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Fenwick chairman and CEO depart as family takes closer control

Lauretta Roberts
02 April 2020

Fenwick has announced the departure of its chairman Richard Pennycook and chief executive Robbie Feather as the family behind the historic department store chain moves “closer to the running of the business”.

The business said it wanted to "slim down its board" and also revealed the departure of Andy Doyle the non-executive chair of Fenwick’s remuneration committee.

Pennycook, a former Co-op chief, became the first person outside of the Fenwick family to take the chair's role in 2017, while Feather was the first non-Fenwick family member to be made CEO in January 2018. He will be replaced by John Edgar, a former Selfridges and Harrods CFO.

“We would like to thank Richard for his guidance during his time as chairman, and to thank Robbie for all his leadership and dedication in driving the most ambitious transformation in Fenwick’s history. We much appreciate Andy’s contribution to the board also," family spokesperson said in a statement.

“This is an unprecedented time for the retail sector, and we are pleased to welcome John Edgar as Fenwick’s new chief executive. We look forward to working closely with John and the whole team to help guide Fenwick through this incredibly challenging time.”

Under Pennycook and Feather's leadership Fenwick made the move into multichannel retail with a transactional website and the pair centralised functions such as buying and human resources, which had previously been carried out at store level.

Fenwick, which was founded in 1882, operates stores in Newcastle, London’s Bond Street, Bracknell, Brent Cross, Canterbury, Colchester, Kingston upon Thames (Bentalls), Tunbridge Wells and York. All of its stores and its e-commerce business are currently closed due to the Covid-19 crisis.

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