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B&Q owner Kingfisher appoints IT chief to board

Anh Nguyen | Oct. 14, 2013
DIY chain in Europe wants to accelerate its omni-channel strategy

B&Q owner Kingfisher has appointed Steve Willett, who took over the IT responsibilities from former CIO Mike Bell earlier this year, as a director on the board.

In a senior management overhaul today, Willett, the company's chief executive of group productivity and development, has also been put in charge of B&Q's omni-channel operation, in addition to his group IT responsibilities.

The group operates an in-house omni-channel system alongside supply chain management software JDA and is working to roll out SAP's Business Suite on a centralised HANA platform.

As well as Willett's appointment, Kingfisher announced that Kevin O'Byrne will become the new chief executive of B&Q in UK and Ireland, replacing Martyn Phillips, who is leaving the group after 19 years.

Ian Cheshire, Kingfisher's chief executive, said: "Our customers and our marketplace continue to evolve very quickly and so now more than ever B&Q needs to redouble its efforts to ensure continued success.

"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, including the acceleration of the omni-channel strategy."

O'Byrne is a director at Kingfisher, which owns a number of brands across Europe, including Screwfix in the UK, and is deputy chairman of Kota?, the company's joint venture in Turkey.

To support his move, Cheshire will now assume responsibility for the company's businesses in China and Turkey.

According to Kingfisher, CIO Mike Bell departed the company having "fully achieved" the aims of transforming the Kingfisher IT Services (KITS) strategy. KITS focused on data centre consolidation and centralising of IT operations in order to drive efficiencies across the group.


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