Terry DuddyOne of the UK's longest serving retail bosses is to stand down after 15 years in charge of catalogue chain Argos.

Terry Duddy's role at Home Retail Group, which also owns the Homebase DIY chain, will end in July.

Mr Duddy took the helm of Argos in 1998 after mail order retailer GUS, Home Retail's predecessor, bought the catalogue business for £1.9 billion.

He was named chief executive of Home Retail Group in 2006 following its demerger from GUS and acquisition of Homebase in 2002.
In recent years, Mr Duddy has seen the Argos business squeezed by the economic downturn and competition from the likes of Amazon.

Last year he set out plans to grow Argos sales from £3.9 billion to £4.5 billion a year in 2018 in a d igital push involving the closure or relocation of some stores and a cut in the print circulation of the famous catalogue.

Mr Duddy, who is 57, earned £1.56 million in pay and perks in the year to the start of March, up from £1.1 million a year earlier, even though the retailer posted a 10% decline in pre-tax profits to £91 million in 2012/13.

Home Retail posted its fifth consecutive year of slumping profits as DIY chain Homebase dragged down earnings. But catalogue chain Argos returned to profit.

The search for his successor will be led by the group's chairman John Coombe, who said Mr Duddy had provided strong leadership during a period of economic uncertainty.

Mr Duddy said: "It has been a great privilege to lead this group for 15 years, including the last seven as the chief executive of Home Retail Group.

"We have achieved a great deal in that time and the positive momentum of the business is now such that I feel the time is right to move onto the next stage in my career."