Top Kingfisher executive to depart in February

Kingfisher, the U.K.-based parent of big-box home improvement chains B&Q and Castorama, has announced chief executive Gerry Murphy will step down on Feb. 2, 2008. That date is the official end of the current financial year.

Murphy has served in the chief executive spot for five years; no specific reason was given for his departure. A search is underway for his successor, the company said.

"I am proud of the progress we have made over the past five years, and it is the right time for me to move on and hand Kingfisher over to a new leader,” Murphy said in a statement.

“In a time of great change and challenge ... he has transformed Kingfisher into an integrated and successful international home improvement retailer with strong management and a clear direction,” said Peter Jackson, chairman of Kingfisher’s board of directors.

The company said it has seen a “tough environment” for DIY sales in the United Kingdom, but that it still expects strong international sales in the third quarter. Kingfisher is set to release third-quarter results on Nov. 29.

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