Stuart Cook begins his retirement as he steps down from CIH

CIH has announced that Stuart Cook has stepped down from his role as CEO to begin his retirement, effective from last week (1 April), after 16 years in the role and two and a half decades with the buying group. Guy Kinnell is moving up from Deputy CEO to take over Mr Cook’s responsibilities.

This comes slightly earlier than originally announced, as Mr Cook planned to scale down to three days a week from September this year. However, he will still be available as a Strategic Advisor to the Executive Directors and a “valuable source of wisdom and advice”, the group said.

CIH Chairman, Steve Scogings, spoke of Mr Cook’s achievements over the years, including launching the Euronics brand in the UK in the year 2000 and establishing the Euronics Agency Agreement.

He also secured Blomberg as a Euronics exclusive and orchestrated three SAP implementations that have “transformed the business”, Mr Scogings said.

Mr Cook started working for CIH in May 1997 as a Brown Goods Buyer. He was promoted in March 1999 to Head of Purchasing and was asked to take on the role of acting CEO in September 2004. The Board then approved him as the CEO in April 2005.

Praising Mr Cook for his huge contribution to the group’s success, Mr Scogings added he has supported members through the pandemic, and as a result, CIH has reported a surge in trading during 2020, “which is continuing into 2021”, he said.

“Stuart created well in advance of the internet shopping revolution, launched the online ordering system and opened our first trade show at the NEC in 2006,” Mr Scogings went on.

“CIH is in a great place, and much of that is because of the vision, hard work and commitment that Stuart has shown to the business.

“Since Guy [left] joined as Deputy CEO in September, he and Stuart have worked closely together to ensure an orderly and seamless transition, and now is the right time for the formal changeover to take place.

“On behalf of everyone at CIH, I wish Stuart a long and very happy retirement.”

During his retirement, Mr Cook plans to spend more time with his family and travel the world.