Carpetright appoints new boss

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Veteran retailer Lord Harris of Peckham is to make a second attempt to step aside from running the Carpetright empire he founded 25 years ago.

The peer, who has been in the carpet trade for more than 50 years, resumed day-to-day involvement in October after chief executive Darren Shapland left the business in the wake of a profits warning.

Yesterday’s appointment of betting industry boss Wilf Walsh as chief executive means Lord Harris will become non-executive chairman from July and will then retire from the board at the company’s annual meeting on September 4.

Lord Harris said: “I will be 72 this year and shareholders will be aware that I have been planning a managed hand-over of my responsibilities for some time.”

Mr Walsh is currently chairman of central European betting business Fortuna Entertainment, having previously been managing director of bookmaker Coral.

Lord Harris said that Mr Walsh had a successful track record in managing multi-site consumer-facing businesses. He added: “I am confident that I will be leaving the business in safe hands.”

Carpetright was founded in 1988 with a single outlet in East London and floated five years later.