Lord Harris steps down as CEO of Carpetright
Lord Harris is standing down as chief executive of Carpetright, the carpet and flooring business he founded 25 years ago. He will be succeeded by former SainsburyÂ’s director Darren Shapland.
Shapland, who was Carpetright’s finance director from 2002 to 2005, will take over as CEO from Monday with Lord Harris remaining as chairman of the company.
Carpetright has issued seven profit warnings in just over a year and said last month that its full year profits would fall to between £3 million and £4 million, from the £12 million to £17 million forecast last autumn.
Shapland left Carpetright in 2005 to take up the role of finance director at Sainsbury's. However, he rejoined the business last year as a non-executive director despite being considered a prime candidate to succeed Sainsbury's CEO Justin King. This led to speculation that Shapland would eventually succeed Lord Harris although Shapland denied this at the time.
Lord Harris said: "I am delighted that Darren has agreed to become chief executive of Carpetright. He was an outstanding finance director of the group from 2002 to 2005 and knows our business well.
"Since leaving Carpetright he has had extensive experience at J Sainsbury plc, first as finance director and then as group development director. I am confident he will make a huge contribution to the future of the business."
Carpetright also announced that Baroness Noakes, its senior independent director, will assume the role of deputy chairman.
Lord Harris added: "I am also pleased that Baroness Noakes has agreed to stay on the board as deputy chairman in order to assist the board with the transition of roles and responsibilities."
In further changes to the board, Carpetright said that executive directors Claire Balmforth and Andy Corden had stood down with immediate effect although they will retain their full executive responsibilities. The company said the sole reason for them stepping down was to retain an appropriate balance between executive and non-executive directors for corporate governance purposes. The Carpetright board will now comprise a chairman, three executive directors and four non-executive directors.
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