Kingfisher hires digital and data chiefs to drive growth

kingfisher_duoKingfisher, the company which owns B&Q and Screwfix, has appointed two senior executives in a double appointment designed to put digital and data at the heart of the retail group’s operations.

Financial Times executive Tom Betts becomes the group’s first chief data officer, having spent the past five years as a key architect in the transformation of the FT‘s evolution from print-led business to a digital-first model.

He first joined the FT in 2009 as senior data analyst after spells at Detica, his own start-up Flycheapo and as an independent consultant. However, in 2014, he quit to join Pearson Professional as vice-president of customer analytcis and research but returned to the FT in 2015 to become its first CDO.

At Kingfisher, he has been briefed to accelerate the group’s customer data capabilities, enabling each of its retail brands, which also include Castorama and Brico Dépôt in France, to grow.

Meanwhile, former John Lewis digital director Sienne Veit has also joined Kingfisher as group digital product and platform director.

Veit spent five years at John Lewis, joining in 2014 as digital product director responsible for the retailer’s website, apps and digital in-store technology. In 2018, she was promoted to digital director, leading ecommerce trading, product development and design through a digital transformation programme. Prior to that, Veit was head of mobile at Morrisons and before that at Marks & Spencer.

Both new recruits will report to Jean-Jacques Van Oosten, who returned to Kingfisher from Lego in January this year. He said: “I am delighted to welcome Sienne and Tom to the digital team we are building here at Kingfisher. They will both bring significant experience to the business as we accelerate our data capabilities and ecommerce proposition for our customers.”

Kingfisher first revealed plans to overhaul its digital operations, dubbed ‘Powered by Kingfisher’, last month. The new strategy is the brainchild of French chief executive Thierry Garnier, who joined Kingfisher in September last year from Carrefour Group. Van Oosten was his first appointment.

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