British luxury house Burberry has appointed Dr Gerry Murphy as chairman designate; he joins the company on 14 May and will officially take over the chairman’s role from Sir John Peace at the Burberry annual shareholder meeting on 12 July.
The appointment of Murphy, who is also chairman of Tate & Lyle and Blackstone Group International partners, concludes the process initiated in June 2017 and led by senior independent director Jeremy Darroch to name a successor to Peace by the end of 2018.
Before joining Blackstone as a senior managing director in its private equity group, Murphy served as CEO of Kingfisher plc, Carlton Communications, Exel plc and Greencore Group plc. He has also been non-executive director of companies including British American Tobacco plc, Merlin Entertainments plc and Reckitt Benckiser plc.
“We are delighted to welcome Gerry to the Board. His substantial UK plc and global business experience will be a great asset to Burberry as we continue to focus on delivering long-term shareholder value,” Darroch said.
“On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Sir John for his immense contribution to Burberry over the past 16 years. Sir John has presided over a period of extraordinary change, during which Burberry has enjoyed strong growth and evolved into one of the most valuable luxury brands in the world,” Darroch added.
Murphy said he was “delighted” to be joining Burberry and working with its new CEO Marco Gobbetti, who joined the business last year from LVMH’s Céline. The brand is embarking on a new era, not only under Gobbetti, but also under a new creative director, Riccardo Tisci, who previously headed up Givenchy and who has replaced Burberry’s long-standing creative chief Christopher Bailey. Bailey presented his last collection for Burberry at London Fashion Week in February.
Peace said the Murphy was the right candidate for the role. “I would like to thank current and past Board members for their partnership over the past 16 years and Jeremy Darroch for leading the process to find Burberry’s next Chairman. In Gerry Murphy, we have found a superb candidate with extensive experience in the consumer and retail industries. I am confident he is the right choice to lead the Board as Burberry embarks on a new chapter,” he said.