Matthew Ingle, founder of Howdens
Howden Joinery Group has announced that its founder and CEO, Matthew Ingle, will retire in the first half of 2018 after 22 years with the group.
Ingle will be succeeded as CEO by Andrew Livingston, who is currently the CEO of Screwfix Direct Ltd, a division of Kingfisher Plc.
Livingston has been the CEO of Screwfix since 2013 and was previously commercial and ecommerce director from 2009 to 2013. Before joining Screwfix, he was commercial director and chief operating officer of Wyevale Garden Centres Plc.
Prior to that he was the commercial director of Kitchens and Bathrooms at B&Q. He is also an independent non-executive director at LondonMetric Property Plc, a FTSE 250 company.
Ingle founded Howdens in 1995, with just 14 depots and first year sales of £1m. Under his leadership the company has grown strongly and consistently; in 2016 the company reported annual sales of more than £1.3bn, profit before tax of £237m and more than 450,000 account holders. Howdens currently operates from 650 depots across the UK, and sees scope for up to 800.
He said: "Selling kitchens trade-only to builders was a new concept in 1994 and I must thank Derek Hunt from MFI for having faith in us and for backing the idea.
"When Howdens first started trading a year later with just 40 people and five kitchen ranges, I could not imagine the journey we would undertake.
"Thanks to our builder customers, we grew quickly, weathered both the problems with MFI in 2005 and the financial crisis, to emerge as a business which in the past few years has grown strongly and invested significantly in its future.
"Howdens is well set for the future, and I believe that now is the right time for me to step down and pass the baton on to Andrew. As a company we have done well, are doing well and have great prospects for the future.
"I believe the company has the resources to look forward and to develop a new chapter in its development, and there are exciting choices for the new generation of leaders to make. I am very pleased that I will continue to be in touch with Howdens in the role of lifetime president."
Commenting on his appointment, Livingston said: "I am delighted to be joining Howdens. I have always admired the brand and I look forward to building on the excellent foundations to drive the business through its next phase of development and create further value for all its stakeholders."
Livingston will become a member of Howdens' board when he leaves his current employer and will take over as CEO following a handover period with Ingle.