Wickes appoints ex-Asda COO King as MD

Home & DIY retailer Wickes has today named Simon King as its new Managing Director (MD).

The experienced retail executive, who in the past has held senior roles at Safeway and Tesco, and who was most recently Chief Operations Officer (COO) at Asda, joins the Travis Perkins group five months after leaving his previous role.

King shocked the retail industry and The City when he left his position at Asda in the summer after just six months in the job, and was replaced by Judith McKenna.

A statement released by the supermarket at the time said that things just did not work out between the two parties and that “his impact wasn‘t being realised as quickly as we hoped”.

King‘s appointment is one of a number of senior management changes at Travis Perkins announced today, with the majority of role changes involving promotions within the business‘ plumbing & heating and merchanting divisions.

Meanwhile, former MD Jeremy Bird has been promoted to the new role of Divisional Chairman for the group‘s consumer arm, which encompasses Wickes, Tile Giant and associated multichannel business ToolStation.

Geoff Cooper, CEO of Travis Perkins, commented: “These moves represent a significant strengthening of the capabilities of our outstanding team of senior executives.

“The pace of our development and growth requires our executives to continuously improve their skills and impact in their current roles. To achieve a promotion in these circumstances is truly outstanding.

“I am delighted that we have been able to continue to build on our previous success by promoting talented people from inside the group to their new roles.”

Reflecting on the other appointments, including the arrival of King, Cooper said that attracting external candidates showed the strength of the group‘s brand.

“The fresh talent we have been able to attract to our group is also a testament to the success we have achieved against a backdrop of challenging economic conditions,” he noted.

“I am sure these top executives will continue to make important contributions to our continued growth.”


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