Retail giant Kingfisher's former director of corporate communications, John Eyre, has returned to his old job two years after he announced early retirement.
The group, which owns highstreet brandnames such as Woolworths and B&Q, re-appointed Eyre following the unexpected departure of previous director of corporate communications, Gwen Gober.
Gober left the company after just 14 months in the job. Although she was not available for comment, industry sources say she left to take time out and pursue other interests.
Eyre takes on the global position nearly two years after retiring to become a partner in corporate communications consultancy, Oriel Communications, of which he will remain a non-executive director.
'Early retirement proved to be less attractive than I thought it would be,' said Eyre. 'I missed corporate life and the communications function in a big company, such as Kingfisher.'
Reporting to Kingfisher chief executive Sir Geoff Mulcahy, Eyre's brief is to head a team of 12, split between London and Paris, concentrating on branding, press relations and City relations.
'My remit is essentially the same as before, but Kingfisher has grown rapidly since then, internationally in particular, so this time I expect to be spending more time in France and Germany,' said Eyre, who previously held the position for three-and-a-half-years.
Prior to Kingfisher, Eyre also worked as head of corporate communications for a number of leading UK companies including Boots, Cable and Wireless and Guinness. He started his career as a journalist, working for the Southern Evening Echo and Southern Television.
Kingfisher has seen a number of corporate communications directors in the last five years. In 1995, Nigel Whittaker resigned to be replaced by Eyre. Following Eyre's retirement, Paragon founder Mike Hingston was appointed - he resigned after a rumoured clash with former IR head Tom Wyatt. Gober took over from Hingston last June, leaving her position as group corporate affairs director at Littlewoods.
Kingfisher, which currently retains BSMG Worldwide and financial PR agency Financial Dynamics, now operates across 15 countries, including Turkey, Poland, Singapore and Canada. Last year, it opened 120 outlets internationally and expects to inaugurate 160 in the next year.