Mothercare CEO to step down as transformation nears completion

Mothercare
Mark Newton-Jones

Mothercare CEO Mark Newton-Jones will step down from his role as the business nears the completion of its transformation plans, following the closure of all of its UK stores.

Newton-Jones will remain with the baby and maternity retailer as an executive director until July. Chief financial officer Glyn Hughes will step into the CEO role on an interim basis and he will be replaced by Andrew Cook, who has been corporate development director since April of last year.

In addition chairman Clive Whiley will become non-executive chairman. Whiley said of the changes: “As we approach the completion of our Transformation Plan, Mothercare – one of the leading global brands for parents and young children – once more has a brighter future ahead as a solvent and cash generative Group. We have made good progress with the Transformation Plan and the risks to achieving the outcomes we laid out in November are increasingly dissipated.

“Our plans for the final steps of the recapitalisation of the Group are in hand and whilst the cash realisation from the Mothercare UK administration was lower than anticipated, the progress that we have made elsewhere means that the financing requirement overall is unchanged from our original plans.

“‎The board changes announced today align the management of Mothercare with that of a its new structure as an international franchise brand and will contribute to a further overhead reduction. In time we plan to add relevant skills and expertise – particularly in brand and product management – to the team to accelerate our development as an international brand owner and operator.”

Mothercare was obliged to place its UK arm into administration last November and closed all of its 79 UK stores this month. Its international stores remain unaffected and in December it revealed a deal with Boots to sell its branded clothing in its stores from the middle of this year.

Newton-Jones had been CEO of Mothercare since 2013 and left for a six-week period in 2018. He was called back to the business to oversee a restructure and CVA process which at the time involved the closure of 50 stores. Whiley thanked him for his service to the company saying: “I would like to thank Mark for his contribution to the business over what has proved to be a turbulent period and I am delighted that we will be able to call upon his retail experience as we go forward.”