Following the announcement of its H1 results and progress with the ’One’ programme, Kingfisher has revealed today that there will be a change in the leadership of its offer and supply chain organisation, with Arja Taaveniku being succeeded by Henri Solère.
Chief offer & supply chain officer Arja Taaveniku joined the group three years ago in order to create a consolidated product, buying and supply chain organisation as part of the One Kingfisher transformation plan. She was tasked with unifying ranges across the group through the extensive rationalisation of products and suppliers, and starting the development of new own brand products, unique to Kingfisher.
The five-year transformation plan has had significant impact on retail operations across the Kingfisher business, wiith Castorama France being the hardest hit. Profits tumbled more than 30% for Kingfisher in the first half.
The international home improvement giant’s results also reported that 42% of its offer had been ‘unified’ and expects that, by the year end, around half of all Kingfisher’s products will have been amalgamated, delivering “significant efficiencies” by consolidating its supplier base and increasing its own-brand portfolio. The official line from Kingfisher is that Ms Taaveniku “has recognised that it’s the right time to change the leadership for the function”. She will remain with the group for the next six months to ensure a smooth transition, the firm explained.
As part of the transformation and while continuing to unify the ranges, the next phase will further emphasise the development of a unique offer. Henri Solère has led two of the seven offer and supply chain categories under Ms Taaveniku, including the development of the unique product range in bathrooms, which delivered double-digit sales uplifts and good margin growth.
Mr Solère has built his career in the home improvement industry and has worked for Kingfisher for 11 years, holding a number of senior leadership roles within the group. He has been a member of the offer and supply chain leadership team since it was established.
Kingfisher CEO Véronique Laury said: “Arja has played an invaluable role in our transformation. We are on track against our targets for unified products and the new ranges are achieving improved sales and margins. Arja has our sincerest thanks and best wishes for the future.
“I am delighted to be able to appoint Henri. I have worked with him for over 15 years and am certain he has the right skills, knowledge and experience to lead the teams overseeing this next phase of developing unique product for our customers across all our categories.”
Arja Taaveniku, said: “My three years at Kingfisher have been amongst the most exciting and rewarding of my career. In creating a single design, product development and buying organisation, we have enabled Kingfisher to leverage its scale for the first time. We have developed the skillsets and the ways of working to create success for the future, and established the base for a unified supply chain to be rolled out. I’m very proud of these achievements and believe it’s now the right time to hand over to Henri. Henri has been an instrumental member of my leadership team and I trust that he will ensure the future success of the next phase of the development of the offer. I will be on-hand to help Henri transition into the new role.”