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Former Sweaty Betty chief heads to River Island

Chloe Burney
02 April 2024

Simon Pakenham-Walsh has been appointed Chief Technology Officer at high-street fashion retailer River Island off the back of a three-year stint as Chief Information Officer at Sweaty Betty.

Simon took to LinkedIn to write: "Thank you Sweaty Betty and Wolverine Worldwide for the last three years. I have met some brilliant people, been a part of delivering some great technology for brands that I love, learnt loads and had a lot of fun along the way. What more can I ask for?!

"I am sorry to leave. But I am equally very excited and privileged to have been given the opportunity to take on my next challenge as CIO for another amazing, iconic retail brand - River Island."

Simon Pakenham-Walsh

Pakenham-Walsh has over 25 years of experience in technical strategy, delivery and leadership across several commercial and public sector industries.

Before his time at Sweaty Betty, Pakenham-Walsh was the Retail and Technology Director at Topshop's Arcadia Group and CIO for Sainsbury's. In these senior roles, he led technology departments and delivered large multi-supplier, high-revenue-generating programmes.

While River Island aims to boost its technology in-store and online with this new appointment, it is also committing "to in-store investments to enhance the customer experience further". Back in November 2023,  it signed a five-year lease at Manchester Arndale shopping centre and upsized by 3,686 sq ft to occupy a 22,415 sq ft unit.

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