Name: Humphrey Singer
Was: Vice president of finance at Coca-Cola Enterprises
Now: Group finance director at Dixons Retail
Career background: After studying economics with international studies at the University of Warwick, Singer’s first job in retail was in the finance department of Cadbury Schweppes in 1987. Following a nine-year stint, Singer left in 1996 to become vice president of finance at Coca-Cola Enterprises. He spent more than a decade there before eventually jumping ship in March 2007 to join high street electrical chain Currys as finance director. The following year he became group financial controller of Currys’ parent company Dixons Retail before being promoted to the role of Dixons UK and Ireland finance director in September 2010.
What is he doing now? Singer was appointed to the Dixons board in July 2011. Later that year, he was promoted to the post of group finance director following a major reshuffle caused by the retailer slumping more than £220m into the red after a deterioration in consumer spending across its Europe-wide operations.
What next? Since Singer took on his new role, Dixons has been busy addressing some of the problems in its struggling international operations in countries like Greece. The company offloaded a number of failing businesses in Southern Europe and placed a greater emphasis on its core markets in Northern Europe, where it operates chains including PC World and Currys. The strategy appears to have paid off in spades, with Dixons poised to announce strong like-for-like sales growth in the final quarter of its most recent financial year, following a strong trading performance at Christmas. The company has also benefited from the collapse of Comet and the boom in sales of tablet computers.