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Debenhams chief executive to step down

Debenhams has revealed that its chief executive Michael Sharp is to step down as it also announced that full year pre-tax profits rose by 7.3%.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Debenhams chief executive to step down

Debenhams has revealed that its chief executive Michael Sharp is to step down as it also announced that full year pre-tax profits rose by 7.3%.

In a statement, the retailer said it had always been Sharp’s intention serve a five year term after joining the business in 2011.

Now two months into his fifth year, Sharp has recommended that the Debenhams board begin a search for his successor to enable him to step down in 2016.

He will remain in post during the Christmas trading period and into 2016 and will assist the board in the process of identifying his successor. The recruitment process will include the evaluation of both internal and external candidates.

Once a new chief executive has been appointed, Sharp will stay on to ensure a smooth handover.

Sharp said: “We have a strong and talented management team and I would like to thank them and our 30,000 colleagues for their continuing support, hard work and passion. I hope being transparent about my intentions will stop recent speculation becoming a distraction, allowing me and the Debenhams team to focus on delivering our strategy and the important Christmas trading period.”

The news comes as Debenhams also announced that its pre-tax profits in the year to 29 August rose by 7.3% to £113.5 million.

Debenhams chairman Nigel Northridge said: “On behalf of the board I would like to thank Michael for continuing to lead Debenhams through a crucial time of change in retailing and for the good progress the company has made under his leadership. He has worked enormously hard to develop the company's strategy and the benefits of this are really starting to show in the results.”

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