She succeeds Keith Down, who is stepping down to take up a role closer to his family home, as announced in February.
David Stead, Dunelm’s former chief financial officer, has joined the Group as interim chief financial officer to help smooth the transition, which has allowed Keith to step down from the board slightly earlier than expected, on May 24.
Laura is group financial controller of Compass Group, a multinational contract food, hospitality and support services company. She has held this position since February 2017.
Previously Laura was chief financial officer of Indigo Books & Music, Canada’s largest book, gift and speciality toy retailer, from 2014 to 2017. She also held a number of senior finance roles with Japan Tobacco International between 2004 and 2013. Laura qualified as a chartered accountant with PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
Dunelm chairman Andy Harrison said: “We’re looking forward to Laura joining the Dunelm team to work with Nick Wilkinson, our new chief executive officer. She brings a breadth of business and finance experience, which will really help us achieve our ambitious business plans to become the leading multi-channel retailer in our space.”
Laura said: “I’m delighted to be joining Dunelm and getting back to the dynamic world of retail once again. Dunelm is a strong market leader with exciting plans for growth and I’m looking forward to being part of the ambitious executive team.”