Former B&Q chief lands Homebase marketing job

GUS-owned Homebase has turned to the services of a former B&Q marketing director to head its marketing communications.

Mark Beeley has taken the role on an interim basis and will report to marketing and strategy director Ajay Kavan, who was poached from B&Q, where he had been director of direct channels (MW November 6, 2003).

Industry insiders have tipped Kavan for a more senior role at Homebase. It is not known whether Beeley will be appointed to head marketing if Kavan is promoted.

Beeley replaces former head of marketing Ruth Benford, who is leaving to take the same role at Goldsmiths jewellers. At the Baugur-owned company she will be chief marketer, reporting to deputy managing director Jim West. The jewellery company recently signed model-turned-actress Jerry Hall as its “face”.

Beeley joins Homebase from JB Research, where he has been working as an independent retail marketing consultant. He left B&Q suddenly in 2001, reportedly after a disagreement with management over the restructuring of the marketing department. He was replaced by David Roth (MW June 21, 2001).

Although Homebase retained Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO after a pitch for its £24m advertising account last year, it is expected that the Leslie Ash and Neil Morrisey theme will be ditched.

The DIY retailer reported a four per cent increase in sales on a like-for-like basis for the 15 weeks to January 8.

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