Wyevale Garden Centres, the Midland based horticultural retailer, said it has appointed Gary Favell as interim chief operating officer.
He joins the Hereford company at a time when its chairman David Williams is facing calls for his removal from rebel shareholder Laxey Partners and several parties, including private equity houses, are considering making an offer for the UK's largest garden centre operator.
Mr Favell, a former executive of kitchens retailer Magnet, will lead the implementation of 'the Wyevale Way', the retail part of the group's new strategy outlined on July 13.
This involves improving products and stores and focusing on the development of larger garden centres.
Mr Williams said: "The implementation of the strategy was always going to be a large and complex task. I am therefore pleased to be able to update shareholders that step-by-step progress is being made in the plan that we outlined.
"Gary Favell is an excellent retailer and an established leader. He has the experience to make the improvements that we have identified as being necessary in our store operations whilst implementing the Wyevale Way."
Laxey, the majority shareholder with a 19 per cent stake, last month called an extraordinary general meeting to vote on removing Mr Williams and replace him with Robert Ware, the former deputy chief executive of MEPC.
The Wyevale board is recommending shareholders vote against Laxey's motion at the meeting which is due to take place on Sepember 12.
The firm said it was also investigating the takeover approaches.