First Quench appoints chairman

10 September, 2009

First Quench Retailing has appointed a new chairman from majority shareholder Vision Capital to its board of directors.

Johan Van de Steen has been on the First Quench board since April and he is an operating partner at Vision Capital.

Ex-Somerfield chief executive John Cleland has also joined the board as non-executive director. He led Somerfield into its sale and integration into the Co-operative Group, and has previously held posts in Walmart Japan, Asda and Sainsbury's.

The chairmanship has been vacant since Patrick Copeland left in May. He had taken on the role in 2007 shortly after Vision Capital bought FQR, then known as Thresher Group.

Van de Steen said: "I am pleased to be taking on the role of chairman, having served on the board for the past five months. I am also delighted to welcome John Cleland to First Quench. John has significant expertise in the retail sector and his strategic approach and sector turnaround experience will be a real asset to the business.

"This appointment will strengthen the board as we drive the transformation programme announced last month.”

Cleland added: "I am thrilled to be joining the board of First Quench. The transformation programme is underway and gathering momentum, and while I fully recognise the challenges ahead, I believe in the First Quench brands, their heritage and importantly the future of this business.

"I am eager to get involved quickly to help the team realise the full potential of the business.”

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