New Look names new CEO as commercial chief Connolly steps up
Value fashion retailer New Look has revealed the name of its new CEO and it has appointed a female chief executive this time as Helen Connolly takes the helm with immediate effect.
She’s been at the company since 2020 as chief commercial officer, and her elevation to the top job makes her the second commercial chief to be promoted to a CEO role on Thursday with ASOS taking the same route to find its new leader.
Connolly replaces Nigel Oddy who stood down from the role recently having overseen the retailer’s recovery from a bruising period both before and during the pandemic.
His replacement was CEO of Bonmarché for four years, an experience that ended when the company was taken over by a unit of the Philip Day retail empire and later collapsed into administration.
Both New Look and Bonmarché faced challenges linked to the changing retail environment before Covid was ever heard of, while also suffering as a result of the regulations put in place during the global health crisis. So Connolly clearly has the experience of navigating troubled waters that may be needed as UK retail grapples with a weak economy.
Before her time at Bonmarché she was a director of buying for womenswear and lingerie at Asda’s George operation and head of buying at Dorothy Perkins, adding further weight to her vast experience in the affordable fashion sector.
In her original commercial role at New Look she’s been heavily focused on improving its products and its merchandising and is widely seen as having done a good job there.
New Look chairman Mike Coupe said: “Helen’s appointment comes at a pivotal time for [us], as having navigated the pandemic successfully the business now has a strong platform for future growth. Over the last two years, Helen has been critical in shaping and improving the business and has transformed the New Look product offer. Along with her knowledge of the business, she brings with her a wealth of sector experience, and I look forward to working with her and the team as we continue to deliver long-term, sustainable growth.”
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