Premier Farnell picks ICI man as CEO

Premier Farnell picks ICI man as CEO
Alex Mayhew-Smith
After months of speculation, Premier Farnell has announced the appointment of John Hirst as the group’s new chief executive. The post has been vacant since the beginning of the year, when previous chief executive Howard Poulson left the company.
Hirst, who will take up the position at the beginning of July, is currently officer to the ICI executive in London. It is hoped that his previous heavyweight business experience as a chief executive for ICI subsidiaries will prepare him to take on the distribution group that came into being through a ?1.8bn merger two years ago.
Among his first tasks will be to address last year’s 15 per cent fall in operating profits at Farnell’s UK catalogue distribution division. Speaking at yesterday’s AGM, Malcolm Bates, the company chairman, warned that in the past two months there had been a “softening” in the north American and UK markets served by their catalogue division.

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