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Debenhams set to announce new chairman

Lauretta Roberts
23 October 2019

Debenhams is set to announce former House of Fraser finance chief Mike Gifford as its new chair.

According to Sky News Gifford's appointment as chair of Debenhams' controlling company, Celine Holdings, could be made as early as this week. He will arrive just in time for the crucial Christmas trading period.

Gifford was finance chief at House of Fraser for 10 years until 2015 when he left to join Game Group as chief financial officer.

He arrives just after Debenhams, which spent a brief period in administration this year before being bought by a group of its lenders, announced it had secured a further £50m cash injection to help it win new customers in the lead up to Christmas.

Gifford will work alongside the department store's new CEO Stefaan Vansteenkiste who was appointed in August after having worked at the company as chief restructuring officer since April. 

Vansteenkiste is a restructuring expert and managing director from professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal. Upon his appointment – he replaced former CEO Sergio Bucher – it was announced that executive chairman and retail veteran Terry Duddy would step down in September.

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