Kingfisher hires new finance chief amid refresh at top


B&Q owner Kingfisher has hired Bernard Bot as its new finance chief amid a refresh at the top of the DIY group.

Mr Bot joins from global technology platform Travelport Worldwide, where he has acted as chief financial officer (CFO) and executive vice-president since 2016.

He will start in the post at Kingfisher on October 21, replacing interim chief financial officer John Wartig, who will take on the newly created role of chief transformation and development officer.

The appointment comes less than a month after new chief executive Thierry Garnier took the reins from former boss Veronique Laury.

Mr Garnier said: “Bernard is a highly experienced CFO whose credentials and track record are ideally suited to Kingfisher.”

Bernard Bot
Bernard Bot

On Mr Wartig’s appointment, he added: “In the short time he has been here, he has made a notable impact both in finance and in our ongoing transformation, our IT capabilities and our property portfolio.”

Kingfisher is in the middle of a swingeing overhaul spearheaded by Ms Laury, which has seen Kingfisher shut 65 B&Q shops and slash about 3,000 jobs.

It has also been shaking up its ranges and improving its online offering.

But the group has admitted this has taken its toll on performance, with half-year results last month showing profits dropped 12.5% to £245 million.

Like-for-like B&Q sales dropped 3.2% over the first half, although this was partially offset by growth of 5.1% at its Screwfix arm.

Comparable sales fell 4.4% across its French business, where it operates Brico Depot and Castorama France.

Mr Bot said: “The business has strong financial characteristics and significant growth opportunities.

“I look forward to working with the Kingfisher team to capture these for the benefit of all stakeholders.”

Prior to Travelport, he was previously chief financial officer at Aer Lingus, and before that held various roles at delivery company TNT. He was also previously a partner at advisory firm McKinsey & Co.