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Dobbies confirms John Cleland as new CEO

12 July, 2016

The new owners of Dobbies, Midlothian Capital Partners and Hattington Capital, announce John Cleland as CEO. He will replace Andy King, who has agreed to stay with the business as a strategic adviser to the Board.

John Cleland brings 30 years of leadership experience in retail and consumer businesses. His expertise has been built across food and non-food categories, in the UK and abroad, and has included senior management positions at ASDA Walmart, Somerfield and Maplin.

Andrew Bracey and Barney Burgess introduced John to his new colleagues at the Dobbies Headquarters in Edinburgh on 12th July and also thanked the outgoing Chief Executive, Andy King, for his contribution to the business.

Barney Burgess of Hattington Capital commented:

"As one of Britain's leading Garden Centre businesses, 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 commented:

“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."

John Cleland, the incoming CEO, told his new colleagues:

“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 in the future.”

Andy King, Dobbies Chief Executive, said:

“It’s been a privilege to be Chief Executive of Dobbies for the past 3 years. The energy and enthusiasm of colleagues and customers make this a great place to work. I wish the new owners and John Cleland the very best in growing Dobbies and look forward to my new advisory position.”


Notes to Editors:

John Cleland

John has 30 years’ experience in retail, most recently as CEO of Maplin Electronics where he led the 4 year repositioning of the business and its subsequent successful sale.
Prior to this John was CEO of Esporta Health and Fitness, again in private ownership with the sale of the business to Virgin Active in 2011.
In the preceding decade John played key roles in the Somerfield take private transaction as Chief Operating Officer. Prior to this he was commercial Director at B&Q, Senior Vice President Operations WalMart Japan, Retail MD Asda stores Limited and Director of buying ASDA stores limited.


In June 2016, Tesco confirmed the sale of Dobbies Garden Centres to a group of investors led by Midlothian Capital Partners Limited and Hattington Capital LLP, supported by a number of additional equity investors, including family offices and individual investors, for £217m on a cash and debt-free basis. Dobbies is the second largest garden retailer in the UK with 34 garden centres across Scotland, England and Northern Ireland – with select product available online for UK wide sales.

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Dobbies confirms John Cleland as new CEO