N Brown CEO quits, names interim replacement

Struggling N Brown said Wednesday that its CEO Angela Spindler is leaving the company at the end of this month and we have to assume that the departure is linked to performance because of the speed with which it’s happening and the fact that the firm has no permanent replacement lined up as yet.

The Simply Be owner said it would now “commence the search for a new chief executive” and that Steve Johnson who is currently CEO of the firm’s Financial Services business will assume the role of interim group CEO until a new top executive is appointed. There was no hint as to whether Johnson might be handed the role permanently, nor whether he would want to take it on.

Chairman Matt Davies said of the surprise announcement: “We recognise that now is an appropriate time to search for a new leader who can take the business forward through the next phase of its development.”

But there is still plenty of goodwill between all the parties involved. Davies added: “I would like to thank Angela for her significant contribution as CEO. Angela has led the business with passion, energy and a relentless focus on building on the group’s industry-leading fit specialism, as well as building N  Brown’s online capability and expertise.”

And he also said that “she has had to contend with significant legacy issues and a challenging retail backdrop and has brought her great personal qualities and values to the way she has led our business.” He also wished her well for the future.

Spindler has led the firm for five years and said the work that has been done “will form a strong foundation for the coming years,” also wishing the business and her temporary successor well.

The group is due to report its latest set of figures soon, but its last report didn’t make happy reading back in the summer. The 13 weeks up to June 2 saw group revenue up only 0.4% and product revenue fell by 2.8%. A 9% rise in its financial services revenue helped its bottom line, but it’s clear that times are tough and the firm is battling to turn itself around in what’s a very difficult period for retail overall.

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