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Ted Baker confirms chairman appointment

Lauretta Roberts
22 April 2020

Ted Baker has confirmed the appointment of John Barton, a former chairman of Next and current chairman of easyJet, as its new non-executive chair.

Barton had been widely tipped to take the role after the company began its search. He has also been chairman of Cable and Wireless Worldwide and was also previously Senior Independent Director of both WH Smith and SSP Group.

Acting chair Sharon Baylay, who will continue in her role until Barton formally joins the business, said: "Following a thorough and competitive search process, the Board is delighted that John is joining us as Chairman and we look forward to welcoming him to Ted Baker.

"His significant experience in a number of leading customer facing businesses, including very relevant experience from his time spent leading the Board at Next plc, will be of great value as we continue the journey to transform the business."

Barton added: "It is an honour to be appointed Chairman of this iconic British brand at such a critical time and I would like to extend my huge thanks to Sharon for leading the Board in the interim period.

"These are unprecedented times, and while I do not underestimate the significant challenges ahead of us, Ted Baker has strong foundations from which to build: a refreshed and committed leadership team, fronted by Rachel Osborne; dedicated and loyal colleagues; a strong brand which resonates with customers; diversified income streams and a well-invested, omni-channel platform.

"I look forward to working alongside my fellow Board members and leadership team to steer the Group through this period of transformation in the years ahead."

Barton will join the fashion and lifestyle brand at a critical time as it looks to recover from a miserable 2019 in which founder and CEO Ray Kelvin was forced to stand-down due to allegations of harassment of staff, which he has denied.

A string of profit warnings followed and Kelvin's successor Lindsay Page – formerly the longstanding COO of the business – and former chairman David Bernstein also left.

Rachel Osborne, who joined the business from Debenhams last autumn as CFO, was promoted to the role of CEO last month, having acted in the role since the departure of Page at the end of last year.

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