Kingfisher’s U.K. Chief Philips Leaves in Management Shakeup

Kingfisher Plc (KGF), Europe’s largest home-improvement retailer, said the head of its U.K. B&Q chain left after almost two decades as part of a management shakeup.

Martyn Phillips, who joined the company in 1994 and became chief executive officer of B&Q U.K. and Ireland in April 2011, departed by mutual agreement, a Kingfisher spokesman said today.

Kevin O’Byrne, CEO of B&Q and the Turkish Koctas business, “will assume direct leadership” of the British and Irish units from today, London-based Kingfisher said in a statement.

Phillips leaves the company as B&Q struggles to contend with weak consumer confidence in its domestic market, along with competition from online bathroom retailers and discount stores. Same-store sales in the U.K. and Ireland fell 1 percent in the first half, also hurt by cold spring weather.

“Our customers and our market place continue to evolve very quickly and so now more than ever B&Q needs to redouble its efforts to ensure continued success,” Chief Executive Officer Ian Cheshire said in the statement. “This move allows Kevin to focus fully with the team on the performance of B&Q and driving key initiatives to improve our customer offer.”

Cheshire will take direct responsibility for Kingfisher’s businesses in China and Turkey, according to the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gabi Thesing in London at gthesing@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net

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