs always come first.”
The appointment comes at an unsure time for Kingfisher. As the new owners of Homebase, Westfarmers, plan to inject £242m into the brand, Homebase’s new “soft home improvement” offering could create significant competition for Kingfisher’s main brand, B&Q.
With the new hiring, as well as an announcement this week that it would be improving its customer engagement strategy, customer-centricity would appear to be Kingfisher’s main focus as it prepares for this rivalry.