Bill Grimsey has been appointed Chief Executive of Iceland Group plc with effect from 2 January 2001.

Bill Grimsey, 48, was Chief Executive of Wickes plc from November 1996 until its agreed takeover by Focus Do It All Group in September 2000. He led the reconstruction and recovery of Wickes following its financial difficulties of the mid-1990s, and its successful defence against the initial hostile offer from Focus Do It All earlier this year. His previous retailing experience was primarily within the food sector, commencing with Budgens and including two years as customer service director and new store development director of Tesco, and five years as managing director of Hutchison Whampoa’s Park’N’Shop supermarket business in Hong Kong.

Malcolm Walker, who assumed the additional responsibilities of Chief Executive following the resignation of Stuart Rose in November, will revert to his previous position as Executive Chairman. It his intention to move to a non-executive role in due course.

Commenting on the appointment, Malcolm Walker said: ‘I am truly delighted that we have been able to secure the services of Bill Grimsey as Chief Executive. He has an exceptional track record of achievement in both food and non-food retailing, and I am confident that he has the right mix of strategic and operational skills to maximise the benefits of the Iceland Booker merger, and to lead the enlarged Group in the next phase of its development. I shall remain as full-time Chairman of Iceland to ensure that Bill has my full support as he gets to grips with our business, and will move to a non-executive role when we both feel that is appropriate. I very much look forward to working with him in the months ahead.’

Bill Grimsey added: ‘My new job at Iceland provides me with a great opportunity to return to my roots in food retailing, in a business which has made a name for itself as the leading innovator in the sector. I am tremendously excited by the additional opportunities presented by the Booker merger to drive top line sales through our cash and carry operations, expand our home shopping offer and develop our established foodservice activities. The new Iceland Group can create significant value from its strong position in the total food sector, with well-placed businesses in the retail, wholesale and catering segments.’

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Bill Grimsey is currently a director of Wickes plc and a number of its subsidiary companies, but will resign from all these positions before becoming an executive director of Iceland Group plc. Iceland Group plc confirms that there are no other details which require to be disclosed under paragraph 6F.2b)- g) of the UKLA Listing Rules.