Dec 21, 2022
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Richard Bradbury back in the hot seat at River island after 12-year+ gap

Dec 21, 2022

There have been quite a few major leadership team moves this year and even a few days before Christmas, the big news keeps coming. It has emerged that Richard Bradbury is rejoining River Island as its executive chair with full leadership responsibilities.

Photo: Sandra Halliday

It’s a return to the helm for the experienced leader who was previously CEO at the firm and the first chief executive not to come from the founding family. The news of his return was broken by Retail Week.

In his first stint at the business, he stayed until 2010, having spent 20 years at the company in total. Bradbury then left to pursue other interests, including charity work and handed leadership to Ben Lewis, a member of founder Bernard Lewis’s family.

Lewis stayed in charge until 2019, remaining as a non-executive director when ex-White Company and Wiggle CEO Will Kernan took the top job.

But earlier this year, it was announced that Kernan would leave the role on 31 December, although he’ll stay with the firm to oversee various projects (and presumably to ensure an orderly handover) until late April.

When Bradbury takes over on 1 January, current chair Clive Lewis will relinquish that role but will stay on as a non-executive director.

Lewis hailed Kernan’s “significant contribution” in leading the business through “a very difficult period” and there’s no denying the company has made progress of late.

A few months ago it reported a return to profit in the latest year as revenues also jumped.

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