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Debenhams CEO Sergio Bucher expected to be replaced by chairman Terry Duddy

Lauretta Roberts
14 April 2019

Debenhams CEO Sergio Bucher is expected to leave the retailer in the coming days and be replaced by its chairman Terry Duddy.

Bucher, who joined Debenhams from Amazon Fashion in 2016, is believed to be standing down at the behest of the consortium of lenders that acquired Debenhams in a pre-pack administration deal last week, according to The Sunday Times.

The consortium, which includes hedge funds Silver Point Capital and GoldenTree Asset Management, is said to want chairman Terry Duddy to take on an executive role.

It has also brought in turnaround expert, Stefaan Vansteenkiste, a managing director at the advisory firm Alvarez & Marsal, to be its chief restructuring officer. Lazard has also been appointed and is said to be actively touting the business for sale.

Bucher had been spearheading the retailer's Debenhams Redesigned turnaround strategy that included a rebrand and the introduction of experiences and services in-store from gyms to blow dry bars.

However his experience took a dent when Sports Direct's Mike Ashley, who has been campaigning to take control of the retailer himself, used the voting power afforded by his near 30% stake in the business in January to force former chairman Sir Ian Cheshire out of the business and demand the removal of Bucher from the board.

Retail veteran Duddy was subsequently brought in to replace Cheshire. Duddy is the former CEO of Home Retail Group from 2006 to 2014 and prior to that was CEO of Argos. He has been a non-executive director of Hammerson and Majid Al Futtaim Properties, and is also chair of charity the Retail Trust.

 


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