Karen Mackay

Source: Wilko

Mackay replaces Alex Russo, who is leaving Wilko to become B&M’s chief financial officer from November

Wilko has appointed Karen Mackay as its new group chief financial officer and executive board director.

Mackay joins the home and garden chain from Optegra International, where she has been group chief financial officer for five years. She replaces Alex Russo, who is leaving Wilko to become B&M’s chief financial officer from November.

Mackay is an “accomplished financial transformation specialist”, according to Wilko.

She will be accountable for finance, IT, corporate services, health & safety and loss prevention functions. She is the businesses’ first permanent female CFO and the first permanent female holding board director from outside the Wilkinson family owners.

“We are thrilled to welcome Karen,” said Wilko family director Lisa Wilkinson. “She strengthens our senior team with not just financial leadership but a proven track record in delivering significant strategic change both within and outside a family business context.”

Mackay said: “My family and my home are extremely important to me and as a family-owned business that’s been meeting customers’ home and garden needs for 90 years, I couldn’t be in better company at Wilko.”

News of Russo’s departure in March came amid a restructure that was to see him handed additional responsibilities while the chief commercial officer stepped down. It was part of a transformation drive that also saw Wilko return to a CEO leadership model with the appointment of Jerome Saint-Marc to the post in February.

Saint-Marc said of Mackay’s appointment: “I’m looking forward to working with Karen. We are excited about the next stage of our journey to free up hard-working families to be the best they can be. Despite a challenging backdrop we’re focused on driving growth through building on our heritage, the strength of the Wilko brand and the popularity of Wilko own brand products.”

Mackay is due to join the business in September.