Sutherland swaps B&Q for Co-op

Kingfisher, the owner of B&Q, lost a potential successor to its chief executive Ian Cheshire yesterday as the well-regarded senior director Euan Sutherland defected to Co-operative Group.

Mr Sutherland, pictured, who joined in 2008 as the chief executive of Kingfisher's UK and Ireland business, was appointed chief operating officer in February and stepped up to the company's main board only two months ago.

He has been credited with overseeing the overhaul of B&Q's stores and almost doubling operating profits at the UK business to £238m.

Mr Sutherland will succeed Peter Marks at Co-op in March, completing a year of change at the top of the chain. The former international chief executive Peter Hogsted was eased out earlier this year, while Karen Witts has been chief financial officer for only two months after joining from Vodafone.

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