11 September 2014
Dunelm Group plc ("Dunelm" or the "Group")
Dunelm Group plc, the UK's leading homewares retailer, announces that Nick Wharton has resigned his position as Chief Executive and is stepping down from the Board. Will Adderley, currently Executive Deputy Chairman, is to resume the role of Chief Executive with immediate effect.
Will Adderley joined the Board in 1992, took over the running of the Group in 1996 and remained as Chief Executive through its IPO in 2006. He moved into the role of Executive Deputy Chairman in 2011, a full time role in which he supported the executive management team on a range of operational and strategic projects, with a focus on long-term strategy.
Geoff Cooper, Chairman, said:
"In almost four years under Nick's leadership, Dunelm has taken great strides forward. His strong marketing, process and operational focus has significantly strengthened the customer offer while at the same time creating a robust infrastructure, more sophisticated retail systems and a more advanced multi-channel proposition. At the same time, a high quality operational management team has been put in place, and the strong growth and momentum of the business has continued. These achievements are reflected in the strong share price performance during Nick's tenure which, with the level of cash returns, has delivered excellent value for shareholders. The Board extends its sincere thanks to Nick and we wish him all the very best for the future.
Nick's work in establishing an excellent operational and commercial platform has enabled Dunelm to seize the opportunity to exploit its position as the UK's largest homewares retailer, which will continue to provide growth in the Group's market share and financial performance.
As a Board, we now need to look to the longer term future, and to develop profitable growth plans for the next phase of our development. Having conducted a comprehensive search process involving external and internal candidates, the Board concluded that Will, with his innate retail flair, is the best person to lead Dunelm into its next chapter of growth. He is an outstanding retailer who knows Dunelm, and the world of homewares, better than anyone, and has a real passion for this business."
Will Adderley said:
"I am very excited about resuming the leadership of Dunelm into its next phase of growth as a public company. Nick has done an excellent job in creating such a strong platform, and there is great momentum in the business. We are the UK's leading homewares retailer, with an outstanding customer offer, and my job now is to lead the team in making the most of the opportunities that this creates."
Nick Wharton said:
"I have enjoyed my time at Dunelm greatly, and am proud of what we have achieved. When I took on the role, my priority was to create the team, systems and infrastructure appropriate to the Group's size and ambitions, whilst continually developing the customer offer to maintain growth. Having done so successfully, the time is right for a new challenge. In returning the reins to Will Adderley I have no doubt that Dunelm will continue to perform strongly and I wish all colleagues within the business well for the future."
Details of Mr Wharton's severance terms are still to be finalised, and these will be posted on the Dunelm website once agreed in final form. The Remuneration Committee has resolved that termination payments will cover contractual entitlements and conform to Policy. Contractual entitlements amount to 12 months base salary plus pension and benefits, which may be subject to mitigation. Policy requires any performance pay awarded (bonus and awards under the Long Term Incentive Plan) to be subject to performance conditions and to be pro-rated according to time served. The Committee has discretion to accelerate payments or vest greater amounts if it believes this is appropriate and justifiable.
Dunelm has today announced its preliminary results for the year to 28th June 2014.