Palmer & Harvey, the delivered wholesaler supplying many forecourts, has announced the appointment of Tony Reed as chief executive, effective immediately. P&H has also appointed Alistair Darby as non-executive director.

Reed has spent 38 years in the industry working for Tesco in a number of operational roles across different store formats. In addition to store operations Tony spent four years in the Tesco commercial division.

Darby has wide-ranging experience of leading major businesses. He was formerly chief executive of Mitchells & Butlers plc, a FTSE 250 operator of restaurants and pubs. Before that he held a number of senior operational and strategic roles at Marston’s plc from 1997 to 2011, including a decade as a board director.

In addition, Chris Etherington, currently chairman and chief executive, will become executive deputy chairman and Richard Grainger has been appointed non-executive chairman, following three years as a non-executive director.

Grainger is currently chairman of McKay Securities plc, a publicly quoted commercial property investment company and Harrington Brooks, the debt management company. Previously he was chairman of Safestore plc and chief executive of Close Brothers Corporate Finance. In addition, Stewart Oades will retire from his role as a non-executive Director in December 2016.

Etherington said: “We are delighted to welcome Tony as our chief executive. His deep experience of the retail sector will be extremely valuable to Palmer & Harvey, as will his track record of driving growth, operational efficiency and his passion for developing people.

"Tony is ideally placed to drive our long-term strategy, further strengthen our customer proposition and embed our reputation for first class service.

“The appointment of Alistair further strengthens our board, adding significant operational experience as we focus on delivering our strategy to the benefit of all our stakeholders.”

Reed commented: “I am looking forward to working with the strong team at Palmer & Harvey to drive the opportunities for growth, operational efficiency and service excellence that its unique scale, heritage, reputation for delivery and customer relationships present. Having worked closely with Palmer & Harvey over the last four years I have always found it a reactive and responsive business to work with.”