23 May 2024, 03:04
By Furniture News Jun 26, 2015

Retail heavyweight steps in to lead Dunelm

John Browett, formerly of Tesco, Dixons, Apple and Monsoon, will join Dunelm on 1st July as chief executive designate, and will become CEO on 1st January 2016, following a six month induction period working with current CEO Will Adderley, when Will will revert to his former position as deputy chairman.

In addition, William Reeve will join the board as a non-executive director. William co-founded LoveFilm.com, and has been actively involved with businesses including Graze.com, Paddy Power Plc, Secret Escapes and Zoopla. William is currently co-CEO of Hubbub.com, an online grocery business.

Geoff Cooper, chairman, comments: "Dunelm has dealt admirably with the challenges brought by its strong growth, particularly since becoming a public company. It is a hallmark of Dunelm's approach that it has consistently developed, in advance, the capabilities necessary to sustain further progress. That approach has equally applied to the composition of the board, with a high priority given to board and management succession. Today's announcement reflects the outcome of the board's work to identify the leadership necessary to support our next phase of growth.

"In April of this year, we announced that Andy Harrison, already a non-executive director, will succeed me as chairman. Andy has been an outstanding CEO of three public companies, including a major global, consumer focused, FTSE 100 Plc and has vast depth and breadth of experience available to guide our management team as Dunelm continues to deliver for shareholders.

"I am delighted to welcome John Browett as our CEO designate. John brings an exceptional combination of business leadership together with outstanding retail skills across a breadth of sectors, from grocery to electricals and fashion. John also brings proven experience of applying technology in multichannel operations, which will help us accelerate our digital plans. As part of our succession planning work, he was identified as our preferred CEO candidate some time ago and, somewhat unexpectedly, only recently became available. Andy and John have worked together before on the board of easyJet plc, and John has spent considerable time getting to know Dunelm and the board.

"Will Adderley will remain actively involved in the business, allowing us to benefit from the combined skills of two of the best retailers of their generation. Will has, of course, prior experience working as our deputy chairman, focusing his management responsibilities and using his unique knowledge of both Dunelm and our sector under the direction of a CEO. In the past this has involved him spearheading work on people development, product development and site evaluation and acquisition.

"I am also delighted that William Reeve has agreed to join our board as a non-executive director. We have long searched for someone who can operate at board level and who has both an entrepreneurial mind-set and deep digital experience. William fits these requirements perfectly.

"The board has approached the challenges of board succession with considerable rigour. I would like to thank all my colleagues for their support to me, and the significant time and effort they have given to the task. I am particularly proud that the board has evaluated itself against the demands of the future rather than resting on the achievements of the past.

"Finally, I will retire from the board next month after nearly eleven years as chairman. It has been a great privilege to be associated with such a special company as Dunelm, created by Bill and Jean Adderley - I will miss it a lot. However, the future requires fresh minds, none more so than in the chairman's seat. I retire confident that the board has the skills, capabilities and culture to pursue Dunelm's continued growth."

Will Adderley, CEO, adds: "I am delighted that John and William have chosen to join Dunelm. We have laid out a clear medium-term ambition to grow sales by 50% to £1.5b, and to develop the best multichannel homewares business in the UK. The appointment of John as our next CEO is a major step towards realising this ambition."

John Browett concludes: "I am excited about joining Dunelm, a business with a strong track record and excellent growth potential. I look forward to working with its talented and experienced board and management team to deliver its ambitious growth plans."

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