It was a case of all change for Pets at Home top execs this week, when a key new appointment coincided with the announcement of a surprise departure.
Chief executive of the company’s veterinary business, Andrei Balta, is to step down, with his role being covered on a temporary basis by the recently appointed group chief executive Peter Pritchard (pictured).
Just as this news was released, it was also announced that a new role of chief data officer was being filled by Robert Kent, who formerly fulfilled the same role with the Royal Mail. The move is being seen as a strategic shift towards supporting online growth, tapping into customer data to increase the size of the business.
Peter Pritchard said: "It is six months since I took over the role of group CEO and trading momentum continues right across the business. I am taking the time to assess our strategy and develop the plan that will ensure Pets at Home remains successful over the long term.
“I'm therefore delighted that Robert Kent will be joining us as chief data officer. The CDO is both a new and strategically important appointment for Pets at Home, where Robert's wealth of expertise will help us maximise the value of our data.”
Kent will join the business at the beginning of November. He will report to Pritchard and be a member of the group executive management team.
Pritchard added that Balta was stepping down after seven years: “Andrei has decided to leave and I would like to thank him for his contribution to Pets at Home,” he said.