Boots marketer takes on top retail position

Boots’ former marketing chief David Kneale is to take the top operational job at the group in the company’s latest management reshuffle.

Kneale, currently director of trading for Boots Retail, will be promoted in January next year to the new role of chief operating officer for Boots Retail, with responsibility for Boots stores, Boots Opticians and Wellbeing services in the UK and Ireland.

Kneale was made director of merchandise and marketing in 1995, before being appointed managing director for international retail in 1997. He joined Waterstone’s Booksellers as managing director in 1999, but left two years later, amid flat sales and falling profits. Kneale returned to Boots in his current role in January.

The promotion coincides with the retirement from the board of Ken Piggott, managing director of Boots Retail Operations. Pigott will continue to work two days a week on the company’s social responsibility agenda. A statement issued by Boots says that the 53-year-old Piggott is to “pursue a change of lifestyle”.

Jon Gladstone, former head of marketing at Boots Opticians and now general manager of Pure, the beauty chain, will retire at the end of the month. His responsibilities will be passed to the team overseen by director of format development Gary Cormick.

Group chief marketer Barry Clare also takes on extra responsibility, as strategic and development director.

The reshuffle follows a raft of departures at Boots, which is attempting to slim down its management structure (MW last week).

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