Loss-making wholesaler Makro has appointed Stephen Blan as operations director as it looks to return to growth.

Blan, who starts on 3 January, will be responsible for ensuring Makro’s 30 depots meet customer requirements. He will also oversee the development of Makro’s foodservice and field sales operations.

Blan is the second senior appointment at Makro since all but one member of its previous board suddenly parted ways with the company in June. At the time, four consultants from AlixPartners were hastily drafted in by German parent company Metro Group to turn around the wholesaler, which has lost £110m over the past four years.

Blan will replace Alix’s Martin Schumacher, who will continue to advise the business. A spokeswoman said Metro’s long-term ambition was to directly employ all of Makro’s board and to hire more candidates from the UK.

Blan was most recently European retail director for The Carphone Warehouse and spent 24 years at Dixons Stores Group.

“I am thrilled to be appointed as operations director for Makro during its 40th anniversary year. I am joining a great team and I am excited about the part I can play,” he said.

“Stephen has a passion for developing and leading teams that deliver great customer service. This, along with a knowledge of effective and efficient store operations, will be key to ensuring we deliver on our ambition of putting the customer at the heart of everything we do,” added MD Juergen Schwarze, who took over from Alix’s Klaus Raettig in October, with Raettig remaining on the board as chief restructuring officer.

The remaining board members from AlixPartners are financial director Jens Koeppen and Dan Murphy, director of assortment and stock management.

Its latest set of accounts revealed that Makro would continue to be supported by Metro Group until at least September 2012.