Former Booker CEO Charles Wilson is joining the Board of Menzies Distribution after buying a 10% stake in the company.
Wilson led Booker for 15 years overseeing its transformational growth to a leading UK wholesaler and merging with Tesco in 2018 at which point he joined the Tesco executive team.
Wilson, who was diagnosed with throat cancer three years ago but remains in remission, had retired in February after deciding it was “time to take things a little easier”.
In a letter circulated to newspaper publishers, Menzies said: “Charles joining Menzies is a fantastic endorsement of our growth and diversification strategy to be the national partner of choice to the publishing and retail markets.
“Charles’ wealth of experience across both retail and publishing markets will support Menzies execute our growth strategy, widening our service offer and geographical coverage for your benefit.
“We are looking forward to the insight that Charles will bring to support our ambition of customer growth through our unique set of services and capabilities.”
The Federation of Independent Retailers (NFRN) welcomed the announcement.
Commenting, National President Stuart Reddish said: “This is a hugely positive move. Charles has been a good friend of independent retailers and on behalf of the NFRN, I very much welcome his appointment to the Menzies board.
“Charles is extremely well respected within the independent retail sector and will bring with him a wealth of retail experience and expertise. At Booker, his ethos was always about the customer, seeing retailers as individuals rather than numbers.
“We hope he will bring some fresh thinking and a pro-active approach towards addressing the issues faced by independent news retailers.
“The NFRN now looks forward to working closely with Charles and with the rest of the Menzies board to ensure that the needs of our members are a high priority on the news wholesaler’s agenda.”
In 2020, Wilson received the SLR Special Recognition Award to mark his achievements in convenience retailing.