By Daniel Hunter
Halfords has named McDonald's UK boss as its new chief executive.
Jill McDonald will leave the fast food restaurant giant to replace Matt Davies, who is to take charge of Tesco in the UK.
Halfords chair Dennis Millard said the retailer was looking for an “outstanding business leader... who had built and nurtured a culture of customer service and colleague engagement in a consumer-facing business”.
He said: “So we are delighted to have recruited Jill, who has a strong track record of heading a large, complex, service-led business with great success.”
Ms McDonald said: “Halfords is a business and brand that resonates with me and the UK public and I am delighted to be joining the company.
“Halfords has already made significant progress in delivering its service-led growth strategy and I look forward to joining such a strong team to continue to build on that success.”
She will receive a basic salary of £500,000 and a maximum bonus of 150%. Ms McDonald will also be able to take part in Halfords' "performance share plan" which could see her total pay rise to £2 million.
The in-coming Halfords boss will be managing a much smaller operation that in her current position. As McDonald's UK chief executive and president for the fast-food giant’s North West Europe division, she oversees around 3,000 restaurants and 200,000 employees. Halfords has around 450 stores and 11,500 staff.
One retail analyst described the appointment as "left-field". Nick Bubb said: "The company has announced a real 'left-field' choice in the form of somebody from McDonald’s...namely Jill McDonald, who runs the huge UK operation of McDonald’s, as well as its North-West Europe segment.
"The Halfords job seems a bit of a step-down after that and although Jill McDonald brings a lot of knowledge of customer service issues, how much she knows about cars and bikes remains to be seen."