Matalan names new chair and chief executive
Fashion and homeware retailer Matalan has appointed Jo Whitfield as chief executive and Karl-Heinz Holland (pictured) as chair.
Whitfield previously worked as chief executive of the Co-op’s Food division where she was responsible for its retail, wholesale, online and franchise businesses, as well as the property division.
Prior to that, she held a range of senior leadership positions at Asda and also worked as head of finance at Matalan between 2002 and 2008.
At Matalan she will succeed Nigel Oddy who will be concluding his interim chief executive role on 31 March.
Meanwhile, Holland has been working since 2018 as chairman of European discount fashion retailer Takko Fashion. From January 2021 until April 2022, he also served as Takko’s executive chairman and chief executive.
He previously spent 23 years at Lidl Group and worked for six years as its chief executive until 2014. His career has also included serving as chief executive of DIA Group, a network of 5,700 neighbourhood stores across Spain, Argentina, Brazil, and Portugal.
Michael Phelps, partner at Tresidor Investment Management, one of the anchor investors in Matalan, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Karl-Heinz and Jo have joined Matalan to oversee the next stage of the company’s development.
“Anyone close to the retail world will know the experience and focus that both Karl-Heinz and Jo will bring to their roles. They have a proven track-record of making positive impacts in value retail and are the perfect fit for Matalan as it focuses on this next stage of its growth. They will provide strong leadership and know-how which will help accelerate the transformation of the company.”
The appointments mean that Paul Copley will step down from his interim chair role but will remain on the board as a non-executive director. In addition, Chris Mallon will step down from his non-executive role on the board.
Phelps added: “I’d also like to thank Paul Copley and Nigel Oddy who acted as the company’s interim chair and chief executive respectively, throughout its recent strategic sales process, as well as Chris Mallon for his diligent efforts over the last few months. Nigel’s leadership was instrumental in steadying the ship during a challenging time for Matalan.”
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