Poundland appoints former B&Q boss as CEO


Former B&Q Chief Kevin O’Byrne has taken up a new post as CEO of Poundland, where he will replace Jim McCarthy who will retire after a decade in the job.

O’Byrne will initially join as Chief Executive designate from 4 April, taking on the full list of responsibilities on 1 July. McCarthy will remain on the board until his retirement at Poundland’s AGM in September. 

O’Byrne left B&Q last March when Veronique Laury beat him to the top spot as parent company Kingfisher’s boss. He had served as Finance Director of the group for four years before that, and was in the role for six years at Dixons. 

McCarthy joined Poundland in 2006, taking the value retailer from a £310m proposition with a 146 store-estate to one with 900 stores, adding over  £1bn in sales in the process. Last year it acquired smaller rival 99p stores.  

Poundland Chairman Darren Shapland said McCarthy had “skilfully guided the business from a small private operation in 2006 to the strong and growing business it is today”.

“On behalf of the whole company I would like to thank him for the enormous contribution he has made to the business.”

“I am delighted that Jim is succeeded by an executive of Kevin’s calibre,” added Shapland. “Kevin’s retail experience, in both the UK and many international markets, together with his clear leadership skills, make him the outstanding candidate to lead the business as it continues to grow as a public company.”