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Top 100: 81. Darren Blackhurst

Chief executive, Matalan

In his second year at Matalan, Darren Blackhurst has done a good job of steering the business in 2012, reporting a like-for-like sales rise for the 13 weeks to November 26 and its best week since 2005 over the 2011 Christmas period. Matalan launched a weekly online TV show in August in a bid to ramp up its marketing. For this year’s holiday season the retailer has hired 5,000 temporary staff to support its customer service. This year’s Christmas TV advert was launched in the ad break of The X Factor - the online version also has hot spots that users can click on to see more detail of the product. The business also appointed former Asda chief executive Allan Leighton as chairman in October of this year.

Did you know? Blackhurst was once a rhythm guitarist for the Food Fighters, a band he formed while at Asda.

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