Dixons Carphone boss Seb James quits to join Boots

Dixons Carphone chief executive Sebastian James is to step down from the electrical retail chain to take on a new position at Boots.

Mr James will leave Dixons Carphone, after six years in the role, at end of the financial year in April. He will join Walgreens Boots Alliance later this year.

His successor has been named as Alex Baldock, who is currently group chief executive of Shop Direct, the UK’s second largest pure-play online retailer, a position he has held since 2012.

Said Ian Livingston, chairman of Dixons Carphone: “Seb has made an outstanding contribution to both the creation and success of Dixons Carphone. It is a much stronger company today than when he became CEO of Dixons Retail in 2012, with revenue, profit and customer satisfaction all substantially higher. The group is now the market leader in eight countries.

“On behalf of the board and all our colleagues, I would like to thank Seb for all that he has done over the past six years as CEO of first Dixons Retail and now Dixons Carphone. We wish him every success in his new role.”

Alex Baldock
Alex Baldock

He added: “The board and I are delighted to welcome Alex Baldock to the group. He has an outstanding track record in leading large, complex consumer-facing businesses. He’s led Shop Direct through one of UK retail’s fastest, most far-reaching and most successful digital transformations, delivering five consecutive years of record financial performance, with strongly rising sales and an almost tenfold increase in profits.

“We wanted Alex for his strategic clarity, relentless execution and his ability to inspire people to get behind him at every step. We look forward to Alex bringing that leadership to the group, as we build on our market-leading positions.”

Commenting on his decision to leave Dixons Carphone, Mr James said: “It has been an enormous privilege to lead this business and to work with such passionate and committed colleagues over the past few years. Together, I think that we can be very proud of the profound transformation that we have seen in Dixons Carphone and the sound footing, customer affection, and place in the world that it now enjoys. I offer my most sincere thanks to Ian, the board and my colleagues for their support and friendship over these years. I will be very sad to leave, tempered only by the fact that I know that Alex will do a terrific job of leading the company and driving it on to new heights.”

Said Mr Baldock: “I can’t wait to get started at Dixons Carphone. Seb and the team have achieved an extraordinary amount, not least reinforcing Dixons Carphone’s position as a leading electrical and mobile retailer in Europe at a time of wrenching change. It’s with great excitement that I look forward to getting to know the people and the customers at Dixons Carphone, and to building on these achievements. Dixons Carphone is exceptionally well-placed to help customers navigate the complex, fast-changing world of technology and mobile, and I feel privileged that Ian and the board have asked me to lead the group to make the most of that opportunity.”

Mr James is the second senior executive at Dixons Carphone to announce his departure this year. Group financial director Humphrey Singer is to leave at the end of July to take up a new position at Marks and Spencer group.