Kingfisher's Castorama boss to quit next year

LONDON, June 12 Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:04am EDT

LONDON, June 12 (Reuters) - Philippe Tible, chief executive of Kingfisher's Castorama and Brico Depot brands is to leave Europe's No. 1 home improvement group next year, the firm said on Thursday.

Kingfisher said Tible will step down from the board and the executive team at the end of July but will remain with the business until January 2015 to help with negotiations to buy Mr Bricolage - a 275 million euros ($374 million) deal Kingfisher announced in April.

Tible is currently responsible for the group's Castorama and Brico Depot businesses, which are mainly in France but also trade in eastern Europe.

Kingfisher said Véronique Laury, CEO of Castorama France, and Alain Souillard, CEO Brico Dépôt brand International, will both be promoted to the group executive team, which sits below the group's main Plc board.

As well as negotiating the Mr Bricolage deal the group is currently rolling-out a new Castorama store format in France and expanding Brico Depot in France and other European markets.

"As we enter a new phase of our development, it is clear that the business needs the next generation of leaders to oversee these plans," said Kingfisher Chairman Daniel Bernard.

Tible will be eligible for compensation for loss of office, though details are yet to be disclosed. Shares in Kingfisher, up 12 percent over the last year, were down 0.4 percent.

Tony Shiret, analyst at Espirito Santo Investment Bank, who has a sell stance on the stock, said Tible's exit was "bad news".

"Genuinely talented retailers have been in desperately short supply over the last 10-15 years. So to cast one aside seems to us fundamentally a wrong decision." ($1 = 0.7345 Euros) (Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton)

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