Name: Darren Shapland
Was: Group development director for Sainsbury’s
Now: CEO for Carpetright
Career background: Shapland was Sainsbury’s group development director from July 2010 until he stepped down suddenly last year. He was chief financial officer from 2005 to 2010 but remains chairman of Sainsbury’s Bank. He was group finance director of Carpetright between 2002 and 2005 and prior to that was finance director of Superdrug Stores. Between 1988 and 2000 he held financial and operational roles at Arcadia. He is also a non-executive director of Ladbrokes.
What is he doing now: Shapland took on the day-to-day running of Carpetright from incumbent boss and founder Lord Harris of Peckham in May after rejoining the company as a non-executive in September. Harris handed over the reins after founding the retail chain more than 40 years ago. Carpetright has issued several profit warnings in the past year as family budgets are squeezed and the housing market continues to stagnate.
Biggest achievement in grocery: As one of the highest profile FDs in retail, Shapland was credited with Sainsbury’s turnaround from recovery to growth. He was once a viable successor to CEO Justin King before stepping down abruptly last May. His remit and responsibilities were wide-ranging in the group development director role. These included running Sainsbury’s Bank, convenience stores and property arm as well as driving the retailer’s international expansion.
What does the future hold? A month into the new CEO role, Shapland must tackle the fact that it’s a tough time to be selling carpets or beds as shoppers postpone big purchases on non-essential household items. Carpetright’s latest update in April predicted annual profits of £3m-£4m - a sharp decline on the previous October forecast of up to £17m, following its move into bed sales.