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Matalan names Karl-Heinz Holland as chairman and Jo Whitfield as CEO

By Prachi Singh


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Image: Karl-Heinz Holland via Matalan

Fashion and homeware retailer Matalan has appointed Karl-Heinz Holland as the company’s new chair, Jo Whitfield CBE, former CEO of Co-op Food, as the new CEO.

The company said in a release that Nigel Oddy, interim CEO of Matalan, has concluded his six-month role and Paul Copley will step down from his interim chair role and will remain on the board as a non-executive director. Simultaneously, Chris Mallon will step down from his non-executive role on the board.

Commenting on the management changes, Michael Phelps, partner at Tresidor Investment Management, one of the anchor investors in Matalan, said: “Anyone close to the retail world will know the experience and focus that both Karl-Heinz and Jo will bring to their roles. They have a proven track-record of making positive impacts in value retail and are the perfect fit for Matalan as it focuses on this next stage of its growth.”

“I’d also like to thank Paul Copley and Nigel Oddy who acted as the company’s interim chair and chief executive, respectively, throughout its recent strategic sales process, as well as Chris Mallon for his diligent efforts over the last few months.”

Karl-Heinz Holland is the new chairman of Matalan

Holland, the company added, brings a wealth of experience from the retail and consumer goods sectors. He spent 23 years at Lidl Group, six as CEO, responsible for leading the group’s major expansion across Europe.

“I have been a long-standing admirer of Matalan and believe it’s a business brimming with potential. I am very much looking forward to working with the new owners, Jo, and its dedicated workforce, to help it achieve its potential,”said Holland.

Holland has also served as CEO of DIA Group, a leading network of 5,700 neighbourhood stores across Spain, Argentina, Brazil, and Portugal.

Since May 2018, he has been chairman of Takko Fashion GmbH, a successful European discount fashion retailer. From January 2021 until April 2022, he served as Takko’s executive chairman and CEO. He will continue to serve as chairman of Takko Fashion GmbH.

Matalan names Jo Whitfield CB as CEO

Whitfield, the company said, was most recently chief executive of the Co-op’s food division, responsible for the company’s retail, wholesale, online and franchise businesses, as well as the Co-op’s property division. She oversaw revenues of 10.8 billion pounds in 2021 and was responsible for over 55,000 employees.

Commenting on her new role at Matalan, Whitefield said: “I am delighted to be joining and leading the business through its next exciting phase of growth and modernisation. Matalan is a much-loved brand for its 11 million loyal customers and together with colleagues we will work to strengthen our offer and ensure we give them the great product and value that they and their families need.”

Prior to her role at the Co-op, she held senior leadership positions at Asda, leading the general merchandise business and serving as VP for operations, e-com and international at George. She was also head of finance at Matalan between 2002 and 2008.

Jo Whitfield
Karl-Heinz Holland