Sebastian James, who has led Dixons Carphone for six years, resigned in a surprise move
The chief executive of Britain’s biggest specialist electrical goods and mobile phone retailer will step down to run high street chemist Boots.
Sebastian James, who has led Dixons Carphone for six years, has resigned in a surprise move days before it updates the City on its Christmas trading performance.
James said: “It has been an enormous privilege to lead this business and to work with such passionate and committed colleagues over the last few years.
“Together, I think that we can be very proud of the profound transformation that we have seen in Dixons Carphone and the sound footing, customer affection, and place in the world that it now enjoys.”
James started his career at management consultancy Bain & Company.
He joined Dixons Retail in 2008 before becoming chief executive in 2012, a role he continued when the company merged with Carphone Warehouse in 2014.
The news of his move comes weeks after finance director Humphrey Singer left for Marks & Spencer.
Dixons Carphone reported a collapse in half-year profits in December and warned of store closures and moving to a simpler business model for the mobile phone side of its business.
Ian Livingston, chairman of Dixons Carphone, praised James for his “outstanding contribution” to the company. He said: “It is a much stronger company today than when he became CEO of Dixons Retail in 2012 with revenue, profit and customer satisfaction all substantially higher. The group is now the market leader in eight countries.”
James will be replaced at the end of the financial year in April by Alex Baldock, currently group chief executive of online retailer Shop Direct.
Alex Gourlay, co-chief operating officer for Walgreens Boots Alliance, said the company was delighted.
He said: “We are sure his deep retail expertise will drive significant progress and innovation at Boots for the benefit of all our stakeholders.”