A Scarborough-born businessman, who was in charge of HBOS when the bank faced collapse last autumn, has been confirmed as the new chief executive of high street giant Alliance Boots.
Andy Hornby, 42, who now lives in York, will return to the business frontline at the beginning of July – less than nine months after the bank was saved from nationalisation through a rescue takeover by Lloyds TSB.
Mr Hornby, who worked for supermarket Asda before joining the Halifax in 1999, was originally approached to head Boots in 2003 but stayed with the bank.
In his new role he will report to the company's executive chairman Stefano Pessina, who took the group private with buy-out firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts for 11.1 billion in 2007.
Mr Hornby earned 1.9 million at HBOS during 2007 but the salary for his new job has not been disclosed.
Mr Pessina said Mr Hornby's appointment would allow him to devote more time and energy to developing the business.
He said: "Andy's wealth of retail and marketing experience will be an invaluable asset for the company, complementing our existing skills and expertise."
Although Mr Hornby will focus on the day-to-day running of the business, the appointment comes a month after Mr Pessina floated the possible idea of Boots moving into personal banking, following the lead of retailers such as supermarket giant Tesco.
Mr Hornby, who was educated at Oxford and Harvard, is also on the board of Home Retail Group, which owns Argos and Homebase.
He became chief executive of HBOS in 2006 but the bank was vulnerable because of its reliance on wholesale money markets, which convulsed in the wake of Lehman Brothers' collapse last autumn.
The bank, which reported losses of almost 11 billion last year and will drag Lloyds into the red this year, would almost certainly have been nationalised if the takeover had fallen through.
Alliance Boots posted trading profits of 953 million in the year to March 31 – its first full year as a private company – helped by a strong performance in its health and beauty division.
The firm employs more than 115,000 people, has more than 370 wholesale distribution centres in 16 countries, and more than 3,200 health and beauty retail outlets.