Company background

Ceramic Tile Distributors (‘CTD’) is a UK-based specialist supplier of high-quality ceramic and porcelain tiles, accessories and adhesives operating across 97 branches and 5 trading distribution hubs. Its leading B2B market position is supported by strong brand awareness of its Gemini product line and robust trading performance. In 2022, CTD generated revenues of approximately £110 million.

With the support of private equity firm Aurelius Group, CTD will leverage its strong market position by further developing its omni-channel offering for B2B and B2C distribution. It will also improve operational efficiencies across the business as well as expand and elevate its branch network.

Directorbank’s Simon Thomas was appointed to source a sector-experienced, entrepreneurial CEO to drive this next chapter of transformation and growth.

The brief

The incoming CEO would be a dynamic and ‘hands-on’ leader with strong strategic, commercial and operational skills and a proven track record of success in a customer-centric, omni-channel retail business. They would be well versed in leveraging the power of technology and data to improve the customer journey and business efficiency, and would bring experience of working alongside Private Equity to fulfil the growth agenda.

The process

Together with Luke Walker, Research & Delivery Consultant, Directorbank completed a wholesale mapping exercise identifying competitors and adjacent sectors as well as sourcing ideas from the Directorbank network. More than 100 candidates were profiled and over 15 assessed before seven were presented for interview. Jim Barnard was successfully appointed to the role.


Jim specialises in customer-centred, digitally-enabled transformation and market disruption in best-in-class ecommerce and omni-channel consumer businesses. With more than 20 years’ experience in senior leadership roles in companies including B&Q, Wickes, Halfords and most recently Victoria Plum (the UK’s market leading ecommerce bathroom specialist) he brings a wealth of knowledge in strategic direction and growth.