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Former supermarket boss takes helm at Dobbies

DobbiesDobbies Garden Centres’ new owners have appointed former Asda, Maplin and Somerfield supermarket boss John Cleland as chief executive.

He will replace Andy King, who has agreed to stay with the chain as a strategic adviser to the board.

Tesco sold Dobbies last month for £217 million on a cash and debt-free basis to a group of investors led by Midlothian Capital Partners and Hattington Capital, supported by a number of equity investors.

The company is the second largest garden retailer in the UK with 34 centres across Scotland, England and Northern Ireland.

Barney Burgess of Hattington Capital said: “It is great news for Dobbies that John is joining as CEO. He will play a pivotal role in the future Dobbies success story. We’re looking forward to supporting him as he leads the business through its next phase of growth.”

Andrew Bracey of Midlothian Capital added: “We’re delighted that John is coming to Dobbies. Dobbies is an iconic brand with a great legacy and a bright future. We also want to publicly recognise the role of Andy King who has been a great steward of Dobbies, and will remain with us as a strategic adviser.”

Mr Cleland said: “I’ve always been an admirer of Dobbies. It’s one of the great, heritage brands in British retail. We hope to build on that and create a stronger, market leading company. I am very much looking forward to working with new colleagues to grow the business together.”

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