Travis Perkins poaches advocacy group leader as new chair

Travis Perkins Wickes Jasmine Whitbread
// Travis Perkins hires Jasmine Whitbread as new chair
// She will replace Stuart Chambers, who took up the role of chairman in November 2017
// Whitbread is currently the chief executive of London First

Wickes and Toolstation parent company Travis Perkins has unveiled the replacement for Stuart Chambers as chair following a “rigorous” selection process.

The DIY retailer has appointed Jasmine Whitbread as the new chair.

Whitbread is currently the chief executive of London First but will leave the organisation on March 30.

READ MORE: Travis Perkins sales rise thanks to DIY demand

Chambers took up the role of chairman in November 2017 after joining the board two months beforehand.

He announced his resignation in October and is now due to step down on March 31.

Travis Perkins said the appointment followed a “rigorous and wide ranging” selection process using an external search firm.

“On behalf of the board I would like to thank Stuart for his outstanding leadership of the board,” Travis Perkins senior independent director Pete Redfern said.

“Stuart has expertly guided the board as it has shaped the group’s strategy.

“He leaves Travis Perkins having ensured a strong, capable board is in place with the skills and experience required to meet the future demands on the business.”

From 2005 to 2015, Whitbread was chief executive of Save the Children UK and has also worked with Oxfam, Rio Tinto, Cortex and Thomson Financial.

Redfern said: “Jasmine has over a decade of experience on the boards of large public companies for whom she has chaired key committees.

“She brings extensive leadership, third sector and commercial experience with exceptional strength in managing stakeholder relationships including with investors, governments, customers, partners and teams.”

Travis Perkins witnessed an 8.6 per cent increase in like-for-like sales in October and November after it bounced back from store closures as part of a restructuring exercise.

The company said it has benefited from ongoing strong demand across the DIY market which has resulted in strong sales at its Wickes and Toolstation chains.

Despite this, sales at its specialist merchants in BSS, CCF, Keyline and the large contract side of its P&H business have recovered more slowly.

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