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Senior executive Forde leaves head buyer position at Dunnes

One of the most senior executives at Dunnes Stores, Sheena Forde, has left the retailer, the Irish Independent has learnt.

Ms Forde, who was head of buying at the business, only joined the company in 2010. She had been headhunted from Superquinn, where she was operational and development director.

Ms Forde had worked for Wal-Mart's Asda chain in the UK for about 12 years and joined Superquinn in 2006.

Her departure from Dunnes this week -- she left the company on Tuesday -- is the latest in a recent series of senior musical chairs at Dunnes Stores and Superquinn.

One of Ms Forde's former colleagues at Superquinn, James Wilson, who was second in command at the chain, also left the company in 2010 to join Dunnes. He is the food director at Dunnes.


Their appointments at Dunnes came on foot of the defection of the company's then most senior non-family director, Andrew Street, to Superquinn in 2009.

He took over at the ailing business as chief executive. Superquinn was acquired by Musgrave last year for as much as €250m.

Early last year, the managing director of DCC-owned Allied Foods, John Casey, decided to leave the business to become distribution director at Dunnes.

Insiders say that outsiders brought in to senior positions in Dunnes Stores often find the roles challenging. Margaret Heffernan and Frank Dunne maintain a close eye on all aspects of the business.

Sources reckoned that Ms Forde, who hails from Co Antrim, was probably earning at least €250,000 a year in her role at Dunnes. She's regarded in the trade as very effectual.

It is also reckoned that Dunnes managed to beat rival Tesco in Christmas trading in Ireland.

But German discount retailer Aldi is in particular believed to have put in a very strong performance over the period, while Musgrave is also thought to have done well.

Irish Independent