The owner of DIY chain Wickes has announced that chief executive and company veteran John Carter is to step down.
Travis Perkins said he will be succeeded as CEO by Nick Roberts, currently boss of engineering firm Atkins, who will join the business as a director and chief executive designate on July 1. Mr Carter will step down from the Travis board on August 5 but remain with the group until the end of 2019 to ensure a smooth handover.
He will leave following a 40-year stint at the firm, including 18 years as a director and five as chief executive. Chairman Stuart Chambers paid tribute to the long-serving Travis stalwart.
He said: “I would like to thank John for his exceptional leadership which leaves Travis Perkins well placed to meet its customers’ needs and to continue to deliver long-term value growth for its shareholders and other stakeholders.
“He has led the group through periods of major change and demonstrated strong leadership during a period of significant investment and considerable market uncertainty.”
Mr Carter’s departure comes at a sensitive time for Travis, which has been battling a challenging DIY market, economic uncertainty and declining consumer confidence. In December, Travis said it would offload its plumbing and heating division and extend a cost-cutting programme as it targets savings of up to £30m.
The sale of its plumbing and heating arm is part of a simplification programme which will see the firm focus instead on serving trade customers.
The company also said at the time that it will “look to review the options for maximising the value” of DIY chain Wickes in the medium term, which could include a sale of the retailer.
Mr Roberts has headed up Atkins since 2017 and will join Travis on a base salary initially set at £630,000 per year, a pension contribution of 10 per cent of that amount, and an annual bonus of up to 180 per cent of his pay.