Howden Joinery Group Plc has announced that Screwfix Direct CEO Andrew Livingston will replace founder and CEO Matthew Ingle when he retires next year after 22 years with the group.
Andrew Livingston held the role of commercial and ecommerce director at Screwfix from 2009 to 2013. Previously he was commercial director and chief operating officer of Wyevale Garden Centres Plc and, before that, commercial director of kitchens and bathrooms at B&Q. Mr Livingstone is an independent non-executive director at LondonMetric Property Plc.
"Having founded Howdens in 1995, Matthew has been its driving force for more than 20 years,” commented Howdens chairman Richard Pennycook. “On behalf of the board and all our colleagues, I thank him for his exceptional leadership. In addition to building a strong business whose culture is testament to his character, he has created outstanding shareholder value. In recognition of his unique contribution to Howdens the board has asked Matthew to become Howdens' honorary Lifetime President.
"I am very pleased to be able to welcome Andrew to Howdens. He has developed an outstanding strategic and operational track record at Screwfix which has developed great relationships with its trade customers. Under his leadership Screwfix has shown very strong organic growth at the same time as a significant trade counter rollout programme. Andrew's appointment is a result of a rigorous and wide-reaching process conducted as part of our succession planning and we look forward to him leading Howdens through the next stage of its development."
Andrew Livingston said: "I am delighted to be joining Howdens. I have always admired the brand and I look forward to building on the excellent foundations to drive the business through its next phase of development and create further value for all its stakeholders."
Matthew Ingle said: "Selling kitchens trade-only to builders was a new concept in 1994 and I must thank Derek Hunt from MFI for having faith in us and for backing the idea. When Howdens first started trading a year later with just 40 people and five kitchen ranges I could not imagine the journey we would undertake. Thanks to our builder customers we grew quickly, weathered both the problems with MFI in 2005 and the financial crisis to emerge as a business which in the past few years has grown strongly and invested significantly in its future.
"Howdens is well set for the future and I believe that now is the right time for me to step down and pass the baton on to Andrew. I am very pleased that I will continue to be in touch with Howdens in the role of Lifetime President."
Mr Ingle founded Howdens in 1995 with just 14 depots and first year sales of £1m. Under his leadership the company has grown strongly and consistently; in 2016 the company reported annual sales of more than £1.3bn, profit before tax of £237m and more than 450,000 account holders. Howdens currently operates from 650 depots across the UK and sees scope for up to 800.
Howdens confirms that it will announce its results for the first half of 2017 on 20 July 2017.