Debenhams, the British department store group that has issued three profit warnings this year, said it had recruited a former chief financial officer of Domino’s Pizza to be its new chief finance chief.
Debenhams said Rachel Osborne, who has also worked for department store rival John Lewis and home improvement retailer Kingfisher, would join the firm on September 17.
Debenhams said Ms Osborne would receive a basic salary of £439,000 (€489,000). Bonus schemes mean her maximum level of variable remuneration will be 200% of basic salary. The group is in the second year of a turnaround plan under chief executive Sergio Bucher focused on closing up to 10 stores in Britain, downsizing 30 others, cutting promotions and improving online service.
Debenhams in the Republic, which came out of administration two years ago, has about 12 outlets and a further five in the North.
In the UK, progress has, however, been hampered by a squeeze on consumers’ budgets and intense online competition. Debenhams has also sold its Danish chain Magasin du Nord. Earlier this month rival House of Fraser collapsed into administration and was immediately purchased by Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct.
Sports Direct is Debenhams’ biggest shareholder with a 29.7% holding and analysts have speculated Mr Ashley may try to engineer a combination with House of Fraser.
Shares in Debenhams, down 66% over the last year, traded 1% higher yesterday.
- Reuters with additional reporting from the Irish Examiner