Jul 12, 2022
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Matchesfashion confirms Nick Beighton as its new CEO

Jul 12, 2022

Matchesfashion on Tuesday morning confirmed that ex-ASOS chief Nick Beighton will indeed be its new CEO, taking over from Paolo De Cesare “after a short transition period”.

Nick Beighton - Secret Sales

The confirmation came after news broke on Monday about the unexpected change. The company said De Cesare will hand over responsibilities during the rest of July and Beighton will take up his role in just over two weeks’ time at the start of August.

De Cesare is leaving “to pursue other opportunities”, although we’ve not been told what they are. He said he’s “pleased with the progress we have made” since he joined only last year and highlighted the firm’s “strengthening relationships with our luxury brands” and the hiring of “ some excellent new talent”.

Beighton left ASOS last autumn after 12 years at the company he’d originally joined as CFO and COO. He became CEO in 2015 and helped to grow the UK-based fashion e-tailer from £178 million in revenues and 150 people when he started, to £3.9 billion in revenues and 15,000 people when he left in October. 

Before his time at ASOS, he’d been Head of Finance and executive board member at Matalan, responsible for business change and technology.

He’s also currently the part-time Chairman of fast-expanding Secret Sales, a post that was only announced in June.

Beighton said that he loves fashion “and e-commerce and [has] long been an admirer of Matchesfashion. It is a pioneer in the sector and has redefined the face of luxury shopping with its unique fashion perspective and distinct, curated edit. 

“Starting from a single store in London 35 years ago it has become the go-to place for luxury fashion online, yet it still has huge potential. Using technology, product, logistics and culture, I have helped disrupt existing consumer patterns and galvanise change in organisations and I hope to bring these skills to my new role.”

Meanwhile, Tom Hall, who’s a partner at Apax — which holds a controlling stake in Matches — said the business is in a fortunate position to be able to attract a CEO of Nick Beighton’s calibre. Nick is a proven operator with phenomenal knowledge of online retail”. He also thanked De Cesare “for everything he has achieved at and wish him well in his future ventures”.

It’s undeniable that Beighton has a challenge ahead of him, with Matches having seen both ups and downs in recent years. In its most recently released results (for the year to January 2021), it was loss-making but was improving.

The work done under De Cesare has clearly set it on a better path. And Beighton has plenty of experience navigating the vagaries of fashion retail with ASOS having also battled through some bruising external environments during his tenure, the pandemic being the most notable of these.

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