Gavin Slark moves to Grafton Group

Gavin Slark, the former chief executive of plumbing and heating merchant group BSS is to join Irish merchant group Grafton Group as chief executive on July 1.

Gavin Slark moves to Grafton Group

BSS was taken-over by rival merchant group Travis Perkins just before Christmas.

Slark will become Group Chief Executive (CEO) to succeed Michael Chadwick in managing the Group. He will join the Group and the Board as Chief Executive Designate on April 1 2011 and will be appointed CEO on July 1.

Michael Chadwick will continue as Chairman of the Board in a non-executive capacity from July. He has been Executive Chairman of Grafton since 1985 and some time ago advised the Board of his intention to retire as an executive on completion of the search for a successor.

Leo Martin, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, has also advised the Board of his intention to retire at the end of the year. He was due to retire in August but will stay until December for a handover period with Slark. Martin joined Grafton when the former acquired Heiton Group plc in 2005.

Chadwick said: “We are very pleased to appoint a Group Chief Executive of the calibre of Gavin Slark. He has a depth of experience and proven track record as a CEO in our sector. He has indicated that his priority will be to keep Grafton focused on meeting the challenge of an uncertain economic climate while positioning the Group for future growth. His experience complements that of our existing strong management team and I look forward to working with him in the continued development of the Group.”

“We will be losing the valuable service of Leo Martin at the end of the year following his decision to retire. Leo has made a major contribution to the Group. His expertise has been a key element in the successful integration of the Heiton operations with those of Grafton. In addition his role in directing Grafton’s merchanting operations across both Ireland and the UK has been central to the Group’s ability to manage its affairs throughout the current severe recession. We are pleased that he has agreed to continue to be available to the Group after his retirement in an advisory capacity.”

Slark was appointed Group Chief Executive of BSS in 2006 following periods as Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director of BSS’s largest operating division, PTS Plumbing Trade Supplies.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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