Home Retail Group, Britain's biggest household goods retailer, said today that the head of its Argos business, John Walden, would replace outgoing chief executive Terry Duddy.
The news came as Argos said a strong performance in its Christmas quarter meant it expected full-year group benchmark profit to be towards the top end of a range of market expectations of £90-109m sterling.
Duddy, one of the longest serving leaders in the stores sector, announced in September that he would quit the firm by July.
Argos Managing Director Walden, who has been with the group since February 2012, had been viewed by analysts as a clear favourite for the top job and will start as CEO on March 14.
Home Retail said today that sales at Argos stores open over a year for the 18 weeks to January 4 had risen 3.8%, and were up 4.7% at its Homebase DIY chain. The figures were both ahead of analyst forecasts for a 2.5% rise at both divisions.