Charles Wilson will return to Booker in October to become chief executive nearly five years after he left the company.
Booker has been without a chief executive since Baugur took over the company in February and managing director Gerry Johnson left, leaving the new chairman Hans-Kristian Hustad in charge of day-to-day running of the business.
Wilson joined Booker in 1998 when Stuart Rose was put in charge of the then plc, and oversaw the break-up of the company, including the sell-off of its foodservice arm which now operates as 3663. He was made managing director of Booker in July 2000, after the merger with Iceland, and left in January 2001 to link up with Rose again at Arcadia.
A Bauger spokesman said the company was delighted to have secured Wilson. “He is someone who knows the Features > Business, and Baugur has known Wilson since its involvement with Arcadia in 2001,” he said.
Wilson has a 31% stake in Hub Wholesale Club, a catering cash and carry company which was set up in Cheltenham in February, and there have been press reports it would be taken over by Booker as part of the deal.
However, managing director Tony Overton said he could not comment and described the reports as speculation.
He said trading had exceeded the business plan and it was scheduled to open its second depot in early October.