Home Retail’s chief executive to step down

 
Kasmira Jefford
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HOME RETAIL Group’s chief executive Terry Duddy is to step down next year after more than 15 years with the household goods retailer.

The Argos and Homebase owner said yesterday that Duddy, who has served seven years as chief executive, will leave by the next annual general meeting on 2 July next year.

The 57 year-old has presided over a stormy period for the group, which has been hit by the slowdown in consumer spending and intense competition from supermarkets and online players such as Amazon.

Earlier this year the group launched a five-year turnaround plan in a bid to reverse five consecutive years of profit declines and pledged to turn Argos into a “digital-led” retail chain.

The chain has since seen an improvement, helped by its online drive and a surge in spending on electronic goods such as tablets.

“The positive momentum of the business is now such that I feel the time is right to move onto the next stage in my career,” Duddy said.

Chairman John Coombe will now lead a search for both internal and external candidates, which analysts said is most likely to include Argos managing director John Walden.

Analysts said Home Retail has had an “uncomfortable” structure since its demerger in 2006 – with a chief executive and a managing director of both retail chains – and it would be “more logical” for the head of Argos to preside over the entire company.