Home and garden needs retailer Wilko appointed Jerome Saint-Marc as its first ever CEO to help “lead the business forward”.
Wilko said Saint-Marc 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 through omnichannel retailing.
Accompanying Jerome on the Wilko’s holding board are family director and chair Lisa Wilkinson, Alex Russo CFO and non-executive directors Chris Martin and Dalton Philips.
Russo, as CFO, will continue to work alongside Saint-Marc and will have executive responsibility for the Property, IT, Logistics, Legal and Compliance functions. Both Saint-Marc and Russo will report directly to Wilkinson as chair of the Wilko holding board.
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.”
Wilko also announced Saint-Marc’s first step as CEO was to further strengthen the company’s senior leadership team with two key appointments to retail and trading respectively.
Christian Ward has also been appointed as retail director. Ward has over 25 years expertise in retail transformation, most recently as CCO of Jollyes Pet Superstores steering the retailer through a period of substantial growth. Prior to this he held key leadership and transformation roles at Marks and Spencer, B&Q and Tuffnells.
Additionally, Alison Hands has been promoted to the position of trading director. Hands, 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.
The move to a CEO leadership model will also see Andrew Moore step down from his role as CMO.
Saint-Marc 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.”
He added: “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.”