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Wilko Appoints Jerome Saint-Marc As CEO

Jerome Saint-Marc 725 x 500.jpg

Home and garden needs retailer wilko will be 90 years young this year.  It’s a major milestone and an opportunity for the family owned retailer to reflect on the shape of leadership required to deliver the next chapter of the company’s transformation. 

To support this clear direction, wilko has appointed a Chief Executive Officer to lead the business forward. wilko is delighted to announce the promotion of internal candidate Jerome Saint-Marc to this position.  

Jerome will deliver the day to day leadership, energy and alignment around wilko’s strategic repositioning to reinvent the company’s customer proposition to take on a stronger product-focussed orientation delivered to customers through omnichannel retailing. 

Accompanying Jerome on the wilko Holding Board are current incumbents: family director and Chair Lisa Wilkinson, Alex Russo Chief Finance Officer (CFO) and Chris Martin and Dalton Philips Non-Executive Directors.  Alex Russo, as CFO, will continue to work alongside Jerome and (in addition to Finance) have Executive responsibility for the Property, IT, Logistics, Legal and Compliance functions.  Both Jerome and Alex will report directly to Lisa as Chair of the wilko Holding Board. 

Commenting on the new CEO appointment, Lisa Wilkinson said; “As Group Transformation Director, Jerome is already a high performing and widely respected member of our leadership team and has played a key role in both the development and delivery of our long-term strategy and programme of change. More recently he’s taken on greater commercial responsibility as Managing Director of wilko.com.  We’re confident this appointment set us up well to keep sorting the needs of hard-working families in their homes and gardens through greater product focus.” 

Jerome’s first step as CEO was to further strengthen the wilko senior leadership team with two key appointments to retail and trading respectively. 

Christian Ward has been appointed Retail Director. Christian has over 25 years expertise in retail transformation, most recently as Chief Commercial Officer of Jollyes Pet Superstores steering the retailer through a period of substantial growth.  Prior to this Christian held key leadership and transformation roles at Marks & Spencer, B&Q and Tuffnells. 

Speaking about his appointment as wilko Retail Director, Christian said; “This is an exciting time to be joining the wilko team. I’m looking forward to helping the team deliver on their promise to free up hard-working families to be the best they can be.” 

This appointment also means a fond farewell to Craig McGregor as he chooses to return to fashion retail.  

To support a complete reinvention of the customer offer, internal candidate Alison Hands has been promoted to the position of Trading Director. Alison, currently Commercial Implementation Director, joined wilko 18 months ago having previously, held several commercial leadership roles with retailers including The Body Shop, Walgreens Boots Alliance and Boots Opticians. 

Alison has responsibility for all commercial functions at wilko including retail design, buying, sourcing, merchandising, quality, packaging and retail design. Commenting on her promotion, Alison said; “I believe the best way we can free up hard working families to be the best they can be is through great products at great prices; products that provide our customers with true value and my team and I are intent on doing just that.” 

The move to a CEO leadership model will also see Andrew Moore step down as Chief Commercial Officer. Commenting on his departure, Lisa said; “We were very lucky to persuade Andrew to come out of retirement and as a holding board we’re greatly appreciative for the leadership and support he’s provided to us during the past year. He’s helped us to lay stronger commercial foundations for our future growth and we wish him all the very best for the future.” 

Commenting further about his new role Jerome said; “I’m excited by the privilege and opportunity this role brings.  It’s the brief of a lifetime to work with a household brand that is 90 years young, to transform it to meet the needs of consumers today in their homes and gardens and to lead one of the biggest private family owned companies in the UK.  For all the challenges facing UK retail today at wilko we still believe Britain is a nation of shopkeepers and shoppers and still believe the high street has an important role to play in helping local communities to thrive. 

“I see my job as building a strong team here at wilko; a team intent on aligning to deliver great value to our customers, meeting their needs, helping them to get their jobs done in their homes and gardens through product that simply helps with respect for their hard-earned cash delivered to them in an omnichannel way.”

Source : wilko

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05 February 2020

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