Poundland appoints Kevin O'Byrne as chief executive as Jim McCarthy retires

Catherine Neilan
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Poundland is getting a new boss (Source: Getty)

Poundland has appointed former B&Q boss Kevin O'Byrne as chief executive, replacing Jim McCarthy who will retire after 10 years in the role.

O'Byrne will initially join as chief executive designate from 4 April, taking on the full reins on 1 July. McCarthy will remain available to the board until he retires at Poundland's AGM in September.

Poundland's share price lifted one per cent on the news, as investors digested the succession plan.

O'Byrne left B&Q last March after he was pipped to Kingfisher's top job by Veronique Laury. He had been finance director of the group for four years before that, and was in the role for six years at Dixons. He is also the senior independent director of Land Securities Group.

McCarthy joined Poundland in 2006, growing the retailer from a £310m business with 146 stores to one with 900 stores, adding more than £1bn sales in the process. Last year it bought out rival 99p Stores, although profits slumped in November.

Poundland chairman Darren Shapland praised McCarthy, saying he 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."

Shapland added: "I am delighted that Jim is succeeded by an executive of Kevin's calibre. 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."

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