Specialist carpet and floorcoverings retailer Carpetright has appointed Wilf Walsh to its board as chief executive, with effect from 21st July 2014. Wilf's career includes 20 years of retail/consumer experience, including eight years as MD of Coral and six years at HMV. Most recently, he has been chairman of Fortuna Entertainment Group NV, a listed betting and gaming group operating in Central Europe.
Lord Harris of Peckham, currently executive chairman, will become non-executive chairman of Carpetright, and will then retire from the board at the conclusion of the company’s AGM on 4th September. Lord Harris will remain available to Wilf in an advisory capacity thereafter.
A search for a new chairman has commenced, reports Carpetright – if it has not been concluded by the time of the AGM, Baroness Noakes, currently deputy chairman of Carpetright, will become interim chairman until such time as a permanent appointment is made.
Lord Harris says: “I will be 72 this year, and shareholders will be aware that I have been planning a managed hand-over of my responsibilities for some time. I am delighted that Wilf Walsh has agreed to join Carpetright as chief executive. He has strong retail and online credentials and a successful track record in managing multi-site consumer-facing businesses. I am confident that I will be leaving the business in safe hands.”
Wilf adds: “Carpetright is a great brand and I am looking forward to working with the team to drive profitability and share going forward. Lord Harris has 56 years in the carpet business and will be a hard act to follow, but the market-leading position he has built for the business is an excellent place from which to start.”
Additionally, Martin Harris, who joined Carpetright in 1991 and has been on the board since 1997, latterly as its group development director, will step down from his post and the board at the conclusion of the AGM and will leave to pursue other business opportunities. Also, Graham Harris, who was appointed to the board in October 2013 as its chief operating officer, has left the company with immediate effect as this role has become redundant given the appointment of the new chief executive.