Experienced Retail Director Set to Take Card Factory Helm

An experienced retail sector executive who has worked in senior roles at Asda and B&M is to take over as chief executive of Wakefield Headquartered Card Factory after it was revealed that Richard Hayes is to step down later this year.

The retailer of greeting cards, dressings and gifts has appointed Karen Hubbard to its board as CEO designate, with effect from 22 February 2016.

Since 2014 Hubbard has served as chief operating officer of B&M European Value Retail, the fast-growing multi-price value retailer, where she has been accountable for retail operations, distribution & logistics, supply chain, IT, HR, marketing and store development.

From 2009 to 2014, she held a number of senior roles at Asda, latterly executive director for property, format development & multi-channel. 

Hubbard will succeed Richard Hayes in mid-April.  Hayes has been with the group since 2003, serving as managing director and chief executive since 2008. 

Having recently made the board aware of his wish to step down once a suitable successor had been identified, Hayes will retire from the board and leave the group at the end of June 2016, having ensured a smooth handover over a four-month period.

Gard Factory chairman Geoff Cooper said:

"Richard has led Card Factory with enormous success. Since he joined the senior management team in 2003 the Group has grown from a 40-store discount chain to a vertically integrated high margin value retailer with over 800 stores and two transactional websites. 

"Having led the business through an MBO, the 2014 IPO and its first two years as a listed company, it is fully understandable that he now wants to retire.  We are extremely grateful for all he has done and, when he steps down, it will be with our very best wishes."

Karen Hubbard added: "This is a wonderful chance to lead a very successful and fast-growing value retailer with a clear leadership position in its market. I have enjoyed my time at B&M but this was simply too good an opportunity to ignore.  I very much look forward to working with the team to continue the success achieved by Richard and his team over recent years."

Richard Hayes said:

"I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to lead Card Factory through an exciting period of growth and change.  It is a very strong business, with a great team of experienced people at executive level and right across the business, and I know they will give Karen every support as she takes the business further forward.  I wish them all the very best for the future."