Dobbies appoints Cleland as chief executive

The new owners of Midlothian-based Dobbies Garden Centres — Midlothian Capital Partners and Hattington Capital — announced that retail and consumer business veteran John Cleland will be the company’s new chief executive.

Cleland has held senior management positions at ASDA Walmart, Somerfield and Maplin.

He will replace Andy King, who has agreed to stay with the business as a strategic adviser to the board.

Tesco confirmed the sale of Dobbies in June for £217 million to a group of investors led by Midlothian Capital Partners Limited and Hattington Capital LLP.

Andrew Bracey of Midlothian Capital said: “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.”

Cleland said: “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.”