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Boohoo appoints Primark chief as its new CEO

Lauretta Roberts
17 September 2018

Online fast fashion retailer Boohoo has appointed Primark chief operating officer John Lyttle as CEO; he will join the Manchester-based group in March of next year.

To accommodate Lyttle's appointment joint chief executives Mahmud Kamani and Carol Kane will take on new roles. Kamani will assume the role of group executive chairman next March and will be focused on the strategic direction of the group, moving away from day to day running responsibilities.

Kane will remain on the board and take on the role of executive director with continued responsibility for the group's creativity and multi-brand strategy – as well as Boohoo, the group owns BoohooMAN, PrettyLittleThing and Nasty Gal – and overseeing the development of the product proposition.

The move means that current chairman Peter Williams, who oversaw the group's from transition to AIM-listed plc four years ago, will be stepping down from his role next March. As such the group is now on the hunt for a further senior non-executive director.

Kamani and Kane said in a statement: "We are thrilled to have secured a candidate of John's calibre as our CEO. We have got to know John over a number of years and are convinced he has the necessary skills to complement what we already have and take the Group on to its next stage of growth. Both of us remain totally committed to the business and will ensure a measured and careful handover.

"This is a hugely exciting time for the Group as the fast fashion market continues to shift online and more and more customers across the globe are joining as customers of our brands. The Group has experienced exceptional growth over the past few years, with turnover increasing 24 fold from £24.5m in 2011 to £579.8m for the year ended 28 February 2018 and we believe John is ideally placed to guide the Group through the next stage of its growth; whilst he was COO at Primark, turnover increased from £2.7bn in 2010 to £7.1bn in 2017. Our next priority for boohoo is to ensure we have world class infrastructure and technology in place and we believe John is the right person to lead that journey.

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank Peter Williams for his great contribution to the Group during his time as Chairman. His wise counsel and years of retail experience have been invaluable during this period."

Peter Williams

Peter Williams

Williams, who is the former CEO of Selfridges and chairman of ASOS, said: "Like Mahmud and Carol, I am delighted to have secured the services of such an experienced international retailer as John Lyttle. The boohoo Group is at a key moment in its development and combining John's skills with those of Mahmud and Carol will enable a step change into a new era for the Group. I have very much enjoyed working with Mahmud and Carol and wish everyone at the Company every success for the future."

Lyttle will receive an annual salary of £615,000 in his new role along with an annual bonus of up to 150% of salary and a pension of 5% of salary. He said he was "hugely excited to be joining the Group at this key stage of its growth and capitalising on what is a global opportunity".

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