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Ex-CFO of Sainsbury's to become Carpetright's new CEO

Darren Shapland was also the former FD at Carpetright before he moved to Sainsbury's

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Darren Shapland, Sainsbury’s former chief financial officer, is to take over as chief executive of Carpetright, as its long-standing CEO quits, the company said on Friday.

Philip Harris is to step down as chief executive of Carpetright, after 24 years at the helm, Britain's biggest floor coverings company said.

Carpetright said on Friday that Harris, who founded the group in 1988 and has been selling carpets for over half a century, would remain as chairman.

Harris, a self-made millionaire, prominent education philanthropist and Conservative Party supporter, who sits in the Lords, will be 70 this year.

Carpetright, which has issued two profit warnings this year as cash-strapped Britons cut back on discretionary spending, said Shapland, currently a non-executive director, would take over as CEO on 14 May.

Shapland was Carpetright’s finance director from 2002 to 2005, leaving to join Sainsbury, initially as FD and then as group development director.

"He (Harris) is a hard act to follow," said Sheila Noakes, Carpetright's senior independent director, who will also assume the role of deputy chairman from 14 May.

A spokesman for Carpetright said Harris would initially work four days a week as chairman before gradually reducing his day-to-day role.

Harris' son Martin is the company’s commercial director.

Shares in Carpetright were up 0.5 percent at 621 pence at 11:46 a.m., valuing the business at about £421 million.


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