Ex-Dillons chief walks out at Pentos

The former marketing director of Dillons, Julian Rivers, has resigned from parent company Pentos, where he was due to take up the position of commercial development director.

Rivers was replaced as Dillons’ marketing director last year by Stephen Dunn, poached from Thornton’s, the chocolate manufacturer and retailer. Rivers was offered the development role at the Pentos head office.

A Pentos insider said Rivers quit after a row with Pentos chief executive Bill McGrath over a promotional campaign for books run in the Mail on Sunday before Christmas. The promotions had been thought to contravene the Net Book Agreement, which guarantees retail prices on books.

However, Rivers denies there has been any disagreement, and says he has left to become chief executive at a book publisher.

The marketing director of the failed Athena chain, Gill Barr, could be offered a role at parent company Pentos, the same source has suggested.

Thornton’s has appointed Tony Pickup as its new marketing director. He previously worked at discount chain Poundstretcher, and spent nine years as a trading director at supermarket chain Tesco.

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