New chief for Coles announced

Wesfarmers has appointed a British retail boss to lead the struggling food and liquor giant Coles.

Ian McLeod, who runs the 433-store car parts and bicycle retailer Halfords chain, will be the new managing director from May.

He will be the sixth new boss since early 2003 for Coles’ 100,000 staff.

Halfords, listed on the London Stock Exchange, operates stores in Britain, Ireland, and the Czech Republic and has 11,000 staff. Before running Halfords, McLeod was chief executive of Scottish Premier League soccer team Celtic for two years.

But before that he spent 20 years with the Asda supermarket chain and worked with Coles’ adviser Archie Norman on its revival in the 1990s.

He has been described by Wesfarmer’s chief Richard Goyder as a no-nonsense operator who hates bureaucracy and internal politics. “He will be very energetic, hands on, sleeves-rolled-up type of person,” Goyder said.

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