ASOS in search for a new CEO as Nick Beighton steps down with immediate effect
ASOS is on the hunt for a new CEO after announcing this morning that Nick Beighton is stepping down with immediate effect. The move formed part of a series of board changes designed to "underpin the delivery of the next phase of global growth" with the business targeting sales of £7 billion.
The online young fashion giant said the board had "agreed that now is the right time for him to step down" after six years as CEO (he replaced the company's founder Nick Robertson in 2015) and 12 years with the business.
CFO Mat Dunn has been promoted to COO and will run ASOS on an interim basis while a successor for Beighton is sought. In addition Ian Dyson, the former group finance and operations director and senior independent director at ASOS, will step up to take over as non-executive chairman replacing Adam Crozier, who is relinquishing his role to take up the chair's position at BT.
In addition, Jørgen Lindemann is joining as non-executive director having recently stood down from the board at global online fashion giant Zalando. Lindemann is currently the Chair of Miinto, the Danish-based online fashion marketplace and is the former President and CEO of Modern Times Group (MTG), the Swedish-based digital entertainments business.
The news was broken as ASOS revealed sales had grown by 22% in the year to end of August 2021 to £3.9 billion with the UK delivering 36% growth, however the business said it had set its sights on becoming a £7bn business within three to four years with an EBIT margin of at least 4% (current EBIT margin is 5.3%).
Crozier said of the board changes and plan: “Over the last three years we have made significant progress, delivering 60% growth in revenues, improved profitability and a strengthened balance sheet; we have bolstered the management team and improved ASOS’s operational capabilities and resilience. At the same time, however, we recognise that there is more to do to accelerate the pace and intensity of commercial execution.
“ASOS’s management and Board have spent considerable time over recent months developing and validating a clear strategic plan to accelerate international growth, building on ASOS’s undoubted strength in the UK. This will allow ASOS to deliver against the ambition to be one of the few truly global leaders in online fashion retail. Key to that is ensuring that we have the right leadership in place for the next phase, and the changes we are announcing today are designed to ensure we deliver against our clear strategic intent.
“On behalf of the Board, I want to thank Nick Beighton, who has played a pivotal role in the development of ASOS over the past 12 years and we wish him well for the future. The Board is delighted that Mat has agreed to become COO and that Ian will Chair ASOS for the next three years. ASOS is a business with a very exciting future, and I am confident that it will deliver against its ambitions.”
Dyson added: “ASOS is a great business with a strong brand and a talented team, and I am proud to be taking over as Chair. My key priorities will be recruiting a new CEO to take the business forward, at the same time working with Mat Dunn and the rest of the executive team to deliver our compelling strategic plan. I am pleased to welcome Jørgen Lindemann to the team; he brings deep experience of international digitally-led businesses, which will complement the existing Board expertise.”