jim mccarthy poundland

Retail veteran Jim McCarthy will stand down as chief executive of Poundland Group at the beginning of July, one month shy of his 10th anniversary in the role.

Poundland chairman Darren Shapland, thanking McCarthy “for the enormous contribution he has made”, said the 60-year-old had skilfully guided the company from a small private operation in 2006 to “the strong and growing business it is today”.

His development of Poundland’s offer, professional retail skills and modern, agile supply chain network were the foundations for its transformation, he said.

Shapland also praised McCarthy’s “energy, enthusiasm and passionate management style” that had touched many people during his tenure.

McCarthy said Poundland was a strong business, which he was privileged to have had the opportunity to lead through a period of significant growth.

After more than 40 years in retail, including 10 years leading Poundland, he said he would leave the business in the hands of a very experienced leadership team who would give his successor Kevin O’Byrne their full support.

Analysts at Jefferies said it was no great surprise that McCarthy, who has grown the business from 146 stores with £310m sales to more than 900 outlets, adding an extra £1bn of sales, had decided to retire following a few health issues.

During his career, he has been MD of Next’s Neighbourhood Retailing, CEO of T&S Stores, which McCarthy sold to Tesco, and MD of Sainsbury’s c-stores.

HSBC said McCarthy’s retirement would be a disappointment but the succession plan seemed “well thought out”.

O’Byrne, who becomes chief executive designate on 4 April, has been a director of Dixons Retail and Kingfisher. His most recent role at Kingfisher was CEO of B&Q UK.