Boohoo Group names JD Sports exec as new Debenhams CEO
New chief executive Daniel Finley wrote on LinkedIn: “After an incredible decade as group multichannel director at JD Sports Fashion, I decided it was time to take up a new challenge. I am excited to have started my new role as chief executive of Debenhams, following the acquisition last year by Boohoo Group.
“I am delighted to take charge of a great British heritage brand and looking forward to building on the progress that the team have made since its acquisition.”
Boohoo bought the brand after it had seen years of decline with the pandemic proving the last straw. The company filed for a “light touch” administration as the Covid crisis began but found it harder to emerge from this than it might have expected.
Boohoo eventually won the brand, despite Frasers Group’s CEO Mike Ashley having been trying to take control of it for several years. The downside of the Boohoo acquisition was that all of its stores closed, although it has since opened one dedicated beauty store.
It has since put marketing support behind Debenhams and clearly has huge ambitions for it, especially given its powerful position in UK beauty retail.
The appointment of an executive with deep multichannel experience to its top leadership position also raises the question of whether the retailer might see more physical stores opening in future.
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