AO World PLC (LON:AO.) has shocked investors with news its founder John Roberts is to resume the role of chief executive officer at the online electricals retailer with current incumbent Steve Caunce to step down.
The FTSE SmallCap firm, which sells domestic appliances like fridges and cookers, said Caunce would remain involved in the business on a part-time basis but had decided to take a step back for a better work-life balance.
READ: AO World surges as it reaffirms full-year guidance after Black Friday boosts November sales to highest ever
It added that Caunce would remain as an advisor to the CEO and the board in a part-time role.
John Roberts said: "AO's future is incredibly bright given our depth of talent at all levels of the business. I am fully committed to the business and the execution of our focussed strategy and can't wait to get stuck in again as CEO as we move onto the next exciting stage of the AO story."
In November, AO World reported a first-half loss in November and slower sales growth after being hit by lower consumer spending in the UK.
But in a January trading update, the group reaffirmed its guidance for the full year as ‘Black Friday’ boosted sales to record-breaking levels in November.
For the third quarter ended 31 December, the electricals and white goods retailer reported group revenues had risen 8.2%, with UK and Europe revenues rising by 4.4% and 31.3% respectively.