Richard Harding has been named as BP’s new UK Convenience Retail director. He succeeds Karen Hubbard and will take up his new post on December 1. Harding, who has been with BP for 20 years,

said: "This is the job I have wanted to do for a long time. I feel passionately about the UK retail business, and feel that I can make a real contribution.

"We have a diverse and complex offer which has to meet a broad range of customer needs every day, all this within a highly competitive market sector. These dynamics make the role enormously exciting and challenging.

“I can’t wait to get down to business and into our stores leading into our Christmas trading period.”

Stephen George, head of BP Convenience Retail in Europe, said: “Richard will bring extensive convenience retail business experience to the role, and I am sure he will build on Karen Hubbard’s extraordinary transformation of the UK business.”

Richard’s first role with BP was as a business analyst. From there he moved to South Africa, where he was part of the team that launched BP’s first convenience store offer in the country.

He then moved to the global retail group as a retail business advisor, and then to the UK to negotiate BP’s joint venture with Safeway, which he returned to run after a pit-stop in the USA where he was accountable for a region of Amoco and BP Convenience Stores.

Richard’s next challenge was as Retail Strategy manager for BP’s Global Retail Business, before heading to Poland to implement the Accelerator programme, a major transformation project, and run the BP retail business there.

Since then he took over the management of the Accelerator programme across Europe and South Africa and most recently has been leading a number of strategic projects for the European convenience retail business.