Derek Lawlor

Source: Poundstretcher

Derek Lawlor

Derek Lawlor has left Poundstretcher as CEO within 10 months, becoming the latest in a string of senior figures to last a year or less.

Lawlor joined Poundstretcher as CEO in Juy last year, bringing over three decades of retail experience, including as chief merchandising officer at Asda.

It is understood he left following a difference of opinion with Poundstretcher owner Aziz Tayub.

Lawlor follows in the footsteps of Burcu Kerpicci, a former Tesco supply chain, distribution centre and operations director, who left Poundstretcher as chief operating officer in 2020 having lasted six months in the post.

Kerpicci’s appointment followed the departure of Somnath Saha – previously CEO of Typhoo Tea – in 2019 after about a year as Poundstretcher’s group commercial director.

Before Saha, Chris Edwards, the founder of Poundworld, lasted about six months as Poundstretcher CEO – leaving in 2018.

Tayub told Business Live that Lawlor left “because he wanted to make a lot of changes, and we couldn’t agree with those changes”.

“This is a company that can’t change dramatically, it needs steady changes, so we agreed that he would leave,” the owner said.

“We have got some new people hopefully joining us soon.”

At the time of Lawlor’s appointment, Tayub said he brought with him “a wealth of experience”.

“I know he is a great fit for our business and will lead us through the next phase of our growth strategy,” he added.

It has also been reported Tayub hopes to float the business on the stock exchange either this year or next, having engaged advisor Rothschilds. Tayub estimates the value of the chain at £250m-£300m.

Poundstretcher and Lawlor were approached for comment.