INCHCAPE chief executive Stefan Bomhard has resigned to take up the same role with international cigarette company Imperial Brands.
Today’s announcement marks a major step up in responsibility for Bomhard, who has headed the global luxury multi-brand automotive distributor and retailer since 2015. London-listed Inchcape has a market value of £2.6bn, compared with Bristol-based Imperial’s £18.4bn.
But it also comes with a healthy pay rise for Bomhard, who made a £739,000 base salary at Inchcape. His new wage packet will be almost £1.3m, with a potential bonus of up to 200 per cent of his salary, plus incentive pay.
He said: ‘It has been a privilege to lead such a high-quality organisation in an exciting and dynamic sector. I would like to thank the strong team that I have had the pleasure of working with.
‘I know that Inchcape will continue to go from strength to strength. I leave Inchcape with my gratitude to our partners and shareholders who have supported Inchcape through my time with the business.’
Nigel Stein, group chairman, said: ‘On behalf of the board and all our colleagues at Inchcape, I would like to thank Stefan for his transformational leadership of this company.
‘The Ignite strategy he implemented has substantially refocused and grown the group’s activities towards a more profitable distribution-weighted business model. In order to achieve these significant developments and enhance Inchcape’s organisational strength, Stefan has developed and empowered a strong management team that will continue to drive the business forward following his departure.
‘We are grateful to Stefan and wish him continued success for the future.’
Bomhard’s departure date will be announced in due course and the board is now starting the process to appoint his successor.
The group will announce its full-year results on February 27.
Imperial chairwoman Therese Esperdy said: ‘Stefan has significant experience across multiple consumer sectors and within large multinational organisations, particularly in brand building and consumer-led sales and marketing.
‘He has demonstrated strong strategic and operational leadership and has developed a track record of delivering successful transformational change during his tenure at Inchcape. Stefan takes on the chief executive role at a significant point in Imperial’s development.’
Bomhard, who has also been chief commercial officer of Cadbury and president of Bacardi in Europe, will inherit the headache of what to do in the US from outgoing chief executive Alison Cooper.
Bosses were landed with a major problem as calls intensified for action on vaping in the States, after several deaths were linked to the practice.