Wolseley plc, Reading, England, appointed Frank Roach, age 54, a director of the company with responsibility for the group's North American operations, effective immediately. He succeeds Chip Hornsby, who will succeed Charlie Banks as chief executive officer of Wolseley effective Aug. 1, 2006. Banks is scheduled to retire July 31.

Roach joined Ferguson, Newport News, VA, in 1976. During his time with Ferguson he undertook a number of operational roles, including branch manager in Richmond, VA, and vice president of the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region. In 2005 he was appointed senior vice president of the recently created Wolseley North America management team with responsibility for North American business groups. He has played a key part in further developing and expanding the Group's North American businesses including plumbing, waterworks and HVAC.

“Frank [Roach] has made a significant impact on Ferguson's and, more recently, the Group's, success in North America over the past 30 years and I am sure he will bring all of that experience to bear in his new role,” Charlie Banks said in a statement.

“I am delighted that we are able to make another senior appointment from within the organization and I look forward to Frank's contribution to the deliberations of our board,” John Whybrow, Wolseley chairman, said in a statement. “This appointment is an integral step in Chip Hornsby's succession as chief executive officer of the Group and will, from early in the new year, allow Chip the opportunity to spend more time in Europe gaining a deeper understanding of our businesses and, in due course, our investor relations activities.”