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New Look appoints former Sainsbury's CEO Mike Coupe as chairman

Lauretta Roberts
06 September 2021

New Look has appointed former Sainsbury's CEO Mike Coupe as non-executive chairman replacing Alistair McGeorge who is stepping down after four years in the role.

Coupe was CEO of the supermarket giant for six years until 2020 during which time he oversaw the expansion of its Tu clothing line and the acquisitions of Home Retail Group (the former parent company of Argos and Habitat) and Nectar.

McGeorge intends to step down after his second stint as chair at the young fashion chain. A former CEO of Matalan, McGeorge had previously been chairman at New Look from 2011-2014 and returned in 2017 as executive chairman to oversee its turnaround strategy.

He had stepped back from day-to-day operations to become non-executive chairman in January 2020, following the appointment of Nigel Oddy as CEO. Over the past 18 months McGeorge has worked alongside Oddy to oversee the group's response to the Covid-19 pandemic and its CVA process.

McGeorge said of his decision: "After four years as Chairman, now is the right time for me to stand down. New Look is in a remarkably better position now than it was when I returned to it in 2017. This is fundamentally due to decisive actions taken to restructure the business operationally and financially, and to recover the broad appeal fashion and great value that New Look is known for, which has been led by Nigel and his team.

“I leave the business in incredibly capable hands and the Company will benefit greatly from Mike’s invaluable expertise, experience and oversight as it looks to continue on the positive trajectory it is set on.”

Coupe added: “I am delighted to be joining New Look at this moment in time. As a leading womenswear brand known for its broad appeal fashion, the business has a significant opportunity to capitalise on through its omnichannel model and loyal customer base. I am looking forward to working closely with Nigel and the rest of his team to deliver long-term and sustainable growth.”

Oddy said McGeorge's contribution to New Look had been "invaluable". “He has provided strategic vision, operational experience, and wise counsel to the Board during his tenure. He leaves the business with a clear strategy and in a strong position for future growth.

"I am delighted that Mike is joining the company as Chairman, and having spent time with him already, we both share the same excitement and enthusiasm to deliver on our strategy, through the combination of a cohesive omnichannel model, conveniently located stores, and feel-good fashion at great prices.”

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