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Arcadia makes senior digital hires

Lauretta Roberts
06 November 2019

Arcadia has made two senior hires to its digital team as the Topshop to Burton fashion retail group pushes ahead with its transformation strategy.

Rafaele Petruzzo has been appointed the newly-created role of group chief digital officer working alongside Karl De Bruijn, who recently joined Sir Philip Green's empire as chief information officer having previously been at the value fashion giant Primark. Both Petruzzo and De Bruijn will sit on the Arcadia board.

In addition Simon Pakenham-Walsh has joined Arcadia as the digital and retail technology director, reporting to De Bruijn.

Petruzzo was previously chief transformation officer at digital payments provider Nets Group, and before that held senior strategic positions at Homeserve, Tesco and Barclays. Pakenham-Walsh joins from Sainsbury's where he was most recently the chief information officer for food.

“I’m delighted to welcome Rafa, Karl and Simon to the Group as we continue to drive forward our digital ambitions and boost our sales from online channels; a core pillar of our growth strategy,” Arcadia CEO Ian Grabiner said.

“They are all extremely experienced in their fields and I am confident they will add significant value to the group.

“Through a combination of improved customer insight and data, alongside enhanced site functionality and more efficient marketing spend, we are confident that Arcadia can create an even stronger bond between our brands and our customers, delivering uniquely personal shopping experiences,” Grabiner added.

The appointments come as Arcadia undergoes a transformation as part of its CVA, voted through by creditors and landlords in June of this year, which involves the closure of around 50 stores in the UK and Ireland (its 11 US stores have been closed) and a major focus on digital and online retail.

The Arcadia empire encompasses the Topshop, Topman, Burton, Miss Selfridge, Wallis, Evans and Outfit retail brands.

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