jonathan miller big interview

McColl’s CEO Jonathan Miller has stepped down from his role as the convenience chain remains locked in talks with its lenders to avoid collapse.

McColl’s said this morning that the search to appoint a new CEO is already in progress and the board is “confident of concluding that search successfully in the near future”.

Pending the appointment of a new CEO, Angus Porter, currently non-executive chairman of the group, has assumed the role of executive chairman on a temporary basis.

Karen Bird, chief operating officer, has become interim CEO to manage day-to-day executive responsibilities. CFO Giles David will also assume additional responsibilities.

McColl’s said it remains in “ongoing dialogue” with its lenders towards a longer-term agreement in relation to its existing financing facilities. The group said it “continues to believe that a financing solution will be found that involves its existing partners and stakeholders”.

Angus Porter, executive chairman, commented: “On behalf of the board, I want to take this opportunity to thank Jonathan for the immense contribution he has made to McColl’s and to pay tribute to his commitment in leading the business over the course of more than 30 years. We wish him all the very best in the future.

“As we discuss with our stakeholders the transformation of our business to a grocery-led convenience offer, Jonathan and the Board have agreed that now is the right time to bring in a new Chief Executive to lead the business into a new phase. In the meantime, we have a strong management team in place to take the business forward, and we are confident in our strategy to capitalise on the opportunity in the convenience sector in the years ahead.”

Miller added: “It has been an enormous privilege to work for McColl’s for the last 30 years, most recently leading the business and transforming our offer in partnership with Morrisons. I have worked alongside so many talented and hardworking people and I am enormously grateful for the support I have had from the many thousands of colleagues in the business over many years.

“I remain a significant shareholder, and I leave confident that, with its clearly defined, convenience-led strategy and strong partnership with Morrisons, McColl’s will continue to play a vital role at the heart of local communities across the UK.”

McColl’s shares have nudged up 2% to 2.1p so far today, but remain 93% down year-on-year.