Next group operations director to retire, merchandising chief steps up
UK fashion and interiors retail giant Next has announced that group operations director Michael law is retiring after 23 years with the firm. He’s been on the board for five years and will step back that role in May.
Meanwhile another company veteran, Richard Papp, will join the board as an executive director and new group merchandise and operations director, continuing in his current role while also stepping into Law’s shoes.
Papp has worked at Next for a total of 25 years with one gap in the middle, starting as a merchandiser in 1991 and later becoming menswear product director. He left in 2005 but returned in 2006 to become group merchandise director.
In that role he’s responsible for the company’s merchandising function, its product systems, international franchise, and clearance operations. He worked “extremely closely” with its warehousing, logistics and systems teams to develop its online platform and the firm said this means he’s “perfectly placed to lead the continued development of the group's operations.”
The company didn’t comment on its thinking behind the combination of the two roles. But it said that Michael Law “has made a huge contribution to the group” and thanked him for his “outstanding service.”
He had first indicated that he was considering retiring over a year ago and Next said it has been working on a succession plan since then.
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