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Carrefour Veteran To Join Britain's Kingfisher As New Chief Executive

By Dayeeta Das
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British home improvement retailer Kingfisher has named Thierry Garnier as its new chief executive, hoping the Carrefour veteran can revive its fortunes and battered share price.

Kingfisher, whose main businesses are B&Q and Screwfix in Britain and Castorama and Brico Depot in France and elsewhere, is in the fourth year of a five-year programme designed to boost earnings.

However, after profits fell in the 2018-19 period, the group said in March it was abandoning its £500 million (€558.81 million) targeted profit improvement and would part company with Véronique Laury, its CEO since 2014.

Shares in Kingfisher, which have fallen 31% over the last year, rose as much as 3.4% in early trading on Thursday.

Garnier, who has spent 20 years in senior roles at the French multi-national retailer, will join Kingfisher in the autumn, though the date is yet to be finalised. Laury will step down as CEO by the end of September.


Career Profile

Garnier, 53, is a member of the Carrefour group executive committee and since 2012 has been CEO of Carrefour Asia, where he is responsible for over 350 stores in China and Taiwan, with 55,000 employees, and gross sales of over €6 billion.

On Monday Carrefour agreed to sell 80% of its Chinese operations to electronics retailer for €620 million ($705 million).

Garnier also previously oversaw Carrefour France's supermarkets and its international operations.

"Throughout his career he has led significant businesses through complex change programmes while operating in competitive and rapidly changing retail environments," said Kingfisher chairman Andy Cosslett.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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