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Pets at Home COO steps down as retailer reshapes exec team


Pets at Home COO David Robinson
Pets at Home COO David Robinson is leaving the retailer after almost four years
// Pets at Home retail COO is leaving the business after almost four years
// His departure has sparked a reshape of the exec team around its omnichannel pet care objectives

Pets at Home’s retail COO David Robinson has stepped down from his role, which has sparked new CEO Lyssa McGowan to reshape its executive team around its omnichannel objectives.

Robinson, who has held leadership roles at businesses including Dixons, Argos and Homebase before moving to Pets at Home in 2019, has led major change projects during his time at the retailer.

He spearheaded Pets at Home’s digital transformation, built a new distribution centre, and steered its recent brand campaign ‘we’re better with pets’.

Robinson, who leaves the business amicably and is understood to be pursuing new opportunities, said he was proud of “the enormous amount” achieved since he joined Pets at Home.

“From transforming the business into a true omnichannel operation to delivering record sales and profit, and navigating the challenges brought about by the pandemic, we have made great strides which were all made possible by being part of such a brilliant team,” he said. 

“Pets at Home is a truly unique business, and I will watch on with great pride as it continues to go from strength to strength.”

Pets at Home chief executive Lyssa McGowan, who joined the business in June, is reshaping its executive team following Robinson’s departure, as it strives to deliver a “joined-up omnichannel pet care experience”.

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In an internal memo seen by Retail Gazette, McGowan told staff it was in the process of recruiting for a new chief consumer officer role, with responsibility for the overarching customer value proposition, marketing and brand positioning, digital transformation, growth strategy and adjacencies, and new and innovative pet care formats. 

Meanwhile, commercial director Lisa Miao, who joined from Morrisons in 2015, has been promoted to the redefined COO for retail role, which will focus on world class execution across trading, merchandising and category management, supply chain, distribution, stores and online operations, service delivery, and supporting its frontline colleagues. 

The chief consumer officer and COO Retail will work closely with COO for Vets Louise Stonier, holding both shared and individual KPIs, to form a single, streamlined executive team.

McGowan told staff: “This is an incredible business and our refreshed leadership structure, coupled with an emboldened focus on customer, will underpin and help us deliver our ambitions …and continue to make life better for pets and the people who love them.”

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