Boots poaches Argos executive

Alliance Boots has lured a former director of Home Retail to its UK health and beauty division.

The arrival of Sarah Carpenter is one of the first senior appointments by Alliance Boots since Andy Hornby, formerly of Halifax/Bank of Scotland, joined as chief executive last year. She will be director of commercial development for Boots UK, the unit responsible for retail stores and chemist operations.

It is understood that Ms Carpenter, who was director of strategic development at Home Retail, the owner of Argos and Homebase, will help to formulate strategy at a testing time for the company. Alliance Boots is to axe 900 non-store jobs in the UK over the next three years to cut annual operating costs by about £56m.