Angling Direct boss Darren Bailey stands down

Darren Bailey
Darren Bailey
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Darren Bailey, chief executive of Angling Direct, has stood down with immediate effect after 17 years at the helm.

Mr Bailey will remain on the Board as a Non-Executive Director while Andy Torrance, who joined the company in October taking over as CEO.

Since joining Angling Direct in 2003, the firm's UK store network has grown from 3 to 34 branches as well as overseeing the major expansion online.

Mr Bailey oversaw the firm's IPO onto the AIM market in 2017 and subsequent fundraising in 2018.

These enabled the business to double its UK store network and to launch dedicated native language websites for the German, French and Benelux markets.

Mr Bailey said: "It has been a huge pleasure to lead such a fantastic and passionate business, driven by dedicated staff and together establishing Angling Direct as a European brand. Importantly, our customers and our work to promote the awareness of fishing have remained at the heart of Angling Direct's culture throughout, which has been integral to our success. I am looking forward to supporting Andy and the business as a Non-Executive and shareholder."

New CEO Mr Torrance has previously held Chief Operating Officer roles at Dunelm and Holland & Barrett and a number of executive roles during a 12-year period at Halfords.

He said: "I am delighted to be taking over as CEO of Angling Direct. Darren and his team have done an excellent job at rapidly building our brand, both online and through store expansion. I am looking forward to consolidating that base and leading the business into the next phase of our exciting growth plans."

Martyn Page, Executive Chairman, commented: "Both myself and the entire Angling Direct team are hugely grateful for everything Darren has done to make the business the success it is today. Whilst he feels it is the right time to pass on the baton, we are especially pleased he is remaining as a Non-Executive Director and valuable adviser to the Company.

"We are excited to have Andy Torrance as the Company's new CEO given his specialist retail sector and European scaling experience. Since joining the Board last year, he has shown great passion for, and understanding of, this specialist business and provided valuable advice and input on our growth strategy. As such, we believe he is the ideal person to take the business to the next level."Outgoing CEO, Darren