BRC names new director general

The British Retail Consortium has appointed Helen Dickinson, the head of retail at KPMG, as its new director general. The organisation has also announced that Ian Cheshire, group chief executive of Kingfisher, is to become its new chairman, replacing current chairman Rob Templeman.

Dickinson succeeds Stephen Robertson as director general who will leave the organisation on 1 January 2013 after five years in the role. With 20 years’ experience at KPMG as its UK head of retail and audit and relationship partner, Dickinson is also a founder member and chair of the KPMG/Ipsos Retail Think Tank and a regular contributor to The Retail Bulletin.

Commenting on the appointment chairman Rob Templeman said: “Ian and I are delighted to welcome someone of Helen’s calibre to lead the BRC in its next phase of development. She brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding of the sector to the role. Her extensive experience at the highest level will help us support members through these challenging times.

“On behalf of all the BRC’s members, I would like to thank Stephen Robertson for leading the BRC so successfully over the last five years.”

Dickinson added: “Against the current economic backdrop, the BRC’s work in supporting retailers to develop their businesses and tackling the challenges that they, and the sector, face is more crucial than ever. “

Ian Cheshire will take over the role of BRC chairman on 1 October 2012 from current chairman Rob Templeman and will serve for a period of two years.

Cheshire is a major retail industry figure. Having held the position of group chief executive of Kingfisher since January 2008, he also serves as a lead non-executive member at the Department for Work and Pensions and is a member of the Corporate Leaders’ Group on Climate Change and a member of the Employers’ Forum on Disability President’s Group.

Templeman will stay on for a further year as deputy chairman, taking over from Lucy Neville-Rolfe who is Tesco’s outgoing corporate and legal affairs director.

Commenting on Cheshire’s appointment Robertson said: “I am delighted that Ian has accepted this role. He has a rich understanding of retail and of the political process. The BRC will benefit hugely from having a serving retail Chief Executive of Ian’s stature as its Chairman.

“My thanks to Rob who has been a diligent BRC Chairman and, to me personally, an inspiring and remarkable leader. We have achieved a great deal under Rob’s wise guidance. I’m very pleased his knowledge and expertise will not be lost to the BRC.

“Thank you, too, to Lucy who has served with distinction as our deputy chairman.”

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